Civic Activity at Grinnell

At Grinnell College we are committed to providing civic learning opportunities that equip students to become equity-minded and innovative civic agents. During their time at Grinnell, students are encouraged to discern, explore, and assess what their civic role might be in any given setting. Our approach acknowledges that constructive change-making necessitates the filling of many interlaced roles.  Some volunteer to make small changes or meet immediate needs. Some make concrete plans for others or manage projects. Some analyze situations or systems. Some take on activist, ally, or advocacy roles, and yet others work to create more equitable systems altogether. Our ecosystem of advising and experiential learning opportunities encourages students to explore and experience while remaining conscious of the impact of the intersections between their community context, their positionality, and their evolving civic interests and capacity.

In the CLS we believe that civic responsibility starts at home in the way we live and work together in our residential halls, on our campus, in our local communities, regions, nations, and world. In collaboration with our partners across the College, we offer an array of opportunities to build the mindsets, knowledge, and skills necessary to become equity-minded civic agents in just about any community we might find ourselves inhabiting.

Opportunities for Civic Learning abound at Grinnell! Do you want to:

  • Join us on a local “Social Justice Tour” to learn more about our local community’s needs and innovative change-making?
  • Volunteer with a local organization?
  • Take a community engaged class?
  • Collaborate with a community partner on an on-going service project?
  • Participate in or lead a community dialogue?
  • Take part in a workshop with our Social Innovator in Residence?
  • Apply for a Service Leadership Work-Study position?
  • Learn to diagram the systemic underpinnings of an entrenched social or environmental issue?
  • Help your peers register to vote?
  • Collaborate with local activists? or
  • Lead or explore your own distinctive initiative?

You don’t have to do it all, you only need to do what is right for you, right now.

Click on a button above or meet with one of our staff members to learn more about who we are and how we can help you hone your civic aspirations.

News & Advice

The role of social movements in systems change

Author: Skoll Centre, Topic: Systems Change, Interest: Systems Change Observatory

This month, the Systems Change Observatory (SCO) explores how social movements support systems change. Jessica Jacobson and Dr Sudhir Rama Murthy spoke with Charmian Love, Skoll Centre Social Entrepreneur in …

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Scholar Activism: The Role of Academia in Advancing Social Justice and Racial Equity

Harvard Office of the VPAL, Tuesday, March 22, 2022

Academics and researchers, especially at institutions such as Harvard, are often viewed as disconnected from the real world, studying esoteric questions that are distant (if not irrelevant) to policy, practice, and …

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5 tips for Being an Ally

YouTube Video by @chescaleigh

For more about allyship see the Rochester Racial Justice open source toolkit, Beyond Allyship.

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