Social Justice Collective




July 14 – August 2, 2019

Engage in the study of social justice at Sarah Lawrence College!

Designed to give high school students an immersive experience into Sarah Lawrence College's pedagogy, this program provides students theoretical, historical, and present-day perspectives on social and cultural issues involving class, gender, sexuality, and race. This interdisciplinary intensive will give students a chance to learn, discuss, and apply their knowledge through the creation of mixed-media art installation pieces. Throughout this process, students will be guided and mentored by members of Sarah Lawrence’s award-winning faculty and renowned alumni. Students will develop their academic skills in a rigorous intellectual environment by focusing on the social justice issues that matter most to them. Students will also explore how creative writing, visual art, performance, and social media impact social justice movements. This three-week program will culminate in an exhibition of each student’s work.

We welcome students entering the 10th, 11th, or 12th grades the following fall. Commuter students must be age 14 or older at the start of the program. Residential students must be age 15 or older at the start of the program.


Monday through Friday

8:30 - 9:30 a.m. Breakfast (and time for conferences)
10 a.m. - Noon Classroom time
Noon - 1:30 p.m. Lunch (and time for conferences)
1:30 - 2:30 p.m. Supplemental Lectures or Project Time
2:30 - 4:30 p.m. Classroom time
4:30 - 7 p.m. Break, Dinner (and time for conferences)
7 - 11 p.m. Optional on-campus activities organized by housing staff
11 p.m. Curfew (midnight on the weekends)

Please note: The schedule will change depending on the activities scheduled for the day such as field trips, or additional time to work on projects.

Program Costs

Application fee $50
Deposit $250
Remaining tuition $2,840

$1,900 (non-A/C)

$2,350 (A/C)

Meal Plan

$1,017 (full)

$368 (lunch only)

Please note: students may need to purchase supplies to complete course assignments during the program. Please budget around $100.

Limited financial assistance is available for this program. Please apply by April 1 to be considered. Should Sarah Lawrence be unable to provide the necessary amount possible for you to attend, a full refund of your registration fee and deposit will be provided.


Unpacking Identity, Civility, and the Need for Affirmation with Natalie Gross

What are the messages that we have received about identity and civility? What ideas have been shared with by your families and communities that shape how you view your social identities and what does the media say that affirms or calls your identities into question? We will take the time over the next three weeks to unpack our intersectional identity formation and identify when we are expected to be civil and where we make space to affirm our identities. Students will learn throughout these workshops how to name what they’re experiencing and how to properly respond and think critically about all of the messaging we receive around race, class, gender identity, sexuality, disability, nationality, citizenship, religion, and the body.

Students will be able to process and examine academic texts and popular culture. Each workshop will allow us all to incorporate different learning styles to inform our learning.

Natalie GrossNatalie Gross, the Director of Diversity and Campus Engagement at Sarah Lawrence College, co-chairs the Diversity & Activism Programming Subcommittee (DAPS) with the Assistant Director, supervises the Real Talk @ SLC program, oversees the Food Sharing Space, administers diversity assessments and coordinates the Community Connection Series (to be re-named). She also offers support to students who’ve experienced bias on campus or who are in search of mediation regarding bias incidents. Natalie oversees the staff and all of the office programs. Natalie has been in her role since July of 2005. Her role and office were born out of the student need and demands brought up in the Teach In on Racism that occured in April 2004. She currently is a regular facilitator in the Early Childhood Center working with parents on how to navigate discussing identity with young children. Natalie received her B.A. and M.Ed. from Marquette University in African American Studies and College Student Personnel respectively.

Bringing Your Activism Home: Bringing Change to Your Community with Rachel M. Simon

Members of our Social Justice Collective will explore ways to bring our knowledge of social justice issues to create change and take action. Students will explore issues of privilege, marginalization, equality, and justice through texts (essays, poems, films, art, etc.) to take practical steps to increase justice in our communities. We will explore intersectional identity and activism on our feet (and sometimes around a round table, Sarah Lawrence style). I hope that by exploring our individual component identities, students will gain a better understanding of our social constructions of race, class, gender, ability, sexuality, among others which will then allow us to explore larger systems of oppression and eventually ways to dismantle those systems through workshops, readings, and direct actions. Through interactive and collaborative group exercises, we will explore movements including: Intersectional Identities, Contemporary Feminist Activism (in the face of rape culture), Racial Justice (Black Lives Matter, race and the justice system, race and dating, race and education), Theatre of the Oppressed, LGBTQA Concerns (looking beyond marriage), Power & Control Wheel, Race Zone Training, Developing Your Voice, Art & Activism, building your skills as an ally and more.

Rachel SimonRachel M. Simon is the Assistant Director of Multicultural Affairs & Diversity Programs and LGBTQQ Coordinator at the Pace University, Pleasantville campus. Since 2003 she's taught courses in writing, gender studies, lesbian and gay studies, and film at Pace University, SUNY Purchase College, Fordham University, and Bedford Hills Maximum Security Prison. She serves on the Westchester County Government's LGBTQ Advisory Board and is the Vice President of the board of PrideWorks for Youth. Two collections of Simon's poetry has been published: Theory of Orange (2005) and Marginal Road (2009) as well as as a Poem of the Day from the Academy of American Poets at

Power In The Picture with Sekiya Dorsett

Social media and cell phone video have propelled the social justice movement forward. Today, anyone can be a "witness," generating powerful political testimony as they document injustice and share their own thoughts about political issues in real time.

Fortunately, video is an equally powerful tool of imagining a world beyond the problem. In this course, students will explore how video has been used to address social injustices. They will learn about effective methods of using archival video, news clips, and information to fact check and create a compelling video. They will also learn about how to reimagine this video on a wide variety of platforms.

We will use moving images as a way to help us step into a new future, a new self, a new reality. Within the course, students will gain a basic understanding of how to shoot video, record sounds, and use a non-linear editing program. Its purpose is to teach and empower individuals with all experience levels to use the resources they have to share their ideas about the world around them.

Sekiya DorsettBorn in Nassau, Bahamas, Sekiya Dorsett is a queer filmmaker giving voice to issues of equality. In 2008, her first film, Wisdom and Understanding, a short experimental film, made its debut at NewFest Film Festival and the Oakland Black LGBT Festival. In 2009, her short, Sisters, a story about a lesbian woman struggling to reconcile with her mother, was screened at the Austin LGBT Film Festival.

Her first feature documentary, The Revival: Women and the Word, has played at Athena Film Festival, Frameline, Urbanworld, and NewFest Film festival. It finished its run with a screening at the Brooklyn Museum last June and it is distributed by Women Make Movies. Her commercial work has appeared on SYFY, USA Network, BETher, Refinery29, Essence Magazine, and BuzzFeed. 

A Vision of Justice

On the Nexus of Writing and Photography in Exporting Narratives of Social Justice

Why are word and image crucial to the work of social justice? How can we use photography and writing to shift our perspectives to engage and invite change? For a time, we’ll try to world build, and develop a critical aesthetic around the imagery of social justice and storytelling that will inform our own work. We’ll consider the work of photojournalists, documentary, and fine art photographers who work as witnesses but also provoke transformative thinking around identities and written works from Rebecca Solnit, Claudia Rankine, Grace Lee Boggs, James Baldwin, Jeff Chang, and Teju Cole.