Cultivating the Next Generation of Social and Criminal Justice Leaders


What is Social Justice?

Social justice speaks to the capacity to organize with others to fulfill societal roles and receive just due from society, to include equal access to wealth, health, law and justice, opportunity, and the privileges of citizenship and personhood.

Mary Bethune

Our founder, Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune was a social reformer and activist deeply dedicated to issues of social justice long before it became popular. She was not only actively involved in the education of young people, but also in dealing with the broader social issues of her time. Whether it was her work with the National Youth Employment Administration, the National Council of Negro Women, the Tuskegee Airmen or the church community, she dedicated an immense portion of her life to social justice issues. She stepped in to arrange housing accommodations for Jackie Robinson, as he worked his way up the farm system of major league baseball to become the first Black major league baseball player. She encouraged Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt to investigate the denial of flight opportunities for black pilots being trained at Tuskegee Airfield, and as a result the “Red Tails” became an indispensable part of defeating the German army in World War II. She advised President Franklin Roosevelt as part of his “kitchen cabinet”. These are only a few of the many examples for which she never hesitated to lend her support to the cause of racial and social justice.

The Center’s work continues the efforts of Dr. Bethune and others in addressing social problems of our nation, while providing learning opportunities for our students to participate in meaningful endeavors that will prepare them to continue her example.

Our Mission

The Center for Law and Social Justice (CLSJ) at Bethune-Cookman University works to develop programs and activities that address historic and contemporary issues of social justice which align with the mission of the university, while also providing high-quality professional learning experiences for students pursuing careers in the legal and criminal justice field. Specifically, it is the Center’s mission to cultivate the next generation of social and criminal justice leaders committed to creating a more just and equitable world.

Our Vision

The vision of the Center for Law and Social Justice (CLSJ) is to effect meaningful social change in the areas of law and criminal justice, education, civic engagement, and economics through teaching, professional development, training, research, scholarship, advocacy, civic engagement, and public service.

Center’s Six Strategic Priorities

The CLJS at B-CU focuses on confronting structural inequality and racial disparities in six (6) strategic areas that include law and criminal justice, education, juvenile delinquency and crime prevention, civic engagement, economics, and gender equity.

Center’s Six Strategic Priorities