Create a Plan that Connects the Urgency of Thinking,

Your Personal Story, and Meaningful Action in the World.

Social Action Works emerged from the understanding that for our students, it is not enough to follow a passion; it is also not enough to get any job. We need to lead with our commitments, and we need our work in the world to care deeply for what we love.

Social Action Works offers students opportunities to explore creative answers about their professional futures, informed by their passion for a particular field and inspired by their energy to create social change. It prepares students to design a plan for how they want to share themselves and their interests in the world, and it cultivates their readiness to serve as transformative leaders to advance public action.

Get Involved: Join our student-led group “Communities of Purpose” and participate in our speaker series. Share conversations with professionals who have created distinctive careers for themselves engaged in social change. Listen to their stories live or check out our growing digital collection "Stories that Change Us."

Communities of Purpose

Lead and live by design. Your life's work begins now.

Communities of Purpose is a pilot student-led design space where participants coming from diverse fields of study, collaborate to share their personal stories and life experiences, distill intellectual training and skills acquired, and envision professional lives and leadership roles for themselves that advance social change. Students will participate in a distinctive mentoring model that will include colleagues, faculty, community members, and career development specialists. Themes proposed for these Purpose groups include: community health and reproductive justice, popular culture and social media, non-profit leadership, advocacy, the arts and community engagement, education and citizenship, environmental justice and sustainability, globalization, entrepreneurship and business. The first Communities of Purpose groups will launch Fall term 2020. 

For more information and to get involved, contact CLA Advisor Dr. Liddy Detar

Stories that Change Us

“You are your own stories, and therefore, free to imagine what it takes to remain human with no resources… The plot you choose may change or even elude you, but being your own story means you can control the theme. It also means you can invent the language to say who you are and how you mean in this world.”

-Toni Morrison

Stories That Change Us is an annual speaker series and digital story collection, offering students the opportunity to meet individuals who have created interesting and often self-designed careers. Invited speakers and their stories provide conversation for sparking ideas and developing for our students a community network of professionals, activists, and alumni to share their career paths, offer mentorship, and serve as resources. Invited speakers participate in campus-wide lectures, smaller workshops and focus groups, as well as classroom visits.

Lorenzo Triburgo

October 21, 2021 at 4:30 p.m. (Pacific time)
Free and open to all - A Virtual Event

Lorenzo is a NYC-based Trans*queer artist, activist, & educator who promotes "Queer Art for Queer Liberation." Lorenzo is the author of "Representational Refusal and the Embodiment of Gender Abolition," (GLQ, 2022), a 2020 Bronx Museum Fellow, and has artwork featured as part of the permanent collections of the Portland Art Museum (Portland, OR) and Museum of Contemporary Photography (Chicago, IL). A full-time Instructor of Photography at Oregon State (Ecampus), Lorenzo will talk about carving pathways that support your passion for creativity and commitment to social justice.

Join the virtual event via Zoom

Julie Mathison

November 4, 2021 at 4:30 p.m. (Pacific time)
Free and open to all - A Virtual Event

Indie author and founder of author imprint, Starr Creek Press, Julie is committed to producing quality books that transcend genre and age categories. Winner of the 2021 Eric Hoffer Book Award, acknowledging excellence in books produced by small, independent and academic presses. Join Julie for a conversation about the evolving world of self-publishing, how it differs from traditional publication, and what it’s like to create a dedicated readership, focused on your voice and unique place in the literary landscape. 

Join the virtual event via Zoom

Raquel Willis

November 10, 2021 at 4:30 p.m. (Pacific time)
Free and open to all - A Virtual Event

Raquel is a Black transgender activist, writer, and media strategist. Raquel has held impactful positions as Director of Communications for The Ms. Foundation, Executive Editor of Out magazine, and a national organizer for Transgender Law Center (TLC).In 2018, she founded Black Trans Circles, a project of TLC, focused on developing the leadership of Black trans women in the South and Midwest. Raquel is currently working on her debut memoir detailing her coming of identity and activism. 

Join the virtual event via Zoom