Initiatives at Lang

Social Justice Leadership Institute
The Social Justice Leadership Institute (SJLI) is a student focused and driven project to make social justice more than an idea here at The New School. A new university-wide initiative aimed at developing the next generation of social justice activists and advocates, SJLI is dedicated to education, agitation, and organization for social justice at The New School and in local communities. The institute started as a proposal written by several students and has now blossomed into a fledgling movement. You can find out more about past and upcoming work on the website.

New School Debate Team
Founded in 2003 by a freshman who wanted to build community at Eugene Lang College, the New School Debate Team currently ranks 27th in the nation in college competitions, ahead of Dartmouth, USC, and NYU. Debating engages New School students in the full range of intellectual and policy arguments on selected issues of current public interest. It brings New School students as ambassadors to universities and other venues in the city, the country, and the world. Every semester, a workshop course in debate is offered for any New School student interested in joining the team. Students can also volunteer to coach in the citywide Urban Debate League, a consortium of debating teams in New York City public high schools. For more information about the Debate Team, contact

Alternative Break Activities
Lang frequently arranges civic engagement field trips during winter recess, spring break, and summer break. This is part of a national movement among universities to promote active citizenship through intensive hands-on civic improvement and reconstruction projects. These trips typically take students into new and sometimes disconcerting environments. They meet people they might not otherwise meet, confront social problems as personal challenges, and strengthen peer bonds with their fellow students.

TNSchangemakers is collaboration among New School students, faculty, and administrators to create a program incubator for diverse activities that will accelerate, broaden, and deepen social entrepreneurship and social innovation education at the university. Programs include the NEWchallenge, which providing seed funds for innovative student initiated projects that address pressing social and environmental issues; the Social Innovation Speaker Series; and the TNSchangeleaders program.

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