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Unified for Social Justice

CMU is committed to social justice, and to deploying time, energy, and resources to social justice causes and reforms at the university, as well as in the Pittsburgh community and the nation as a whole.

Heinz College students and faculty have voiced enthusiastic support for programming and curricular opportunities that elevate attention on issues related to criminology and criminal justice, labor discrimination, health and environmental inequities, and many other disparities that have a disproportionate negative impact on minority populations in the United States.

This summer, Heinz College appointed a Social Justice Committee comprised of students, faculty, and staff representatives to envision and design programs, utilizing the College’s relevant scholarship to shape national discourse and policy action. The Committee’s work is ongoing, though we are excited to announce immediately several upcoming events that will engage our community on these crucial topics.

We will continually announce dates for future events. We hope that you will plan to take part. 


The first of these upcoming events is a two-part series entitled “Reimagining Public Safety”. This series will convene experts including prominent national journalists, organizers, activists, scholars, and officials from government and law enforcement for conversations about challenging historical and current problems pertaining to police reform. These discussions will be open to the CMU community as well as the public.

STUDENT discussion sessions

Reimagining Public Safety Student Discussion Sessions

The Student Discussion Sessions will take place on Wednesdays at 6:30pm ET following the Friday programming as part of the Heinz Reimagining Public Safety Series.

These student-led discussion sessions will focus deeper into issues discussed in the programming on the preceding Friday, give students a venue to highlight and reflect on key topics that were discussed, point out issues or points of view that may not have been discussed, and participate in an open, safe, and inclusive conversation. Ideally, what comes out of these sessions is both a better understanding of the issues discussed, recommendations on future programming Heinz should be organizing, as well as a list of coursework and capstone projects that can be created next semester to build on the current programs. These sessions will also help identify students who may be interested in participating in future Heinz programming on these topics. Students from any department or college are welcome to attend. 

These sessions are student-led and focused on having an open and safe environment where everyone feels comfortable sharing their opinions and discussing potentially difficult topics. 

These sessions are for CMU Students ONLY.

Nov. 4th, 6:30pm-7:30pm
Student Discussion:  The Police and Community Perspectives
Discussion of the critical issue of rebuilding trust between the police and the communities they are sworn to protect.

Nov. 18, 6:30pm-7:30pm
Student Discussion: Alternative Ideas for Fundamental Change
Discussion of necessary reforms for reinventing public safety in America.
Register To Attend

*Interested in being a student facilitator for these discussions? Let us know here,


In the spring 2021 semester, we will be hosting a social justice speaker series in collaborationg with Professor Joe Trotter, Giant Eagle Professor of History and Social Justice at CMU and the founder and director of the Center for Africanamerican Urban Studies and the Economy (CAUSE). More information on the speaker series and coursework is forthcoming.


The Social Justice Committee, comprising student, staff, and faculty representatives, was formed in summer of 2020 to envision and design programs that engage the Heinz College community on social justice issues, utilizing the College’s relevant scholarship and evidence-based strategies to shape national discourse and policy action.


Ayana A Ledford
Amelia M Haviland
Daniel Nagin

Alex Jackson
Jeffrey Scanlon
Wasiullah Mohamed

Alexandra Lutz
Jon C Nehlsen
Jackie A Speedy

Rayid Ghani
Richard A Stafford
Silvia Borzutzky