Social Justice Leadership Fund

What is the SJLF?

The Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership’s Social Justice Leadership Fund (SJLF) provides grants to Kalamazoo College students and staff who are interested in becoming more engaged in social justice leadership issues and practice. The Fund provides opportunities to learn about a variety of social justice and human rights issues, develop new skills in organizing and leadership, and take action on the issues that prospective applicants care most about.

Grant funds can be used to support capacity-building experiences, advocacy efforts, partnership development, and collaborative projects that develop the leadership of the individuals applying, such as:

  • Conferences*
  • Trainings
  • Travel for Actions*
  • Organizational Team Building
  • Senior Individualized Project (SIP) Research & Presentation Opportunities
  • Housing, Travel, and General Expenses Support for Summer and Winter Internships (Please note stipends can be acquired for summer internships through the CCPD)

*some stipulations and restrictions apply – please contact a program coordinator for more information

If you are looking to host an event that does not fulfill the above criteria, see our Campus Support Form.

The SJLF should help individuals, organizations, or departments achieve one or more of the following goals:

  • Build relationships (both within and outside of the college community) to support leadership on campus and beyond
  • Stimulate, guide, or promote social justice research or scholarship
  • Engage in social justice work or activity to promote personal leadership development and build capacity for campus leadership

Grants range from $50 to $1,500. Each student can be awarded up to $1,500 a year with a lifetime capacity of $3,000 in total.

Submission Guidelines & Instructions

The ACSJL will accept grant applications on a rolling basis. It is important for applicants to consider the timeliness of their request. The length of time for ACSJL staff to review applications and implement grant awards is approximately one month (30 days) from the date of your grant application submission.

It is highly recommended that applicants schedule a meeting with the appropriate ACSJL staff member prior to submitting an application. Staff contact Lisa Brock at, and students contact Nichole Real at After submission, applicants will be required to meet with the same staff member to sign their award letter and discuss the application, reimbursement process, and final reporting. It is not atypical for applicants to fill out multiple drafts of an application, in order to ensure that key social justice leadership concepts and practices are appropriately present in the project proposal.

For individuals applying for grant funding, email for details and for the application. For groups applying for a collective project, visit the Group Application for details on the process and for the application. Groups are defined as 5 or more individuals. Groups applying together will be required to designate a group coordinator, and all members are required to submit individual applications as well.

Grant Distribution & Reporting

ACSJL staff will work with successful grantees to distribute the grant funds in a way that meets the needs of the ACSJL and the grantee.  Grant recipients must keep all documentation for purchases made with grant funds.  That documentation will need to be returned to the ACSJL in a manner agreed upon by the ACSJL and the grant recipient.

For individual applicants, a final report on the grant funds must be submitted to the ACSJL by one month after the completion of the project.  The ACSJL will provide grant recipients with a small set of questions to guide their reports.

For groups, a final report-out event must be organized and presented by all members of the group within the same quarter that the project takes place in. Report out events must:

  • Involve all members who received grant funds
  • Be attended by members of the college community who were not part of the project
  • Have at least one ACSJL staff member in attendance

The ACSJL will provide grant recipients with a small set of questions to guide their report(-out)s. Failure to comply will result in the revocation of future support for individuals and the group.

Please send any questions or concerns to Nichole Real at 269.337.7033 or email them at