The vision of The School of Social Justice at The Miguel Contreras Learning Complex is to provide a college preparatory curriculum that develops career readiness. Through an intensive study of diverse perspectives, this curriculum will explore issues of human rights and social concerns, and stimulate intellectual curiosity. Graduates of The School of Social Justice will continue to educate, organize, and advocate as lifelong champions of dynamic social change.
Graduates of The School of Social Justice experience a unique education that is both academically rigorous and personalized. In addition to California Content State Standards and university requirements, the SSJ curriculum utilizes inquiry-based instruction and higher-level questioning and thinking. At the center of the school’s curricular design is service learning that encourages students to take ownership of their education while developing an appreciation of lifelong learning. Each semester, students explore and develop a deeper understanding of social justice issues and human rights concerns. These projects emphasize student voice, student choice, and student involvement; they also enable students to apply 21st century skills learned in the classroom – such as communication and collaboration – to real-life applications.
The School of Social Justice teaches students the importance of organization as it applies to everything from individual daily academic needs to larger justice movements. Students in Social Justice learn organizational skills to allow them to manage their own work, enable them to work effectively in groups, and become both active leaders and collaborators in the community. As a school, we believe that without the ability to organize, students will be unable to affect lasting positive social change. Organizational skills are demonstrated through work in their individual classes, through the curriculum presented in advisory, and through multi-disciplinary projects in grade-level service learning.
The School of Social Justice develops students into advocates for groups that are marginalized and underserved. Teachers model compassionate and constructive communication and create a familial and supportive atmosphere in their classrooms. Through a structured advisory curriculum, students learn about existing systems of power in society, and develop more equitable and supportive relationships through democratic council discussions. Through annual service learning projects, students apply their advocacy skills to real-world challenges in their community. Furthermore, students are encouraged to participate in public service, instructional assemblies, performances, political rallies, protests, campaigns, and extracurricular clubs such as the Gay-Straight Alliance and the social justice art club PULSE. Students will participate in civic actions, establishing connections with other organizations such as MALDEF, Miguel Contreras Foundation, UCLA Labor Center and others.