Social Action through Black Lives Matter

Black Lives Matter

In these moments, we as Social Action and Integrative Learning staff and students have been feeling a mixture of emotions as we acknowledge the systematic oppression and trauma our Black students and colleagues face every single day in our community.

We believe that we must be a part of the work to support Black students and colleagues and to address systemic racism in our community and on our campuses. What has been happening to Black individuals in our country currently is not new and has been consistent and pervasive. However, what we are seeing now is a nation rising up to speak out. We are happy to see so many using their voice to speak up and out and are grateful to see this conversation is happening all across this country but we have a lot of work still left to do. This is just the beginning of what we hope can be an historic revolution. 

In order to engage in Social Action, we believe:

  • Community needs to be at the heart of what we do.
  • We need to work together with our community rather than asserting our own values or assumptions.
  • Community organizing requires truly listening, engaging and opening ourselves up to a potentially different reality than what we are used to.
  • Everyone has something to offer and unique talents, gifts and skills to work together in community towards positive social change. 

We have felt your urgency and desire to contribute, to advocate and also to learn more about how we can work together towards positive social change. So many of the students we work with are powerful voices in organizing and standing up for what they believe in. We wanted to share a model with you that we hope can help as you move forward to becoming a stronger and more informed activist, community builder, ally and active citizen. 

Below is a presentation around Active Citizen Continuum through the lens of anti-racism. We hope you will take some time to watch and learn more about how you can become a more active citizen in your own life. 

Outline of Presentation


Active Citizen Continuum

Moving from the Member Stage: 






Moving from Volunteer 




  • 13th (Ava DuVernay) 



Moving from Conscientious Citizen 






The New Negro

Community Organizations

We also wanted to share with you some organizations that are already doing this work that you can engage with and to further your work both nationally and domestically here in Northern Virginia. These are just some options but do some work to find organizations whose missions line up with yours.

For a powerful video about the impact of good intentions, you can watch the CBS Sunday Morning broadcast around  “Disaster relief donations that don’t bring relief.” visit:

Stay Tuned for Part II (July 2020): Stay Tuned



For a compiled list of resources