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Social Change @ Northeastern

The Burnes Center builds on the many social impact projects taking place across Northeastern’s colleges and schools.

The Burnes Center is but one of many innovative and bold projects to promote social change and social justice across the University. We want to celebrate the broad range of social impact initiatives at Northeastern seeking to improve people’s lives.


The following is a partial list that will be regularly updated. If your work is not on this list already, we would love to include it. Please share your information by emailing us and we will be in touch with you.


Current Projects: Social Change @ Northeastern

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  • Spatial Inclusivity Event Series

    Assistant Professor Michelle Laboy & Associate Teaching Professor Nick Brown

    Event series focusing on design for spatial justice in the built environment. Commenced in 2019 in partnership w/NOMAS, National Organization of Minority Architecture Students

  • Storytelling with Data program

    Associate Teaching Professor Alice C. Mello, PhD

    The program was built through ODEI Northeastern Faculty Innovations in Diversity and Academic Excellence Grant. The main objective is to instill knowledge, confidence, and passion about data analytics among high school students from traditionally underrepresented minorities and motivate them to pursue career paths and educational opportunities in Data Analytics (DA). By introducing Storytelling with Data to students of color and encouraging them to follow DA career, we aim to offer technical applied skills and empower them, while at the same time developing stronger ties and deepening our commitment and engagement with Northeastern University’s local community.

  • Students Against Institutional Discrimination (SAID)

    Students Advancing Intersectional Dreams is a diverse and inclusive student organizing collective (OC) that works to advance the intersectional, abolitionist, and transformative dreams of marginalized communities at Northeastern University and beyond. We will work to shift current policies and culture so that diversity/inclusion, equity, and justice are acknowledged and embraced within the Northeastern community. We will continually assure that members of SAID are provided a space in which collective liberation, healing, and care are at the center of our work. As a group, we aim to organize, educate, and collaborate with one another to ensure the actualization of these dreams for everyone.

  • The #BlackAtNU Collective

    Meaningful social justice requires solutions which take into account the myriad intersections of social injustice. The healing our community needs cannot be achieved without transformational justice; the restoration of a diverse, inclusive, and safe community to the extent that one existed before is not enough. We demand an end to systems that actively cause psychological and corporal harm to our community. As such, the #BlackAtNU platform is an invitation to act in a closer and more accountable sense of community amongst Northeastern students, faculty, staff, and senior leadership.

  • The Cradle-to-Prison Pipeline Project

    The Cradle-to-Prison Pipeline Project (C2P Project), launched in 2019 with a Northeastern University Tier 1 grant, is a collaboration among Northeastern Law’s Center for Public Interest Advocacy and Collaboration (CPIAC); the College of Arts, Media and Design; and the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at the College of Social Sciences and Humanities. The project is building a holistic model of contributors to mass incarceration in Massachusetts to identify and validate policy interventions. It will also provide a model for other states while connecting stakeholders to facilitate identification of collective interest and scalable solutions. Beyond Northeastern University, the project has been strengthened by engagement and collaboration with people currently and formerly incarcerated, practicing lawyers, policy advocates, nonprofit organizations and people impacted by the family regulation system. In 2022, the project was awarded a Northeastern Impact Engine Grant to expand its work supporting advocates dedicated to dismantling the cradle-to-prison pipeline.

  • The Partnership for Immigrants Rights

    Martha Davis, Carlos Cuevas, Danielle Crookes, Elizabeth Ennen, Amy Farrell, Jennifer Huer, Tiffany Joseph, Alisa Lincoln, Wendy Parmet, Rachel Rosenbloom and Carmel Salhi

    The Partnership for Immigrants’ Rights (Partnership) aims to protect and promote the human rights of immigrants in Massachusetts. The Partnership pursues its goals by bringing together immigration advocates, interdisciplinary academics, and immigrants for collaborative work on the pressing issues facing immigrant communities, including access to justice, community safety, public health, and racial justice. Partnership members work together (1) to generate community-informed and advocacy-driven research, and (2) to deploy the results of this research in the development and implementation of tools for change, including advocacy strategies, policy proposals, communications plans, legal interventions, and public education campaigns. The Partnership’s work focuses on Massachusetts but provides important insights for research and advocacy in the United States and beyond.

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