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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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  • The Scope (School of Journalism)

    Matt Carroll, Meg Heckman, Lex Weaver

    The Scope is an experimental digital magazine focused on telling stories of justice, hope and resilience in Greater Boston. We are editorially independent and operated by Northeastern University’s School of Journalism. We practice journalism as an act of service, working to connect communities, inform civic life and amplify voices that are often overlooked or mischaracterized by traditional media. Our work is available for free on a variety of digital platforms and is intended to supplement, not compete with, the city’s existing news outlets.

  • The Supplier Diversity Initiative

    Youngbok Ryu, Francesca Grippa, Carl Zangerl

    The Supplier Diversity initiative aims at identifying barriers and opportunities for diverse small businesses to doing business with Colleges and Universities. Our mission is to prepare diverse-owned businesses to compete more effectively as university vendors and to support Higher Education Institutions in their attempt to improve their supplier diversity initiatives.

  • Time to Vote

    Lucy Williams & Shannon Al-Wakeel

    Time to Vote Boston is a research project of Northeastern University in partnership with Greater Boston Interfaith Organization, Asian Community Development Corporation, Northeastern University Student Government Association, and Boston Intercollegiate Government. We are using a web-based application to study how long people wait in line to vote in the September 14, 2021, Boston mayoral primary election to support efforts to improve voting equity. We seek to scale these efforts out nationally during the 2022 mid-term elections, when wait times may be dispositive to whether someone casts a vote.

  • Violence and Justice Research Lab

    Professor Carlos Cuevas and Professor Amy Farrell

    The Violence and Justice Research Lab (VJRL) is the research branch within the Institute on Race and Justice. The primary research focus of the Lab is in the areas of violence and victimization, spanning disciplines such as psychology, criminal justice, sociology, public health, and social work. Additionally, the Lab aims to promote student engagement and training through an intergenerational mentoring model incorporating both graduate and undergraduate students.

  • Visualizing Spatial Violence: Tools for Social Justice Advocacy

    Angel David Nieves (CSGS/History), Liza Weinstein (Sociology & Anthropology), Margaret Burnham (Law), Alexandra To (Art+Design/Computer Science)

    This team of social scientists, legal scholars, artists, and digital humanists are developing a set of digital tools for visualizing spatial violence, including layered maps and 3D models, to reveal their geographic features and embedded histories. This project team began their work in July 2021.

  • Voting Delayed/Denied: Examination of Voting Line Behaviors in 2020 Election

    Margaret Burnham (Law), Costas Panagopoulos (Political Science), Ted Landsmark (SPPUA)

    This team of researchers from CSSH and the SOL received Tier 1 funding to develop and deploy a custom app to measure the amount of time people wait in line to vote, map the results, and combine their results with existing research to build effective strategies to respond to disparate allocation of electoral resources.

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