About John R. Lewis College

Social Justice and Community

John R. Lewis College Mission:

Our mission is to foster a community that welcomes and affirms people to be their whole selves, to honor our multiple identities and lived experiences, to contend with difference, to think deeply and critically, and to be agents of social change. 

Founded in Fall 2002, John R. Lewis College is the newest college at UCSC. Consistent with UCSC's founding vision, John R. Lewis College creates an integrated living-and-learning environment through engaging academic and extracurricular programs focusing on the theme of Social Justice and Community. Students and staff collaborate to develop an array of programs exploring the many aspects of social justice. Some of the programs include faculty presentations, guest speakers, debates, films, arts events, and interactive workshops. These programs bring together members of our community to learn, debate, and challenge ourselves about important issues facing us today in an atmosphere of mutual respect and engagement.

John R. Lewis College is situated in a redwood grove next to the Social Sciences I and II buildings near the heart of campus. A nature preserve acts as John R. Lewis College's "backyard" and the students have immediate access to hiking, jogging, and mountain bike trails in the adjacent forest.

John R. Lewis College's theme is Social Justice and Community. Our corresponding motto is "justice for all." Through the frosh seminar, optional workshops, and co-curricular activities, we pay special attention to individuals and groups who are denied opportunities offered to more privileged members of society. Some of the issues we consider are racism, sexism, ageism, and other forms of discrimination. Other matters that are addressed include poverty, greed, ethnic hatreds, violence against the queer community, and environmental injustices. In addition to the John R. Lewis College theme, we have many organizations that are available for students; Service Learning, ENGAGE, John R. Lewis College Student Government, Praxis, Alternative Spring Break and other various groups, which all aim to address different types of injustices that happen in our society. Community involvement is emphasized as a means of addressing social justice issues. Students interested in these issues as their major area of study or as part of their general education are encouraged to explore these opportunities as they develop skills to become our future leaders.