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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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  • Domestic Violence COVID-19 Rapid Response

    Margo Lindauer

    The COVID-19 pandemic substantially exacerbates the conditions for intimate partner abuse. We are responding with our collaboration among the School of Law’s Domestic Violence Institute, leading social good app developer Quadrant 2, and Suffolk Law School’s LIT Lab. Our goal is to provide current victims of intimate partner abuse in Boston with: (1) remote NUSL law student assistance consistent with ordinary clinic operations; (2) a novel, secure means of video-documenting client information and evidence using Q2’s Jotto; and (3) digitally automated court form generation and filing

  • Domestic Violence Institute

    Margo Lindauer

    Integral to the Domestic Violence Institute’s mission is a commitment to empowering clients and client communities so that they can articulate and advance their own legal strategies and resolutions, both in their individual cases and in advocating for changes in the legal system that will benefit all victims.

  • Dukakis Center for Urban Research & Policy

    Ted Landsmark

    The Dukakis Center’s collaborative research and problem-solving model uses powerful data analysis, multidisciplinary research and evaluation techniques, and a policy-driven perspective to address critical challenges facing urban areas. The goal is to integrate thought and action to achieve social justice through collaborative data-driven analysis and practice.

  • Ethics Institute

    Ron Sandler

    The interdisciplinary Ethics Institute is dedicated to bringing ethical analysis and evaluation to bear on pressing social and environmental issues, as well as to promoting ethical reflection on decisions and challenges in contemporary life.

  • Foundation Year

    Molly Smith

    Foundation Year integrates rigorous academics with student support services focused on success in the first year of college and through to graduation. Foundation Year students can earn a full year of academic credit from the College of Professional Studies. To foster camaraderie and peer-to-peer learning, this Boston-based program is a cohort model – all Foundation Year students attend classes together during the one-year program. Following successful completion of Foundation Year, students will matriculate into a degree program at Northeastern through one of two pathways: through Northeastern’s College of Professional Studies or through one of Northeastern’s seven undergraduate colleges by meeting academic standards. Students who successfully complete Foundation Year are eligible for the NU Promise, providing committed grant funds to fill the gap between your demonstrated need and cost of attendance.

  • Freedom by Design

    Associate Professor Peter Wiederspahn is faculty mentor

    Student organization focusing on community engagement practices to undertake design build projects for local area community benefit organization. Students partner each year with organizations to design and build structures to benefit those organizations. Such partners have included community centers, community gardens, accessible infrastructure for synagogues and houses.

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