Social Justice





Social Justice Research Academy

Social Justice Research Academy

July 3 - July 23, 2016

The Social Justice Research Academy brings studentsfrom across the USA and around the world together with Penn faculty to examine the historical importance and the contemporary relevance of struggles to overcome inequality and injustice. 

Morning Lectures and Discussions - Attend classes with Penn faculty from several disciplines, including urban/global studies, philosophy, religious studies, race and gender, economics and community development, politics, law and policy, history, sociology, environment, and public health.

Afternoon Workshops and Site Visits - Participate in activities with special guest speakers and/or visit historical sites and collections, local museums, places of worship, community groups, cooperatives, socially responsible businesses, labor unions, political advocacy organizations, environmental projects, urban farms, research institutes, and philanthropies.

The promise of – and the struggle for – freedom is one of the enduring narratives of human society. The faculty will call upon knowledge and experience from many sources:

  • past struggles – religious freedom, the American Revolution, citizenship, slavery, rebellion, and abolition, suffrage, civil rights, affirmative action, labor, anti-colonial and anti-apartheid independence movements, the '60s
  • recent and contemporary struggles – LGBT, Arab Spring, Occupy, Ferguson, environmentalism, education reform, affordable housing, elder rights, disability rights, immigration, interfaith, multiculturalism, and ongoing human rights and indigenous peoples' campaigns across the globe

This academy has been designed for students who are interested in:

  • thinking deeply about society, history, economy, politics, philosophy, religion, and the world
  • undertaking creative inquiries supplemented by photography, video, music, art, poetry and spoken word, theater, movement, digital design, and geospatial analysis
  • developing skills for leadership, movement building, and organizational development
  • conceptualizing projects related to freedom, justice, equality, sustainability, peace, and fairness

Program Director: R. Scott Hanson, Ph.D.

R. Scott Hanson is a Lecturer in the Department of History at the University of Pennsylvania, where he teaches courses in American history on a range of topics. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in 2002 and has been at Penn since 2012. Dr. Hanson is also an affiliate of the Pluralism Project at Harvard University and the author of City of Gods: Religious Freedom, Immigration, and Pluralism in Flushing, Queens (New York: Fordham University Press, 2016).

Are you a School District of Philadelphia public or charter high school student? If so, learn how you could attend this program free of charge through our Penn Summer Scholars Program.

How to apply