Social Justice at Bridgewater State University

Social justice is the promotion of fairness, equal access, equal opportunity and the assurance of basic human rights to all persons.

Bridgewater State University’s current social justice programs include:

The Bridge Partnership Program is a two-week, summer residential program designed to support the academic progress of disadvantaged middle school students from Brockton and New Bedford and the Red Cloud Indian School in Pine Ridge, South Dakota. In the past five years, 716 middle school students participated in the program, while 130 BSU students have served as program assistants.

The Community Service Center provides BSU students with a variety of volunteer, community service and civic engagement opportunities in the Southeastern Massachusetts area and beyond, encouraging them to become lifelong active citizens. During the 2015-2016 academic year, more than 800 individuals were served through Community Service Center activities. In the 2015-2016 academic year, 1655 BSU student volunteers participated in over 27,046 hours of community service and civic engagement programming.

Friends and Mentors (FAM) for Change is an innovative mentoring program that pairs BSU student-mentors with Brockton High School students for the duration of their high school years. Brockton students who participate in the program for four years and are accepted into BSU receive tuition to attend the university. To date, 146 Brockton High School students have participated in the program.

Jumpstart, an AmeriCorps program, is working towards the day when every child enters kindergarten prepared to succeed. Jumpstart Corps members commit to serving 300 hours, which includes training, tutoring preschool children in local communities, as well as performing additional hours of community service in an effort to foster positive growth and development within themselves and others. In the last decade, Jumpstart Bridgewater has engaged over 600 students at the university in 200,000+ hours of service and provided services to 1,200 children in the Brockton and Taunton communities.

The FootBridge program provides academic and enrichment activities for fourth- and fifth-grade students from the Huntington Elementary School in Brockton. To date, 250 students have benefitted from the program.

The Inclusive Concurrent Enrollment (ICE) program provides skills training and internships to more than 60 students ages 18-22 years with moderate disabilities to help them gain competitive paid employment. More than 60 students have participated in ICE since its inception four years ago.

Bridgewater Scholars, born of BSU’s President’s Task Force to End Homelessness, provides BSU students who have experienced homelessness with financial and educational support to assist them in graduating and achieving their academic, professional and personal goals. Bridgewater Scholars give back to their communities and are empowered to become leaders and mentors for future scholars.

The Academic Support for College and Life (ASCL) program each year provides intensive college preparatory instruction, as well as clinical, social, vocational and daily living support services to prepare young men and women for college and adulthood, with 48 students having been engaged in ASCL to date.

The Children’s Physical Developmental Clinic has been sponsored by BSU for more than 40 years. Through successful participation in play, recreation and sports activities, this nationally recognized program seeks to improve the total development and self-esteem of children and youth with disabilities who range from 18-months to 18-years old. More than 2000 children have participated in and benefitted from the program, which is supported by 120 BSU students who serve as clinicians each year.

The Belize Service Trip has enabled groups of 12 BSU students to teach and participate in renovation and construction projects at St. John’s Anglican Primary School in Belize. A total of 120 BSU students have participated in this program.

The Cambodia Service Trip each spring provides an opportunity for a dozen BSU students to travel to the village of Siem Reap to build water filtration systems. Ninety BSU students have served through this program.