This is a content holder for the one button emergency notification system.

Our Mission

The mission of the Martin Richard Institute for Social Justice is to build knowledge about social justice, to develop skills for advancing social justice through individual and collective action, and to serve as a catalyst for actualizing Bridgewater State University’s commitment to social justice.

At BSU, we believe that social justice requires individual and collective action to ensure fairness in pursuit of opportunities, freedom from oppression and the equitable distribution of resources. Fairness, freedom from oppression and equitable distribution of resources are all grounded in the same basic principle: that all human beings have equal dignity and worth.

The Institute for Social Justice was established in 2011 and renamed in honor of Martin Richard in 2015. Eight year old Martin was one of three people killed, while hundreds of others were injured, by bombs at the Boston Marathon in 2013. Martin’s parents, Bill and Denise Richard, are BSU alumni.


Featured Opportunities

Red background with small circular image of guest speaker J. Cottle. Text reads "MRISJ Civic Speaker Series Presents: Yes the system is broken. It still needs you anyway featuring J. Cottle. November 3, 2022, 5:30-6:30pm Virtual.

On Thursday, November 3rd, MRISJ Advisory Board member, J. Cottle joined us for our latest MRISJ Civic Speaker Series Event Yes, The System is Broken. It Still Needs You Anyway.

In this frank discussion, we explored the barriers, whether systemic, social, or personal that at times halt us from civic engagement, discussed social change roles, and how we can make space for engagement sustainably despite those challenges. Together we re-evaluated the relationships we have to the “duty” of citizenship, because yes, the system is broken. It still needs us anyway.

The MRISJ thanks Santander Bank for its generous support of the Civic Speaker Series.

American Red Cross logo (Red cross in white circle with grey outline, text reading "American Red Cross" written underneath) with red text "Blood Drive"

Every 2 seconds someone in the U.S. needs blood or platelets.

The American Red Cross relies on blood donors to help save lives and support patient needs. That's why MRISJ and the Honors Program have teamed up to sponsor a blood drive with the American Red Cross here at BSU on Thursday, February 2nd.

Appointments are available from 10am-3pm and are open to everyone - no prior experience with blood donation required.

You can make a difference by making an appointment to donate today!

2021-2022 A Year in Review: Martin Richard Institute for Social Justice

2021 - 2022: A Year in Review

Hot off the Press!

Get a glimpse at some of our highlights from the 21-22 Academic Year with our new Year in Review!

Read the 2021-2022 Report

Our Programs

Community Service
The Martin Richard Institute for Social Justice encourages members of the Bridgewater State University community to become life-long engaged citizens in our local, regional, national and global communities through serving their community.
At Bridgewater State University, students from all major programs and concentrations make a yearlong commitment to become Jumpstart Corps members and provide services to children in the under-served communities of Brockton.
five female Justice Fellows standing together in front of peace flag display

MRISJ Justice Fellows are undergraduate students, hired as BSU student employees, and work 10 hours per week throughout the academic year. Fellows are paired with a nonprofit organization or campus-based initiative. 

Virtual Tour Stop — Martin Richard Statue

Launch Martin Richard’s Legacy



Student & Faculty Resources

Explore these social justice resources:

Student Voices

Faculty Grants

Dr. Beverly Tatum headshot

A Conversation with Dr. Beverly Tatum

On Thursday, Nov. 19, Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum discussed her compelling, award-winning book Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? and Other Conversations About Race, which takes a critical look at the dynamics of racial identity in America and the importance of holding productive conversations surrounding race across racial and ethnic divides.

Rachael Rollins

A Conversation with Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins

On Thursday, April 22, 2021 the MRISJ hosted District Attorney Rachael Rollins as the first speaker in our Civic Speaker Series. DA Rollins discussed her experience running for office, and her impressive work as an advocate for criminal justice reform and racial equity through her position in public leadership. Dr. Mia Ortiz, Associate Professor of Criminal Justice at Bridgewater State University and Zahara Townsend, an undergraduate Justice Fellow with the MRISJ moderated the conversation with the DA who serves as the chief law enforcement officer for Boston, Chelsea, Revere, and Winthrop Massachusetts. She is the first woman ever elected as District Attorney in Suffolk County and the first woman of color ever elected to serve in this role in Massachusetts. Her story serves as an inspiration to those seeking to make a difference through public service.

Sponsored by African American Studies Minor and the Department of Criminal Justice.

Interview with MRISJ Academic Director Dr. McGowan

In this 28-minute episode of InFocus, Dr. Kevin McGowan, Academic Director of the Martin Richard Institute for Social Justice and Assistant Professor in the Department of Elementary and Early Childhood Education’s Early Education and Care Program at Bridgewater State University is interviewed by host Dr. Jabbar Al-Obaidi, Professor in Communication Studies at Bridgewater State University. They discuss racism, COVID-19, critical race theory, educational systems, and related topics in an engaging conversation that includes historical and current perspectives. InFocus is a production of Bridgewater Access Online.

Martin Richard Statue with Mask

COVID-19 Resources

We have compiled a variety of useful resources available to anyone looking for help.

Helpful Resources During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Contact Us

Martin Richard Institute for Social Justice

Burrill Office Complex, Room 101
95 Burrill Avenue
Bridgewater, MA 02325
United States