Registration Now Open for the Scholarship-Eligible Summer Social Justice Institute

PhotoPhoto of Columbia College Chicago Bus Wrap in Pride 2023
Beginning April 22, 2024, students can register for COLL 299 Topics in Creativity and Social Justice: LGBTQIA+ Social Health Equality

The Social Justice Initiative (SJI) invites students from all disciplines to join the summer social justice and creativity class starting Tuesday, May 28, 2024. The focus of this course is the interplay of social and healthcare practices and impacts on marginalized creatives within and outside of Chicago. Students will explore and analyze how science, gender, and art shape societal narratives, coming together to examine the effects of illicit pharmaceuticals on marginalized groups, including queer, womxn, and BIPOC communities.  

Students will join diverse faculty and leading professionals in creativity to engage with social justice and participate in Pride Month community immersion and a field trip to Chicago Pride Fest during this first 5-week summer class.  

This is the first year Dr. Derick D. Jones, Jr. (they/them) will teach the course, which is open to Columbia students in their sophomore year and above. 

“To me, the Summer Justice Institute is a place for us to discuss some of the things out in the world that have ostracized certain groups of people,” Jones, Jr. says.  

As a Black, non-binary academic Jones, Jr. has overcome a lot of personal and professional obstacles as an adult. Their goal with teaching this course is to educate and create a safe space for students to learn about marginalized communities. Jones, Jr. will cover historical events through a fact-based perspective including marriage equality, women’s voting rights and other historical legislation. As part of the curriculum, they will invite other professionals to be a part of the conversation. 

“I’m excited that students will get to experience special guests who are dedicated to grassroots community efforts and will give their analysis on the topics we cover,” Jones, Jr. says. 

The class registration for COLL 299 Topics in Creativity and Social Justice is open. Any student who demonstrates financial need through a completed 2023-24 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) will be reviewed for scholarship eligibility up to the full cost of tuition for the 3-credit hour class. Topics in Creativity and Social Justice courses can meet Columbia Core requirements or Collegewide Electives. Enrolled students should work with Academic Advising to determine how this class can fulfill a Core Requirement toward degree completion. 

Contact Columbia Central, your College Advisor, or Robin Whatley at for more information about the Summer 2024 classes.