Apply to be a JLI Scholar
John Lewis Institute for Social Justice

John Lewis Institute
for Social Justice


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Contact Information

Davidson Hall, Room 119

William J. Mann

Barrows Hall, Room 120

Evelyn Newman Phillips

Bassett Hall, Room 416

Apply to Become a JLI Scholar

The John Lewis Institute for Social Justice seeks to empower a new generation of leaders to follow his call to build a better and more just world; one that is marked by hope and focused on liberation. In doing so, we find hope and strength in his effort, voiced in the language of justice and lived in a life of service. Our collective work is designed to create intellectual and civic spaces to allow for a deeper understanding of the roots of injustice, while also fostering and nurturing efforts to eliminate it. We aim to do this by helping participants develop as social justice leaders and advocates who fully engage in public service. We encompass the issues of all people and seek to work for the oneness of humanity. We take as our mandate Rep. Lewis's observation and challenge that "ordinary people with extraordinary vision can redeem the soul of America." 

Student Scholars will be connected to every cohort before and after their years with the program. Students will work together to engage in self-reflect work that is critical to understanding their intersecting identities, cultures, values, and passions. The JLI will also help them to identify their skills, explore possible careers in public service, and build a network consisting of peers, faculty, staff, and community leaders.  

In the second year of the program JLI Scholars will serve as mentors to first-year Scholars, plan and complete a social justice program for CCSU, do a spring break service tripand explore systemic social injustice in our society through their participation in an internship in either their fall or spring semester. At the end of the two years, JLI Scholars will be recognized for their work and receive a Presidential medallion to wear at commencement. 

To apply to the John Lewis Institute for Social Justice Program and become a scholar, please submit the application materials linked below to the email address provided. All application materials must be submitted by Friday, June 15 2022 by 11:59 pm. Notifications about the status of your application will be sent as soon as possible.

Application Criteria

  • Applicants: 

    • Must be a CCSU full or part time student  

    • Can apply from any major 

    • May be either first-year, second-year, or third year  

    • May have a no less than a 2.5 GPA.   

    • Should have engaged in either some form of activism or social change or volunteer work

    • All races, ethnicities, nationalities and genders are welcome to apply  

    • Must be interested inpublic service; civil rights; ending all forms of racism; food insecurity; social justice; mass incarceration; underrepresented populations and other activist activities that uplift humanity

Institute Expectations and Scholar Participation

Year 1 – Academic Year August thru May 

  • 3-5 day off site retreat in August

  • Scholar development to include, but will not limited to: 

    • Participation bi-weekly seminars

    • Through the engagement of self-reflection work to include by not be limited to:  

    • Readings (books, articles, excerpts and other on-line resources such as podcasts, Youtube videos, TedX and films 

Summer – May – August  

  • Possible summer internship 

 Year 2: 

  • Mentorship and active participation with the 1st year cohort (this could include attendance at their August retreat).  

  • Creation and participation in a CCSU Social Justice Program or initiative 

  • Participation in academic year internship (fall or spring semester) 

  • Participation in a Spring Break Service Trip 

Application Packet

  • Complete Application Form 

  • Provide a two-page statement that discusses the following: your interest in social justice and its meaning for you and your community; your activism and what changes you would like to make. 

  • Two reference letters from a CCSU faculty or staff member or high school teacher.