Skip to main content
Child Studies Program


Engaged Education for Social Justice

Child Studies students are “on fire for justice”! They are “compassion in action” for children and families.

With our country’s social climate in crisis and the notion of “liberty and justice for all” in question, there is a true urgency for cultural competence and compassion in action for all of our citizens. These necessities are particularly salient for our nation’s children and specifically for those from underrepresented and underserved communities. When constructs such as the “pre-school to prison pipeline” become a part of our daily vernacular, and unarmed African American males are being shot to death by white men who have generally been held unaccountable, it is obvious that social justice needs to be the starting point for educating our students. In the absence of social justice, children from underrepresented and underserved communities will continue to be under academic, social and economic duress.

Dr. Pedro Noguera was on campus on April 25, 2016 to share with students, faculty and staff ideas on how strengthen connections in our community. Photos by Joanne Lee.

In his 2014-15 Bannan Institute address, Dr. Cornel West asked our students “Have we forgotten how beautiful it is to be on fire for justice?” This very meaningful dialogue underscored the significant role that our Santa Clara students have in implementing change in our country. As an Associate Professor in Liberal Studies, my role is to educate, guide, mentor and support the younger generation of “fire starters.” Directing SCU’s Future Teachers Project gives me the opportunity to consider the tools that I give our students to be ideally equipped to experience and understand the injustices experienced by others. The tools encompass challenging them, and all of our students, to consider privilege and to grapple with the expectations and judgments that often coincide with it. The tools encompass standing up, speaking out, and representing for those who may not be able to do so for themselves. The tools influence a change in consciousness regarding children who are underrepresented and underserved to children who are now represented and served! Liberal Studies is on fire for justice and we are compassion in action.


SCU Future Teachers Project:

Building Community

SCU Future Teachers Project:

2015 Graduates

Compassion in Action for Children:

FTP College Scholars at SCU Future

Teacher's Project 1st Annual

Summer Compassion Camp

On Fire for Justice with Dr. Cornel West

"Have we forgotten how beautiful it is

to be on fire for justice?"