The Hutchins Scholars in Social Justice program offers rising V Formers an opportunity to immerse themselves in the multi-disciplinary examination of social justice as a subject of study, as a method of inquiry, and as a set of ethical practices for community engagement.
It has two required components:
- a two-week summer residential program and
- a fall interdisciplinary course, "Social Justice Scholars Seminar." Throughout the year, Hutchins Scholars in Social Justice also have the opportunity to participate in experiential learning activities organized by the Hutchins Institute. Scholars are additionally invited to demonstrate their leadership and service during the school year by facilitating workshops and breakout sessions that are part of the School's community days (such as Democracy Day, Community Day, etc.).
As part of the program, Scholars explore and critically engage discourses around justice, social change, and narrative design. A key feature of the program is the emphasis on storytelling and story-listening as a part of social change. Through readings, film screenings, audio listenings, Harkness discussions, and experiential learning trips, students explore the narratives found in historic sites, including landmarks, monuments, and museums; memorial events such as civic holidays and commemorations; and popular culture, including music, television, and film. Scholars are introduced to the tools of interactive, experiential, multimedia, and digital storytelling, and develop narrative-based social impact projects of their own. During the fall course, students deepen their study and complete their final projects.
The only requirement to apply is to be a current IV Former/rising V Former. In addition to the materials submitted as part of the application, the application review also considers academic standing (past performance record) and may include a consultation with the applicant's advisor and/or Head of House. There is no "portrait of a perfect candidate"; generally, the program benefits most from students who have demonstrated an interest in social change — either through their coursework or co-curricular activities — and will thrive as part of a cohort that will both support and challenge each other. The success of the program relies on each individual's contribution as well as the cohort's collaborative work, and so the program is especially interested in those who are both self-starters and team players. That said, one does not need to have a long social justice resume — the program is designed for applicants who present strong promise for growth and who have intellectual humility, a curiosity about the world, and the courage to change themselves.