Social Justice Leadership Institute

Focused on identity development, expanded political analysis, personal leadership skills and network transformation tools, the Social Justice Leadership Institute (SJLI) supports high school students to acquire a deeper understanding of how systems of race, class, gender and sexuality impact our lives and the lives of our peers.

This interactive weekend retreat joins student leaders from top New England independent schools to learn, connect and take action with the support of our experienced multiracial staff team. The most powerful outcome of SJLI is the justice work that students bring back to their schools.

Check back here for upcoming dates for SJLI in the school year of 2020-2021.

What will students gain?

  • An expanded understanding of how systems of race, class, gender and sexuality impact you and your peers
  • A set of tools to address microaggressions and other interpersonal forms of oppression
  • Skills to take increased leadership roles within your school institution
  • Access to a larger network of social justice leaders within independent schools in New England

What are SJLI participants saying?

  • "I enjoyed SJLI more than I thought I would. My school tends to be really fake social justice-y and I thought that SJLI would be the same but it wasn’t in the slightest. I think that the facilitators did a really good job of making sure the content was productive.
  • "The best thing I've ever went to. It was so important to me and changed the way I thought.
  • "It was one of the best experiences that I have ever been through. Although at first I was hesitant to express myself, but after seeing the people, I realized this was my community. The people and ideas expressed were eye-opening and it was a place where I felt uncomfortable but learned so much, and eventually I wanted it to be longer because it was that good.
  • "I LOVE LOVE LOVED IT! I was challenged in so many ways, and it was really difficult, but I know I have come out of this experience as a more engaged and informed ally. Attending this institute was one of the best decisions I've made, and I really hope I'll be able to come to the Advanced one."

Becoming an SJLI host

We partner with independent schools to host this program, and hosting has many benefits, including a larger cohort of students in attendance and additional leadership opportunities for students. We typically host two Institutes per year in the winter/spring and fall. Past hosts have included Phillips Academy Andover, Concord Academy, Northfield Mount Hermon School and St. Paul’s School. Please reach out if you are interested in becoming a host school for a future SJLI!

Contact Mariko and Tara, SJLI Co-Coordinators, at or