Social and Economic Justice

Learn about the histories of social movements and the conditions that motivate activists, artists, and political groups today.
student speaking about poster titled
professor speaking with farmworker activists at information table
man writing on chalkboard
students in the dining hall for trans day of remembrance

This program is available as a minor.

Many of the most inspiring and engaging political movements are based around ideals of Social and Economic Justice. The program at Wells focuses on understanding the motivations for those that fight for political and social change, by providing a context based in history, theory, and the lived experiences of people belonging to marginalized or oppressed groups.

Because so many different ideals and experiences contribute to Social and Economic Justice movements, students in the minor take several core classes — Ethics, Community Organizing, and an internship experience — and then choose from focused categories:

  • Social Justice includes courses in diversity, the Civil Rights movement, and body politics, as well as those lifting up the voices of African American and Indigenous women.
  • Economic Justice explores the growth of industrial society, the persistence of social inequality, and political structures that contribute to it.
  • Global Justice examines the history of interactions between cultures and colonizers and the current economic and political landscape in developing countries.
  • Environmental Justice introduces students to principles of sustainability as they're expressed in agriculture, policy, ecology, psychology, and the cultures of Native Americans and those in the Pacific.

The well-rounded program helps students understand the social conditions that necessitate Social and Economic Justice movements — and paired with the right major, will give additional knowledge and specialization to those hoping to contribute to lasting social change.

"I am inspired by other people's passion. It is so energizing and enlightening to see the people around you become engaged in and then excel at something they are passionate about."

Hannah Taggart '18
Double Major in Psychology and Women's and Gender Studies
looking back moving forward
The student organization UMOJA presents their second annual conference, titled "Looking Back, Moving Forward." The conference will feature the following community discussions and presentations: Thursday,...
News: Social Science

Wells College recently awarded the academic and student life awards at the 2019 Honors Awards Dinner, held May 1 in the dining hall. Prizes are...


Wells College announces that Svante L. Myrick, mayor of the City of Ithaca, N.Y., will give a talk on Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2018 as part of the 2018–...


The Wells College chapter of Phi Beta Kappa welcomes its 2018 visiting scholar, Professor Jamsheed K. Choksy of Indiana University–Bloomington....

Connecting to a Career

Those interested in the Social and Economic Justice minor will likely choose a major that connects with their interests and ideals. For example, Political Science provides an understanding of governmental structures and practices for those who may like to run for office on social justice ideals; the Women's and Gender Studies major provides a deep familiarity with theory, literature, and history of feminist and LGBTQIA+ communities; or the Sociology and Anthropology major allows students to analyze and intellegently discuss the relationships between society, individual belief systems, and other cultural factors that may contribute to inequalities.

Wells' pre-law program also provides an additional framework for applying your studies, while preparing you to pursue advanced studies in law after graduating from Wells.


Wells College promises a relevant liberal arts and sciences education. Intellectually challenging. Reinterpreted for today. Classroom teaching combined with hands-on learning. Wells graduates enter the world prepared for successful futures.

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