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Social Justice


Social Justice Program Website


Program Description

Starting in Fall 2014, students at Merrimack College will have the chance to turn their passion for change, human rights, and a more just world into a career through the major in Social Justice. This interdisciplinary program has been designed to prepare students for the demands of a world where our awareness of inequality and capacity to address social issues have become globally interconnected. Through a variety of courses, chosen from among all the disciplines in the Liberal Arts, students will receive the theoretical, analytical, and experiential knowledge that will prepare them for advocacy and human rights work with local community organizations, as well as national and international non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and institutions such as the United Nations. The major in Social Justice is designed to combine a strong theoretical understanding of ideas of social justice with experiential learning through practical application, and it includes a required internship in a community-based organization or NGO.

Due to the unique nature of Social Justice and the diversity of the fields it connects, the program is structured to give students the option of customizing their major in order to focus on the issues or areas that most appeal to them. Although the program offers a variety of concentrations, the director of the program, together with selected advisors, will work closely with each student, so that his/her interests shape an individual experience as a path to a meaningful future. The flexibility of the program, too, allows for students to successfully double major, thus enabling them to pursue their social concerns while learning other valuable skills and knowledge.

Career Paths

The major in Social Justice offers students the possibility of preparing for exciting work in a variety of fields. Career opportunities include employment in government agencies, colleges and universities, consulting firms, research institutes, corporations, domestic and international non-governmental organizations including community and environmental organizations, human rights organizations (e.g., Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch), the United Nations, and international development organizations. Social Justice graduates are also employable as international environmental journalists, writers, media producers and organizers.

If you have any questions, please write to Luis Saenz de Viguera, Director of the Social Justice Program:

Social Justice Events

March 23, 2015

March 24, 2015

  • 9:30am - 10:45am: Poster Session: Intro to Criminology (Prof. Aiello).
  • 11:00am - 12:45pm: Poster Session: Intro to Criminology (Prof. Aiello)
  • 4:00pm: A Call to Action: Drug Law Reform and Harm Reduction

    A Panel Discussion with:

    • State Representatives Tom Sannicandro and Aaron Vega of the Harm Reduction and Drug Law Reform Caucus. The Representatives will talk about the problem of mass incarceration, forming a caucus, creating social change through legislation-both incremental and large-scale, and how everyone can help contribute to positive social change. (The Harm Reduction and Drug Law Reform Caucus is a coalition of legislators, working to address the root causes and symptoms of mass incarceration through comprehensive policy reform, education, and coalition building.)
    • Mary Wheeler (Mary Wheeler began working in harm reduction programs providing syringe exchange and overdose prevention in 1999. In 2005 she began working in Lynn, MA at Healthy Streets Outreach Program which provides services to both injection drug users and sex workers. Healthy Streets is also one of the MA DPH Naloxone Pilot sites and serves towns on the North Shore of Massachusetts. Mary is currently the Program Director at Healthy Streets Outreach Program in Lynn, MA where she has worked for almost ten years. Healthy Streets is now a program of Health Innovations Inc.)
  • Image preview 5:00pm - 7:00pm: “Feast of Faiths: A Student Dialogue Dinner”
    Celebrate religious and cultural diversity at this student dialogue dinner! RSVP Required.

March 25, 2015

March 26, 2015

  • 4:00pm - 5:30pm: Workshop: Opioid Overdose Training with Mary Wheeler
    Learn about opioid overdose risk factors and overdose prevention messages. Learn how to recognize and respond to an opioid overdose. Learn about Naloxone (Narcan) administration and availability in Massachusetts. 

March 27, 2015

  • 9:00am - 4:00pm: Employer in Residence: Peace Corps
    Peace Corps will be on campus Friday, March 27 to meet with students during individual 30-minute appointments.

    Book an appointment to learn about the Peace Corps, the application process, and how your skills and interests make you an ideal candidate. You’re also welcome to ask questions about other job search issues. 

    Students from all majors are welcome. Space is limited, so reserve a one-on-one appointment today.

April 8, 2015