Multicultural & Social Justice Education Programs

Multicultural & Social Justice Education Programs

Multicultural and Social Justice Education Programs

Student Life at the School of General Studies is committed to fostering a welcoming and inclusive community that celebrates the diverse experiences of the GS student body. GS Student Life provides identity and interest-based social events, discussions on social justice, and leadership opportunities with the aim to develop within our students an appreciation for self-reflection, building community, and making a positive impact in the world.

Student Life acknowledges the various experiences and identities of GS and strives to achieve these goals by:

  • Facilitating social justice skills workshops
  • Connecting students through identity-based celebrations and leadership opportunities
  • Supporting students in their various student leader positions.

Please see below our full program offerings in this area:

Discussion & Workshop Series
GS Student Life provides students the opportunity for students to self-reflect and engage in dialogue around relevant social justice topics. Through facilitated activities and discussion, students will learn to affect positive change within themselves, their communities, and beyond. Occurring throughout the year, students will receive information about upcoming discussions in the GS Newsletter.

Social Justice at Work
Social Justice at Work is a speaker series which aims to connect students to working professionals who create positive change in their careers. Through discussion and sharing of life experiences, students learn about the practical applications of social justice in their current and future career paths and in their everyday lives. Social Justice at Work occurs twice a semester. Students will receive notification via the GS Newsletter.

Identity Based Programming
GS Student Life coordinates various identity based programs and support to provide spaces for students to discuss general experiences based on identities and leadership roles on campus, share resources that have proven helpful, discuss ways in which to utilized experiences to frame future leadership roles (at Columbia, GS, and beyond), and develop support among peers and administrators. Identity based programming includes:

  • Women & Femme of Center Discussion Spaces
  • Students of Color Discussion Spaces
  • LGBTQ Discussion Spaces

First Generation Student Advisory Board
First Generation Students (students who are the first in their families to go to college) are invited to bring their experiences and insight to this advisory board. The students serve as contributors to bring student voices directly into programming and policy conversations. Applications to join the First Generations Student Advisory Board will be available Fall mid-semester.

FLI Fridays (First Generation/Low Income)
The Dean of Students Office invites first-generation and low-income students to gather for a monthly community space and resource share over lunch. Occurrring throughout the year, students will receive information about upcoming FLI Fridays in the GS Newsletter.

Heritage and Awareness Months
Through collaborations with Columbia College, Barnard College, and the Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science, GS advises the development of heritage and awareness months that celebrate the history and various contributions to society. Students interested in getting involved can email Heritage and awareness months are:

Students of Color Leadership Retreat
The Students of Color Leadership Retreat (SOCLR) is an intensive weekend of personal development, empowerment, and community building for student leaders at Barnard and Columbia who identify as African/African-American/Black, Latino/Hispanic, Asian/Asian-American, Pacific Islander, Arab and Middle-Eastern, Native & Indigenous, and Multiethnic/Multiracial. Through fun, structured activities, guided exercises, and dialogue, this experience will provide a platform to consider how students can affect change in the Barnard & Columbia community and beyond. SOCLR occurs each Fall semester and application information will be made available in the GS Newsletter. Interested applicants can also e-mail for more information.

LGBTQ Programming
GS Student Life partners with the CC/SEAS Office of Multicultural Affairs and Barnard Student Life to provide leadership development opportunities for students interested in developing a better understanding of their identity as a leader within and beyond the LGBTQ community at Barnard and Columbia. We also work with students to better understand the ways in which their intersecting identities interact with their leadership. For more information e-mail

Student Organizations

GS Student Life encourages students to become involved in student organizations that address and affirm identity as well as personal and professional interests. Columbia University has over 500 student organizations that are open to students in all four undergraduate schools which span various interests such as in the arts, politics, identity, culture, sports and recreation, religion, and many more. Students can use LionLink to search for groups that align with their interests.

GS Student Life advises the following identity-based and social justice oriented student groups:

American Medical Womens Association (AMWA)
The American Medical Womens Association, an auxiliary club of the Premedical Association, aims to promote women in medicine, connect students to professionals in the field, and advocate for women health issues.

GS Alliance
GS Alliance is a student organization, recognized by the Student Governing Board, dedicated to the advancement of education and advocacy regarding issues of special interest to the LGBTQA community and its allies.

Koreans in GS (KIGS)
KIGS is a student organization, recognized by the Activities Board at Columbia, dedicated to building community among Korean students at GS.
Facebook: KIGS - Koreans In General Studies

Student of Color Alliance (S.O.C.A.)
S.O.C.A. is an unrecognized student group dedicated to providing a space to discuss issues affecting GS students of color.

Queer Health Alliance 
The Queer Health Alliance, an auxiliary group of the Premedical Association, aims to provide a community for queer and allied premedical students at Columbia where they can share experiences, discuss relevant issues (such as LGBTQ Health issues and disparities), and build a network.
Facebook: Columbia University's Queer Health Alliance

Social Justice Medicine (SJM) 
Social Justice Medicine, an auxiliary group of the Premedical Association ,  is an organization that works to establish a foundational knowledge of social justice medicine among premedical students through classroom-based and experiential learning opportunities.
Facebook: Columbia - Social Justice Medicine