My time in Laurier's Social Justice and Community Engagement (SJCE) master's program was a pivotal part of my growth both professionally and personally. For me, this program built a foundation and a structure for my understanding of social justice, privilege, oppression, activism, and systemic harm. Each aspect of the program, from the internship component to the work I was able to create through my Major Research Project, tested me in new ways academically, professionally, and personally. Leaving the program with this foundation has given me an important, intersectional lens through which to approach all of my work and relationships going forward.
Erin Huston, class of 2019
When applying to graduate school, Laurier’s Social Justice and Community Engagement (SJCE) program stood out as a program that understood the relationship between theory and practice. Between challenging theory courses and field work, such as the community placement, the SJCE program prepared me and my fellow students for a complex sphere of work that relies on important theories, such as intersectionality, but also on concrete practices, like community care. This unique combination has allowed me to succeed as a graduate, not only with hard skills such as research and writing, but also soft skills like community organizing that are desperately needed in the current political climate. Now working at the United Nations Refugee Agency in Canada, I’ve come to realize that genuine social justice cannot come to fruition when one of these skills is missing. The SJCE program and its faculty are experts at acknowledging this and teaching students, like me, how to develop these abilities. This program is challenging and it pushes you out of your comfort zone – but only to prepare you to be a social justice advocate who can help form change. Enrolling in this program was one of the best decisions I’ve made for my career path.
Hannah Scott, class of 2019
Enrolling in the Social Justice and Community Engagement program at Laurier, Brantford, was an enriching and life-changing experience for me. The classes offered were academic, but still useful on both a practical and career development level. The program includes hands-on components and a practicum placement that helped me develop practical skills that were invaluable when I re-entered the workforce. The Laurier Brantford campus has a warm and inviting learning environment — the small campus and class sizes encourage an immersive and rewarding learning experience. I would highly recommend the SJCE program to activists, frontline workers, and academics interested in viewing the world through a social justice lens.
Alyson Young, class of 2018
The SJCE program was an exceptional experience. The program content and Laurier faculty provided a perfect balance of professional, academic and personal development, which has led to an entirely new set of practical skills that will continue to shape both the future of my work and my perspective on life. In my role as Director of Community Initiatives with a non-profit youth organization and in my part-time teaching role at Georgian College, the SJCE program has provided critical insights and tools on how social justice and community engagement work can be done well. More importantly, the program inspires genuine introspection, which has provided a stronger understanding of myself and others. This understanding is essential for those pursuing positive, authentic social change.
Ross McIntyre, class of 2018
“This program was wonderfully challenging and rejuvenating, both academically and personally. Through seminars, collaborative work, and research, my knowledge and understanding of social justice issues expanded tremendously. The program provided me with the opportunity to grow as a person and social justice advocate. It also set the foundation for the type of activist and academic I aspire to be.”
Christine Wildman, class of 2016
"The SJCE programme expanded my knowledge of social justice theory and research methods, and has taught me to think much more critically on these issues. The connections I have made with the department faculty have proven invaluable for my pursuits after graduation. My advisor’s continued support, and ready willingness to provide strong references, has allowed me to undertake several research assistantship contracts, and now to begin an Interdisciplinary PhD in the faculty of Sociology. In pursuing a doctorate, and applying for national scholarships, I cannot overemphasize the value of having a supportive advisor, and this would not have been possible without having taken SJCE."
Holly Campbell, class of 2014
"Laurier's Social Justice and Community Engagement (SJCE) master's program is a completely unique program that successfully integrates the principles and theories of social justice with practical knowledge and experience working in the field with communities in need. This program gave me the opportunity to thoroughly and rigorously explore human rights issues on a macro and micro scale. The challenges presented by the program were surmountable thanks to the incredible support from the professors, who demonstrated a passion for mentoring students alongside their inspiring passion for social justice. They provided expert guidance as I developed the skills necessary to do effective, impactful social justice work. I acquired valuable research and theoretical knowledge as well as experiential competence thanks to the community placement portion of the program. Being able to add both impressive education and work experience sections to my résumé after the program has been a huge asset."
Colleen Connors, class of 2014
"What really drew me to this program was the uniqueness of it. The interdisciplinary nature of it makes it unlike any other in Canadian universities, and one that has real relevancy. The faculty were incredibly supportive in helping me develop my ideas, as were my colleagues in the program. My colleagues were helpful, not just for their suggestions, but also for what I learned from their own research projects. What the nine of us had was something very special, seeing ourselves as 'Social Justice Warriors' – each destined to do something important to create a better community, and a better world. Lofty ideas, for sure, but change doesn’t come without at least a kernel of idealism."
John Murnaghan, class of 2014
We see you are accessing our website on IE8. We recommend you view in Chrome, Safari, Firefox or IE9+ instead.×