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Social Justice Initiatives

Land Acknowledgement
Local indigenous people, including the Yokuts and Miwuk who understand the earth as a place for everyone, first inhabited the land where UC Merced is located. When we address diversity on this campus, we do so boldly, daring to look forward and backward, imagining diversity’s demand for the 21st century and the importance of diversity in addressing past wrongs, reaffirming humanity, and ensuring a reconciliatory path of redress for the future. The most prominent path on our campus is called Scholars Lane. By day, you can see, hear and witness the embodiment of our diversity through campus community members making their way across campus framed by the slopes and peaks of the Sierra Nevada. (UC Merced Diversity Statement)
 
Social Justice Initiatives & Identity Programs
With a focus on social justice, personal and community development, cultural awareness and advocacy, Social Justice Programs seeks to cultivate and develop an inclusive environment where students are aware of local, national and global issues and are equipped and prepared to thrive in a diverse global society.

Through numerous programs, workshops and trainings — hosted and co-sponsored by Social Justice Initiatives — students have the opportunity to enhance their academic experience while learning a little more about themselves, others and the world along the way.

 
Working Definition: Social Justice
The concept of social justice — central to the efforts of Social Justice Initiatives — is a process as well as a goal. According to Adams, Bell and Griffin in Teach for Diversity and Social Justice, Social justice envisions a “society in which the distribution of resources is equitable and all members are physically and psychologically safe and secure. We envision a society in which individuals are both self-determining and interdependent.”
The process of attaining the goal of social justice, we believe, should also be democratic and participatory, inclusive and affirming of human agency and human capabilities for working collaboratively to create change.
For more information, contact socialjustice@ucmerced.edu