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SCSJI Mission

The mission of SCSJI is to serve students by fostering a sense of belonging through intentional reflection, critical dialogue and inclusive engagement within our diverse Vanderbilt community and beyond.  

SCSJI Vision

Our vision is to create a community where liberation, inclusion, and social justice are not just ideals but the very fabric of our environment. By utilizing globally recognized curriculums, art-based pedagogies, and critical thinking to facilitate transformative educational experiences, SCSJI aims to develop the next generation of transnational leaders one student at a time.

What We Do

SCSJI serves as an integral part of community-building at Vanderbilt University, offering guidance and resources to student organizations while spearheading campus-wide initiatives. We facilitate transformative trainings for student groups, empowering them to cultivate inclusive environments. Additionally, we curate vibrant programming that celebrates diversity and promotes social justice across campus. Our commitment to fostering community extends beyond programming—we provide advisory support to over 40 student organizations, ensuring they adopt inclusive practices and impactful strategies. Furthermore, we oversee two dedicated spaces: the Multicultural Lounge (MCL) on the third floor of Sarratt and the Multicultural Community Space (MCS) in the West End neighborhood on campus. These spaces serve as hubs for fostering connections, dialogue, and collaboration among students from diverse backgrounds. Through our comprehensive approach, we strive to create an environment where every individual feels valued, empowered, and inspired to make a difference.

SCSJI is proud to offer Vanderbilt students are our Lending Library. The Lending Library is located in the Multicultural Lounge in Sarratt 335 and is open to students to borrow books from. Most of the books are related to social justice, community building, rest and restoration. 

Identity Initiatives

Network First-Gen realize that holding the identity of a first-generation student is complex. First-generation students are academically skilled and contribute greatly to the campus community; it is the lack of critical cultural capital necessary to navigate the “hidden curriculum” of universities and colleges successfully that impact first-generation students adversely. Students with one (or more) parent(s) or guardian(s) that have completed a 4-year institution often have greater sources of support in understanding how to traverse the policies, procedures, jargon, and expectations of collegiate life. In order to open up opportunities for additional support for students that are first-generation but do not fully meet the federal guidelines to qualify as a first-generation student.

Network First-Gen have a list of resources to aid in the success of first-genreation students. Moreover, we provide our own definition of first-generation  students below, one that hopefully encompasses the entire campus community. First-Generation students are students whose in-home parent(s) or guardian(s) did not graduate from a 4-year U.S. university; this can manifest as:

  • Students whose in-home parent(s) or guardian(s) have a high school education or less.
  • Students whose in-home parent(s) or guardian(s) only attended a 2-year higher education institution whether in the U.S. or abroad.

The MilitaryVU Identity Initiative expands efforts to promote the academic, personal, and professional development of Vanderbilt’s active military and veteran scholars and faculty. Through increasing the amount of services specifically for the military community, along with co-creating resources and opportunities to connect, MilitaryVU and its Network Partners aim to:

  • Educate the Vanderbilt community about the various realities of people in the U.S. Armed Forces.
  • Create community-building opportunities to increase the sense of belonging among faculty and undergraduate, graduate, professional, and post-doctoral scholars who are active military or veterans.
  • Develop methods of support to assist military and veteran scholars in reaching their academic goals and preparing for jobs in their respective career fields.

PersistVU acknowledges that holding the identity and experiences as a person from low-/lower-income backgrounds is multifaceted and unique. The PersistVU Identity Initiative works to create systems of support and community building that help combat the societal narratives associated with low-/lower-income communities while acknowledging the impact of the lived experiences of Vanderbilt’s scholars and faculty. Many of the students who have collaborated on the development of this identity initiative are members of QuestBridge, one of PersistVU’s Network Partners. The Initiative’s Network Partners uplift the various realities of people from low-/lower-income backgrounds. The Network Partners also aim to debunk classist and elitist narratives that create oppressive environments for members of our campus community to maneuver, such as, the institutional and societal barriers that too often define and limit the capacity for success, as well as negatively impact mental, emotional, physical, and financial wellness.

InclusAbility brings awareness and an inclusive lens to the multiplicity of identities within the Disabled community by actively acknowledging and uplifting the fact that accessibility is an important facet of diversity.

InclusAbility aims to highlight the specific strengths and challenges of those in the Disabled community to foster a campus culture that is fully and seamlessly inclusive of Disabled persons in all aspects of the campus environment and in the attitudes, behaviors, and endeavors of all university stakeholders.
Goals for InclusAbility:
• To bring awareness and an inclusive lens to the multiplicity of identities within the disability community
• To actively acknowledge and celebrate the disability community as an important facet of diversity
• To highlight the specific strengths and challenges for individuals with disabilities