Harper College

Social Justice Leadership Certificate Program

SJLC recent cohort

The Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, and the Office of International Education jointly coordinate this collaborative professional development program for faculty and staff.

The objectives of the program are to

  • build skills and capacities in faculty and staff to lead and support initiatives related to diversity and inclusion.
  • orient the community towards an awareness of social justice in all areas of the college. 
  • implement a social justice lens in supporting student success and employee engagement.
  • build community and support for employees advancing diversity and inclusion at Harper.

Program Description

The year-long experience falls roughly into two phases. The first half of the program runs from May through December, and focuses on the conceptual and theoretical framework of what social justice is, can be, and might look like at Harper College. Meetings begin in the summer with the goal of building community and trust among the cohort and constructing a foundation of knowledge in the tents of social justice action. In the fall semester, cohort members focus on Harper College as a collection of organizational units comprised of individuals with different roles and experiences. Through summer and fall, the cohort applies the principles of social justice in the conceptualization and formulation of their projects. Each participant (participants may work in pairs or small groups) are expected to develop a project that positively impacts the strategic directions of diversity, equity and inclusion at Harper College. The first phase culminates in a formal presentation of project proposals to the SJLC Advisory board.

The second half of the program runs from January through May, and focuses on the further development and implementation of the cohort projects. The formal SJLC program ends with the submission of a final Action and Evaluation Plan for each project and a celebration of the cohort’s journeys. The power of the SJLC experience is that many of the projects grow and bear long after the program. Past projects have included professional development workshops on White Fragility and trauma-informed pedagogy, the development of a Social Justice oriented curriculum, research and advocacy for a childcare facility for Harper College students, and the research on the demand and need for an intercultural space for students.

Application Process and Timeline

The Social Justice leadership program will resume in Spring 2025!

The application period is now closed. 

Program Expectations

Participants are expected to attend and participate fully in all SJLC programs and activities. Each participant will develop a project that positively impacts the strategic directions of diversity, equity and inclusion at Harper College. The commitment extends from June through April. 

Questions? Contact Nellie Khalil, Associate Professor of Biology/Director of the Office of International Education, 847-925-6197, nkhalil1@harpercollege.edu OR Dr. Brittany Barber, Manager of the Cultural Center, 847-925-6358, bb39149@harpercollege.edu

Social Justice Leadership Certification Alumni Members

Social Justice Leadership

Social Justice Leadership Cohort 2018-2019

Photograph left to right: Carolann Dunn, Pearl Ratunil, Monica Shirley (Diverse Faculty Fellow), Raeghan Graessle, Deena Ata, Joe Scrima, Esmeralda Guerrero-Lopez, Michael Bentley

Social Justice Leadership

Social Justice Leadership Cohort 2019-2020
Left to right: Samantha Schenk (Institutional Research), Pearl Ratunil (Special Assistant to the President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion), Andrew Anastasia (English), Tara Gary (Liberal Arts), Aaron Posey (Advising), Nellie Khalil (Biology). Not pictured: Michael Magee (Advising)

Social Justice Leadership Cohort 2020-2021 (no picture available)
Dr. Joanne Ivory (Dean, Career and Technical Programming), Gerardo Cruz (World Languages), Bilal Hussain (Business and Social Science), Sue Borchek-Smith (Assistant, Student Engagement), Shirley O'Hara (NCH Clinic), Crystal Loggins (Advising), Ana Maria Contreras (English), Jenyl Keeton (Advising)

Social Justice Leadership Cohort 2021-2022 (no picture available) 
Chris Candelas (Advising), Julie Ellefson-Kuehn (Math), Monica Shirley (DEI), April Maman (Access and Disability Services), Kathleen Reynolds (ESL), Eric Bohman (Liberal Arts Placement and Testing), Christy Carter, Kim Chavis 

sjlc 2022

Social Justice Leadership Cohort 2022-2023 
Left to right: Maham Khan (Communications), Kimberly Jaeger (World Languages), Keith Goode (Center for New Students and Orientation; Women's Program), Jennifer Lau-Bond (Resources for Learning), Jeff Julian (Chief of Staff), Rebecca Ramirez-Malagon (Access and Disability Services), Karega Cooper (Math), William Lucio (Communications). Not pictured: Angelina Bonilla (Publishing and Distribution Services).

Last Updated: 5/20/24