Social Justice Education Institute

The Social Justice Education Institute (SJEI) is a program for youth leaders, educators, civic leaders, youth workers, administrators, and others who want to strengthen the power of youth and explore ways to get young people to challenge themselves to take ownership of their own education.

SJEI helps build transformative learning communities and teaches strategies to educators, youth workers, administrators, and others to inspire young people to own their education, take leadership in the classroom, develop the skill to work across difference, and focus on social justice in their communities.

In education systems where people are being pressured to create curricula that teach to standardized tests, we build community by asking critical questions, engaging in honest, meaningful discussion among youth and adults.

SJEI is the culmination of more than 19 years of The City School's history—building powerful learning communities where young people are engaged in experiential education.


Social Justice Education Institute facilitators provide dynamic and tailored trainings and workshops around racial, economic, gender and queer justice for both youth and adults. We have facilitated for organizations including New Sector Alliance, the Community Charter School of Cambridge, Teach for America Boston, Milton Academy and the Young Achievers School. Our workshops are customized to the needs of your organization, and include a consultation and review process to figure out the strongest agenda and facilitators for the goals that you have.

For Middle School Students:

Full Day Retreat  (1 day (6-8 hours) | Cost dependent on group size ($5000-7500))

This workshop is a full-day opportunity for an entire grade of middle school students to participate in together. It is a transformative experience where our youth facilitators support the group to share stories with each other, engage in a curriculum around oppression, power and privilege and build a deeper, engaged and committed community.

For High School Students:

Community Organizing Workshop (2 hours | $500)

This workshop can cover an overview and basics of community organizing, including the principles of organizing, base-building, community or campaign mapping, or the history and landscape of past and current youth organizing.

Leadership Training (4 hours | $800)

This workshop is an opportunity for a smaller group of youth and young adult leaders to develop stronger leadership skills to work with their peers around social justice. Leadership skills covered could include facilitating conversations around racism, classism, sexism and heterosexism, story-sharing, curriculum development and more.

Youth Outreach Weekends (Overnight Retreat | $1200-1500)

Youth Outreach Weekends (YOWs) are one of The City School’s oldest programs. These overnight retreats (held at The City School) are opportunities for high school youth to delve more deeply into issues that affect their community, take action to change those issues and come together across difference.

For Adult Professional Development:

Anti-Oppression Workshop  (2 hours or ongoing series | $500)

This workshop covers the fundamentals of addressing race, identity, power and oppression with a group or in a workplace. The facilitators establish frameworks for understanding and addressing racism, sexism, classism and heterosexism in an organization, and create a space where members of the community can share their experiences.

Addressing Power and Oppression In the Workplace  (2 hours or an ongoing series | $600 (for 2 hours))

This workshop (or professional development series) is designed for 202-level groups who have already established frameworks around power and oppression. This workshop focuses on tools to address racism, sexism, classism and heterosexism as it emerges in the workplace -- tools including calling out and in, circle processes and more.  


In the Words of Our Partners:

“The City School staff were amazing facilitators and they brought the right kind of energy and approach to the session!”

- Zack Dagneau, Program Manager, New Sector Alliance

“The best thing about the trainings we have had from The City School is that the lessons are taught by students. Learning about social justice and activism from peers seems to make all the difference in the world to my students. The fact that the presenters are so well trained clearly adds to their effectiveness. We have used City School three times in the past and will continue to use them, mostly because my students ask for me to bring them back! Perhaps the best compliment I can share is several of my students have participated in the summer program because they were moved and inspired by the student presenters.”

- Lewis Bryant, Director of Multicultural Services, Buckingham Browne & Nichols School


Contact Myriam Ortiz if you'd like The City School to lead an SJEI workshop at your school, college, or workplace.