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.

Celebrate the launch of Social Action Works

October 8 at 7:30 p.m. (PDT) (Virtual Event)
Open to all OSU students

Learn more about SAW’s Communities of Purpose, a help design a space for students in the liberal arts to share conversations, collaborate and envision professional and leadership roles that combine their fields of study with their energy and passion to advance social change.

Register here


Transforming Museum Culture: Reinventing our Institutions and Ourselves
Oct. 22 at 4:00p.m. (Virtual Event)

Independent consultant, change leader, author and illustrator.
Co-Producer, Museums Are Not Neutral
Founding Editor, ArtMuseumTeaching
Co-Founder, Super Nature Adventures LLC

“I have been thinking a lot recently about my own ancestors, but also all of the individuals and communities that have acted as guides for where I stand in life right now. As a white, cisgender male, I think I was taught a very individualistic and narrow idea of ‘success’ growing up; yet I’ve always had trouble behaving according to those rules and following that path. Throughout my education and professional work, I have walked in those creative spaces between traditional disciplines and rigidly-defined areas of teaching or museum practice.”

OSU Student Registration (Handshake)

Join the Zoom Event

President, COQUAL, NYC

Currency of Authenticity: Identity in Professional Spaces
Oct. 29 at 3:30 p.m. (Virtual Event) 

“Having worked as a black, female-bodied, out LGBT leader on Wall Street, I know firsthand what it’s like to be discounted despite the access and privilege I may have. I’ve experienced micro-aggressions in the workplace, told I’m articulate or asked if I can speak articulately to a client. I’ve experienced the males in the room only addressing the cis-gendered white men on the other side of the table, even if it was my meeting or if I was the most senior banker present. Talking about race at work requires leaders who commit to addressing bias and understanding the dynamics at play within their own work environment. That’s a really challenging part of the work, but it’s critical. You have to look inward and diagnose some cultural weaknesses.”

OSU Student Registration (Handshake)

Join the Zoom event