Northeastern pilots spring social justice program at Mills

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While the merger between Mills and Northeastern University won’t be complete until later this year, a new academic program at the College this spring will get the ball rolling.

Leading Social Change will commence on the Mills campus during the 2022 spring semester, bringing 12-14 current Northeastern undergraduate students from Boston to Oakland to learn from Mills faculty members on advocacy surrounding any number of issues. The core of the program is a four-credit course called Leadership for Change, with 15 additional courses available that cover everything from sociology and business to criminal justice and race and ethnic relations. Mills undergraduates have been invited to take part in the program as well.

Participants will also have the opportunity to attend existing justice-based events at Mills, including Tech Intersections: Womxn of Color in Computing (scheduled for January 29) and Unfinished: Actualizing an Intersectional Antiracist Future (dates TBA), hosted by the Center for Transformative Action. The students who take part in the program will be dubbed Mills Leadership Scholars.

Since the announcement of the planned merger between the two institutions on September 14, 2021, Northeastern officials have praised the College’s history of social justice activism and advocacy, and in announcing the establishment of Leading Social Change, that legacy was brought to the fore.

“Mills has a long history of programs that focus on social change, equity, and justice and we were excited to build a program that will allow students to learn from leaders in the Mills community, and in the broader Oakland community as well,” said Chris Gallagher, Northeastern’s vice chancellor for global learning opportunities and an English professor, in Northeastern’s announcement about the program.

“The Mills Leadership Scholars will enjoy robust engagement and dialogue around racial, gender, and social justice topics with the Mills community of learners and teachers within the classroom and campus,” added Pat Hardaway, the Mills interim provost and vice president of academic affairs.