About the Initiative

students sitting in a circle talking


The Initiative for Community Justice and Wellbeing (ICJW) is a consortium of faculty, staff, and students in the College of Education Health & Society, including university and community partners, who are committed to developing and supporting place-based, culturally responsive initiatives that improve education, health and wellbeing in local communities, and on campus.


The ICJW’s vision is to facilitate connection and collaboration among faculty, students, and  community-based organizations (i.e. schools, service agencies, community centers, and other community organizations) to build and sustain innovative initiatives that improve education, health, and wellbeing in our communities.


The ICJW focuses on three principles to help guide their work in improving education, health, and wellbeing:

Collaboration that follows an inclusive and collaborative team model, bringing together community members, staff, faculty, and students to co-design and implement projects that improve education, health and wellbeing in/through communities, schools and agencies.

Reciprocity that builds upon the strengths and assets, addresses the needs of, and increases capacity for, all partners. We believe this approach best facilitates shared resources, insights, and benefits for communities and the university. 

Transdisciplinarity that values insights across the various departments in and beyond the College of EHS, and a recognition that together we can offer more holistic perspectives and strategies for creating, navigating, and negotiating transformative possibilities in the face of structural inequities and limited resources.

Social Justice facilitated by community-university collaborations that embrace place-based, culturally relevant engagement, and which stimulate transformative possibility from the bottom up, as we work closely with a variety of marginalized communities to challenge the unjust structures that impinge on people’s access to quality education, health and wellbeing.