Tradition of Social Justice

At Grinnell, we believe in doing well. But more importantly, we believe in doing good. On campus and after graduation, Grinnellians are known for their commitment to social responsibility, and our impact reaches every corner of the globe. Welcome to a community of innovators and change-makers who never stop fighting for what’s right.

Grinnell was founded by abolitionists, graduated the architects of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal, and has long been recognized as one of the top volunteer producers for the Peace Corps. That ethos of social responsibility has permeated the College ever since.

Since 2011, we have annually awarded a $100,000 prize to individuals and organizations that show extraordinary commitment to solving issues of social justice. We take pride in our history of being on the right side of history.

But Grinnellians also know that our work is never done. In and out of class, you’ll be challenged to consider complex issues and expand your awareness. You’ll develop the tools to recognize and combat injustice wherever you see it. And you’ll be surrounded by a community that shares a commitment to creating positive change.

Join the Liberal Arts in Prison Program and tutor inmates at a nearby correctional facility. Enter the Spark Challenge and compete for funding to work with community leaders on pressing local issues. Or get paid to serve one of Grinnell’s 80+ community partner organizations as a service learning work-study fellow.