The Center for Social Justice, Academics | Earlham College
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Center for Social Justice

About the Center

The Center for Social Justice (CSJ) embodies one of the enduring elements of Earlham’s history and purpose: linking our passions for social justice to deep learning, engagement, and purposeful futures. The CSJ helps equip students for lifelong engagement on social justice issues through initiatives that build skills and knowledge across the disciplines in and out of the classroom. We also promote awareness and analysis of social justice issues by supporting student initiated projects, speakers, student/faculty research, site-visits and more. Signature programs include our annual Davis and Earlham Peace Project awards ($10,000 each) and an annual funded Spring Lobby weekend in Washington D.C. with the Friends Committee on National Legislation on a current political issue.

Jonathan Diskin
Professor of Economics; Co-Director of the Center of Social Justice

Ahmed Khanani
Plowshares Assistant Professor of Politics; Co-Director of the Center of Social Justice

Erik Baker
CoLab Project Manager

Danny Rodas Garcia
Bonner Coordinator

Earlham International Students Become Rhodes Scholars

Summia Tora '20 and Hashem Abu Sham’a '17 are featured in "Two International Students Become Rhodes Scholars at Earlham College," an article in the December 4, 2019 edition of Diverse Issues in Higher Education.

Recently, Summia became the first Afghan to win the Rhodes Scholarship, one of the most prestigious academic awards, which funds three years of graduate studies at Oxford University. Hashem earned the Rhodes Scholarship three years earlier, one of the first two Palestinians to win the award as part of an inaugural Syria, Jordan, Lebanon and Palestine program.

Summia Tora
Summia Tora

Hashem Abu Sham'a
Hashem Abu Sham'a

Andrew Williams ’85: ‘Earlham is where my passion for social justice sparked’

Andrew Williams '85 works with undergraduate students seeking intellectual, political and artistic work in support of movements for social justice, peace, and environmentally sustainability. He is the executive director of HECUA, the Higher Education Consortium for Urban Affairs, located in St. Paul, Minnesota.Andrew Williams ’85 grew up in a predominately African American working-class neighborhood of Indianapolis where he lived among people with direct experiences of the dehumanization, violence, and loss associated with U.S. and European racism.

Today, Williams works with undergraduate students seeking intellectual, political and artistic work in support of movements for social justice, peace, and environmentally sustainability. He is the executive director of HECUA, the Higher Education Consortium for Urban Affairs, located in St. Paul, Minnesota.

“My Earlham education has definitely undergirded my success, first as a graduate student, and in my career,” Williams says. “Even though graduate school work demanded more time and a higher level of intellectual sophistication, I felt like the rigor of my undergraduate course work provided me a solid foundation for a smooth transition into graduate studies.

“Earlham is also where my passion for social justice was sparked,” he says. “That might sound cliche, but it’s true.”

Programs and Projects

Davis and Earlham Peace Projects

Each year two Earlham students/groups are awarded a $10,000 prize to pursue a "Peace Project" during the summer months. Students have worked near and far, on issues of structural inquealities, inclusion, and areas of conflict, from Brazil, to India, to right here in Richmond, Indiana. Here are some recent projects:


Dosti Initiative, 2019 Davis Projects for Peace Recipients

Summia Tora ’20Maida Raza ’22Maida Raza ’22 (left) and Summia Tora ’20 (right) worked on a project that will resulted in summer workshops at grade schools in Kabul, Afghanistan and Mehrabpur, Pakistan. Dosti means friendship in Persian and Urdu, primary languages in both countries. The project, which was implemented from May 22 to June 18 at a local Kabul high school in Afghanistan and Mehrabpur Girls Primary School in Pakistan, had three objectives:

  • Educate girls about menstruation and train them to make reusable sanitary napkins;
  • Connect the girls virtually to share and learn about their experiences of menses and promote an understanding of shared social and cultural history between Pakistan and Afghanistan; and
  • Promote peace in communities through fairs that provide access to sanitary napkins and connect women across borders.

The goal of the project was to develop a level of collaboration and cooperation between Afghanis and Pakistanis. Read More→



Healing Hearts and Building Bridges, 2019 Earlham Project for Peace Recipient                                

Aishat -sadiq

Aishat Sadiq’s ’19 (left) project added mental health education and referral services to existing immigration and refugee support work in New York’s immigrant communities. The project objectives was to host workshops for parents; raised awareness and educated through lectures, group discussions and reflection; provided access to free or reduced-price methods and services with local providers; and strengthened relationships between parents and their children through reducing parental stress and educating on effective methods of communication. To help facilitate the project, which ran in New York from July 15 - August 31, Sadiq partnered with Immigrant Families Together, an organization founded in New York with the mission of reuniting immigrant families. Read More→



Here are some past recipients of the Davis and Earlham Peace Projects:

  • 2018 Davis Prize recipients Gyeongeun Lee '20 and Hyeonji Kim '21 undertook a project working with young adult North Korean refugees in South Korea. They identified a need for cultural exposure and integration and designed and implemented a series of workshops, outings, reflections, and discussions though a local university on issues of belonging. Read More →
  • 2018 EC Prize recipients Megan Bennet ’20 and Anmol Lamichane ’18 developed a project called “Building Global Female STEM communities in Indiana and Nepal” to address some of the reasons why young girls and women are poorly represented in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) fields/classes in Richmond, IN and Nepal. Read More →
  • 2017 Davis Prize recipient, Peniel Ibe '17 carried out her project "Young Mothers 4 Peace" in Monrovia Liberia, focusing on income generating skills development with a local partner. 
  • 2017 EC Prize recipient, Daniel Kibet '19 project builds a sanitary facility at a primary school in Kapng'etik village in rural western Kenya to promote peaceful coexistence between community members and the local school. He received a glowing letter updating him, and us, about the results of the project on the community this year!
  • 2016 Davis Prize recipient, Sonia Kabra '16 developed a project, "Sisterhood Peace Project," to address gender inequality in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) education through grassroot initiative in Jalgaon, India. Read More →
  • 2016 EC Prize recipients, Ananda Mishra '18 and Maniz Shrestha's '19 project entitled, "Wireless Education and Women's Empowerment for Rebuilding Bhimtar" aimed to establish a Ceter for E-Learning (CEL) with computers, books, and an E-Library system at a local secondary school in Bhimtar, Nepal. Read More →

Any current Earlham student is eligible to apply for the Davis or Earlham Peace Projects. The application process begins in the Fall Semester of the academic year, with results given in mid Spring Semester. The selection committee may choose to 1 or 2 projects to award. Students will complete their projects during the summer months.

If you are interested in applying or want to learn more about the Davis and Earlham Peace Projects, please contact Jonathan Diskin, or Ahmed Khanani,

For more general background on Davis Projects for Peace, including a FAQ and examples of projects from prior years, see


Spring Lobby Weekend

Given that policy is one important domain of social justice engagement, we fund and participate in the “Spring Lobby Weekend” in Washington D.C.  for hands on contact with the legislative process. The weekend is organized by the Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL) and exposes students to a key policy issues of the day and advocacy experience to affect the legislative process.

  Hero -law -social -justice

Social Justice in the Curriculum


Community Engagement

ESG Day Of Service 2015 2

Earlham develops leaders who are engaged both locally and globally. We connect students with service opportunities in Richmond and around the globe so you can bring your passions and skills to our communities’ most pressing problems. Whether you’re a first-year seeking to volunteer or a senior looking into post-bac service programs such as the Peace Corps, the Center for Social Justice can help you develop the knowledge and skills you need to address a variety of community issues.

Earlham College, an independent, residential college, aspires to provide the highest-quality undergraduate education in the liberal arts and sciences, shaped by the distinctive perspectives of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers).

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Earlham admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin, age, gender and sexual orientation to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin, age, gender and sexual orientation in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other school-administered programs.