Social Justice and Social Policy Program

Brenda Meehan Social Justice-In-Action Grant

Application Deadline: February 8, 2023 by 9:00 pm ET

The Social Justice & Social Policy (SJSP) program is pleased to announce a grant opportunity for Brandeis University undergraduate students. These grants are designed to provide support for student-organized events that bring together academic and activist perspectives on important current public policy issues.

The Brenda Meehan Social Justice-in-Action Grants will provide up to $1,500 to support events planned for the Spring 2023 semester. Applications will be accepted until the application deadline and recipients will be notified soon after.

The selection committee encourages proposals to:

  • incorporate both academic and activist social justice perspectives in meaningful ways
  • involve our campus as part of the event and be free to all members of the Brandeis community
  • include significant participation by Brandeis students, faculty, and/or staff; invited off-campus guests also can participate
  • value collaboration between student organizations, and/or between undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, and staff
  • inform and/or link to ongoing initiatives that enable the proposed event to contribute to an enduring social justice impact on campus or in broader communities.

How to Apply


Please submit the following via email to SJSP Chair Melissa Stimell, by 9:00 pm ET on February 8, 2023:

  1.     your name(s) and contact information, along with the names of any co-sponsoring clubs or organizations
  2.     a one-paragraph summary of the proposed event(s)
  3.     a brief (no more than 100 words) statement providing background on the relevant experience of any proposed speakers/presenters/artists
  4.     an itemized budget estimate; indicate if the event is still viable if partial funding is granted (highly recommended); please also including any funding from other sources
  5.     a statement that clarifies, in 500 words or less, the organization and anticipated impact of the event(s), the full set of anticipated participants, and whether or not off- campus participants have already committed to participate. The selection committee understands that it is sometimes difficult to obtain commitments prior to receiving funding, so it is not required that you be entirely certain about the line-up of participating guests. However, your statement should list at least one alternative option for any off-campus participant who has not yet provided a firm advance commitment.

All applications must be received by 9:00 pm on Friday, February 8, 2023. 
Questions?  Email Lauren Jordahl or Melissa Stimell

2022 Recipients

Brandeis Students Demand Action Club

Students Demand ActionBrandeis Students Demand action is a gun violence prevention club on campus dedicated towards education and advocacy of gun violence prevention issues. They brought Fred Gutenberg, a gun violence activist, and father of one of the victims of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas shooting in February 2018. The event occurred on March 24th at 7 pm on campus and reached a wide audience.

Brandeis Southeast Asia Club
SEACThe SEAC held a Diaspora Event during the semester looking at "How Queer and Asian identities interact with each other". 
Inaara Gilani

Brandeis Intercultural CenterThe Intercultural Center celebrated the anniversary of its vision for 30 years

Logan Shanks
Logan Shanks“It’s a family affair!”: Exploring Black Dwellings: Black Bookstores was an extension of Shanks' Rich/Collins Fellowship community service project: Reading to Transgress.
Sonali Anderson
State of Blackness eventThe State of Blackness was a celebration of 53 years of Blackness on the Brandeis campus, specifically how its activism and art have shaped what Brandeis University is today.
Sophie Kieffer
50 years of women in RabbinateA panel of women rabbis celebrating women in the rabbinate convened on the Brandeis campus with Reform women rabbis from throughout the greater Boston area to mark the fiftieth anniversary of women in the rabbinate. The panel discussed gender equality in Judaism, equity in the rabbinate, work/life balance, and gender pay disparity.

2020 Recipients

Marek Haar and Shoshi Finkel

Marek and Shoshi are composing a musical theatre production focused on “The Troubles” in Northern Ireland. The musical tells the story of this violent 20th century political conflict that took more than 3500 lives, the majority of whom were civilians.

Cassipea Stith

Cassipea is organizing an event for National Transgender Day of Visibility, that would honor the lives of Black Trans Femme, with a collectively crafted art installation, and performance by Myles S. Golden (they/them), a Black gender non-conforming, Trans-femme visual artist and poet.

Stephanie Laporte

Minority Association of Pre-Medical Students (MAPS) will be holding its first ever conference, “Staying on Track: The Gap between Undergraduate and Graduate Education.” Undergraduate students will be exposed to a network of peers and professionals from research, public health, medicine, and others. 

Maria Aranibar

The Brandeis Latinx Student Organization will host Johanna Toruño, a queer Salvadoran street artist, about art in form of protest. This will also be a collaborative workshop with poster designing, spray painting, and buttons to share across campus. Johanna Toruño will be accompanied by her partner, Amy Quichiz, who does community organizing for Planned Parenthood in Washington D.C., and will be doing her own speech on community activist in relation to art as a form of protest.


Rebecca Orbach

J Street U hosted a screening of the documentary “Naila and the Uprising” by the organization Just Vision. The documentary focuses on the nationwide uprising that took place in the Occupied Palestinian Territories during the First Intifada.

Miranda Sullivan

IfNotNow will be hosting a community dinner and a facilitated discussion on how anti-ICE work and anti-occupation work are intrinsically linked.

Maryam Chishti

Maryam will be directing a play, “To Be a Problem,” which she herself wrote to highlight the lives of Muslim Americans after 9/11. Based on entirely true stories, it will be the first Muslim student theater production to go up at Brandeis.

Deborah Ault

In partnership with the Center for Teaching and Learning, DeBorah seeks to invite speakers to campus who can talk about forging communication between those in practice and those in research (pedagogy).

Jasmine Lee and Stanley Mo

Brandeis Asian American Students Association (BAASA) seeks to provide a resource for students on campus to get involved in initiatives outside of campus through the Asian American Resource Workshop (AARW). Other objectives of the workshop include discussing the political and social factors that the deportation of Southeast Asian (SEA) immigrants is rooted in and the impact that it has on not only them but the rest of the Asian American & Pacific Islander (AAPI) community. 

2019 Recipients

Prison Abolition and Education Series

Brandeis Labor Coalition (BLC), Women of Color Alliance (WOCA),  Heller’s Black Graduate Student Association (BGSA), Brandeis Asian American Task Force (BAATF), Brandeis Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) held a series of events surrounding prison abolition and other criminal justice solutions, in order to introduce the Brandeis community to the activism and social justice work that students, faculty, administrators, and community members can become involved in.

A Conversation with Sir Knight: Liberation for Us, Liberation for Us All

Makayla Richards ‘20 & the Brandeis Black and Latinx Queer Collective (BLQ) hosted a Q&A session and moderated community discussion with revolutionary Sir Knight, CoFounder of BlackTransTV, on imagining radical futures that investigate active divestment from white supremacy, patriarchy, and heteronormative cultures and practices.

Waltham's Got Talent

Zachary Williams ‘21 and Brandeis STAND invited local refugee/immigrant artists to campus to speak about their experiences, to challenge the Brandeis community to look beyond the statistics and acknowledge the human impact of the refugee and immigrant crisis.

A Discussion with Liliana Vasquez
Lilliana's Book Cover

Emilia Feldman ‘19, Eliana Kleiman ‘21, Alejandra Bonilla ‘21 brought author Liliana Vasquez to Brandeis to discuss her book Dreams and Nightmares about her journey from Guatemala to the US at the age of 14, and held an open forum to ask questions and engage in a meaningful dialogue surrounding the harsh realities immigrants and asylum seekers face

Civic Engagement Celebration

Renee Korgood '20 hosted a celebration of on- and off-campus activism and the ability of students, to influence policy change. Event will included tabling, workshops,  and a panel of Waltham’s elected representatives. 

Brandeis/BINCA Book Project Exhibition

Gabriel Fontes '19 organized a photo exhibition and artistic celebration of a multicultural, multilingual library built with students at Boston International Newcomer’s Academy (BINCA).

2018 Recipients

Pengfei Liu

Headshot of Pengfei LiuPengfei’s project is entitled, “From Paris Agreement to Beijing Smog: Cross-Cultural Conversation on Climate Justice and Everyday Consumption”. There will be five roundtable discussions around the topics of trash recycling and ethical consumption, including guest speakers and documentary screenings, to further participants’ engagement with environmental justice in everyday practices.

Miriam Berro Krugman & Brandeis Democrats
Brandeis Democrats is hosting two voter registration drives on with the goals of providing access to and fostering active political participation.  At the events, the Brandeis community can register to vote and learn how to become civically active.Brandeis Democrats Logo
Sharon Cai & Food Recovery Network

Food Recovery Network is hosting Andrew Fisher, author of “Big Hunger: The Unholy Alliance Between Corporate America and Anti-Hunger Groups”. In Big Hunger, Fisher takes a critical look at the business of hunger and offers a new vision for the anti-hunger movement.

Food Recovery Network Logo

Brandeis Asian American Task Force & Brandeis Asian American Students Association

BAATF and BAASA are hosting internationally renowned Samoan-American spoken word poet, educator, and artist Will Nu’utupu Giles for a performance and workshop event on indigenous and immigrant narratives. This is a part of his spring 2018 poetry tour, “Until Name Becomes Prayer”.BAATF Logo

Gilberto Rosa

With the help of the Caribbean Cultural Club and African and Afro-American Studies, Gilberto is hosting a screening of Si bondye vle, Yuli and talk-back with Haitian-Dominican actor and filmmaker Jean Jean.In the midst of government regulation, imminent deportation and personal upheaval, questions arise: What really makes us belong to a place? How are the links between the land and its people made?

Gilberto Rosa

2017 Recipients

Amanda Anderson

Amanda AndersonAmanda's project, "Sanaa Studio", will showcase the artwork of up and coming Black artists at Brandeis. The project hopes to engage the entire Brandeis community and provide space for grievance and healing through art.

Marcelo Brociner & Bruna Ferranti

Two photos: one of Marcelo Brociner and one of Bruna FerrantiMarcelo and Bruna want to bring the White Ribbon Project to Brandeis and engage men on campus in conversations about harmful ideas of manhood that lead to violence against women. This project will engage campus clubs such as B.Men, Men of Color Alliance, Voicemale, club soccer team and more.

Justice Jam & ED 170a

Photo of a male student wearing glassesJustice Jam is a two-part event series in which students from "ED 170a: Critical Perspectives in Urban Education" will share the importance of protecting public education with the larger Brandeis and Waltham community.

Jonathan Goldman & Victoria St. Jean

Two photos: one of the profile of Jonathan Goldman and one of Victoria St. JeanJonathan and Victoria's project, "Brandeis Citizenship Day," is an event connecting the Brandeis community with the vast number of immigration resources provided by Brandeis clubs and organizations in the greater Boston area. The event will feature a panel with the ACLU,Project Citizenship, ISSO, and the Newcomer Academy.

Shikha Chandarana & Sara Kramer

Two photos: one of Shikha Chandarana and one of Sara KramerShikha and Sara's project is a 3-hour long lecture series focusing on healthcare issues in light of the new presidential administration. The talks will encompass technology, advocacy and social justice, and health and social policy. It will feature speakers from Brandeis and Heller School of Social Policy.