Volunteering & Advocacy


Volunteers are essential to our community, and the opportunities you will encounter while at Grinnell are endless. On campus, you will have the chance to volunteer with more than 80 local and regional community partners. You may volunteer individually, through a dedicated student group, through an athletic team, or through a community-based learning class. On an international level, you may volunteer through your global learning class, your internship, or even through your study-abroad experience. Advisers from the Center for Careers, Life, and Service will help you find a volunteer opportunity that fits with who you are. 


You can make a difference through advocacy while you are a student at Grinnell. Maybe you’d like to be an ally, or part of a support network. Perhaps you’d like to help your peers register to vote, or explore how you may promote change by altering your habits. Maybe you want to lead a protest, or take part in a letter-writing campaign. Your CLS Adviser can help you explore what is right for you, and identify opportunities that are consistent with your values.   

Community Social Justice Tour

The Community Social Justice Tour, sponsored by The Center for Careers, Life, and Service, offers an opportunity to gain an awareness of the unique social justice issues facing the larger Grinnell area. In addition to introducing participants to the local community, you learn about collaborative opportunities for service and the unique innovation that occurs in the ecosystems of small towns. Focused on some of Grinnell’s core community players, you will venture beyond a conventional tour to grapple with challenging ethical concepts and begin to identify what your distinctive role may be in the fabric of the community as a whole.

The Community Social Justice Tour can be utilized for an in-class experience, immersive department or team engagement, and offers a deeper level of learning with the Volunteer Essentials workshop that connects participants with local action.

This tour is for people who are interested in becoming more active participants and who want become socially just collaborators in community action.   

To request tours and accompanying workshops please contact the Service and Social Innovation team at the CLS.

Alternative Spring Break Service Trips 

Grinnell College’s “AltBreak” program is unique in that as a student you may design and lead teams of your own peers in advocacy and volunteer service around the country. You simply identify an issue or project area that is important to you, and apply to lead a trip. Staff from the CLS, along with a team of student administrators, then help selected leaders plan and execute their trips. Best of all, Grinnell heavily supplements the trip’s costs! Past AltBreak trips have studied and addressed topics such as immigration, education access, environmental justice, and the dynamics of poverty and homelessness. 

Additional information about Volunteering and Advocacy is available on GrinnellShare (secure login required). 

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