“Social justice recognizes the inherent dignity of all people and values every life equally. It calls for both personal reflection and social change to ensure that each of us has the right and the opportunity to thrive in our communities, regardless of our identities. When we acknowledge that oppression exists and work together to end systemic discrimination and structural inequities, we increase the promise of a more just world.”

Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership

The Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership (ACSJL) is an initiative of Kalamazoo College whose mission is to develop and sustain leaders in human rights and social justice through education and capacity-building.

We envision a campus and world where:

  • every person’s life is equally valued,
  • the inherent dignity of all people is recognized,
  • the opportunity to develop one’s full potential is available to every person, and
  • systematic discrimination and structural inequities have been eradicated.

Visit our About page to learn more about us and our goals.

Hostile Terrain 94 Art Installation

Bring awareness to the inhumane US border policies by memorializing migrants who have died crossing the Arizona desert.

Here’s how to be part of the installation.

Map of US Mexico border with toe tags for every migrant found dead in the Sonoran desert
US Mexico Border with toe tags


A Black person's fist raised with the letters "BLM" written across the wrist.

This is US!

While for some this moment of uprising that has spread to over 700 cities and towns in the US and in cities in the Global North and South might be a surprise; for us who have been oppressed, murdered, exploited, and disproportionately affected by poverty, Covid 19, infant and maternal mortality, and more, it is not. As James Baldwin penned in 1966, writing on a 1964 Harlem police murder and uprising, it is simply the overflow of the “unimaginably bitter cup” of four hundred years of trauma and pain. To quote Toni Morrison, who was asked the question about “riots” in 1992 after the beating of Rodney King, “What struck me most about those who rioted was how long they waited. The restraint they showed. Not the spontaneity, the restraint. They waited and waited for justice and it didn’t come. No one talks about that.”

At this moment, we at the ACSJL are the Black students, the Black faculty and the Black staff at Kalamazoo College. We are the Black communities of the city and county of Kalamazoo and the region of southwest Michigan. We are the black comrades who visit the Center from within and across national and continental borders. We are those who love us and are prepared to show that love with actions not platitudes. While letters, statements, and videos of support are welcome, they mean little without action.

With this is mind, we demand that…

Continue Reading, This is US!

Praxis Center

Praxis Center is an online blog and website where short rigorous essays of current relevance are produced each week for teaching and social justice activism. 

Mer Young art banner

Learn more about ACSJL 

For more information about how you can use the space or partner with ACSJL, visit our building page.

If you have any questions, please contact the ACSJL by emailing arcus.center@kzoo.edu or by calling 269.337.7398.