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Social Justice Concentration

Launching with the Class of 2028, the Social Justice Concentration empowers students to examine some of the most complex issues related to race, gender, sexuality and more. Students learn critical skills to both be and lead the change to improve circumstances for marginalized communities. Teaching bold leadership skills, students prepare to effectively advocate for human rights in the context of our ever-changing world.

Who is a Social Justice Tiger?

A Social Justice Tiger has great empathy for others and knows that the world has the potential to become a more peaceful and inclusive place. Learning the complex needs of others, a Social Justice Tiger is not afraid to stand up for what’s right, and craft innovative solutions to benefit those in need. Having great awareness of the “noise” taking place in politics and beyond, a Social Justice Tiger takes a strategic, ethical and methodical approach towards creating positive change.

Students fundraise for CORA shelter with signs

Social Justice Module Students Develop:

  • Proficiency in writing, interpersonal communication and research 
  • Dexterity in the power of persuasion
  • Prowess in public speaking
  • Competence in active listening skills
  • The ability to lead with empathy

HIA Student Board

Hallmarks in Action Board (HIA)

HIA is a leadership group that inspires and creates opportunities for our campus to carry out the Notre Dame Hallmarks. Students on this board take leadership roles and are trained in planning and leading retreats, public speaking through reflection and prayer, planning community service and social justice events. Students of all cultures, faiths, spiritual paths and traditions participate.

Mock Trial

Students participate in a simulated criminal trial while playing the roles of witnesses who must know the facts of their witness statement, trial attorneys who must prepare direct and cross-examination questions, and pretrial attorneys who argue constitutional issues relevant to the trial and even the court bailiff. Using the official courthouse in Redwood City, students get as authentic a trial experience as possible.

Mock Trial students
Mock Trial student on stand
Mock trial students smile as a group on the front steps of school, wearing formal courtroom attire
Students smile at the courthouse, wearing formal courtroom attire
Students smile in front of the court room, wearing formal courtroom attire
Students smile in the mock trial room at school
Students smile at the courthouse wearing business attire
Students smile wearing business attire
Two students smile in the courtroom as they wear business attire
The student judge gives thumbs up as she smiles and wears a judge outfit
A student speaks into a microphone, wearing business attire
A student stands at the front of the room, wearing business attire
Students in the mock courtroom
Students smile in the courtroom
Mock Trial students
Mock Trial students
Mock Trial students
Mock Trial students
Mock Trial students
MOck Trial
Mock Trial students
Mock Trial
Mock Trial students
Mock Trial students

Career Examples:

  • Child Welfare Advocate
  • Lobbyist for LGBTQ+ rights
  • Social Worker
  • Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
  • Peace Corp Project Manager 
  • Teacher
  • Politician
  • Attorney/Lawyer

NDB taught me to work hard. It taught me to not give up. It taught me to advocate for myself and for others. It taught me empathy. I didn't know I was learning these skills at the time. Then, I thought I was simply learning to study and how to be a friend. But looking back? NDB wasn't just preparing me for my career working with at-risk LGBTQIA youth, it was preparing me for life. 

JJ King

JJ King (Jenny Lindeburg) '98
Crisis Support Counselor

NDB’s academic environment helped my self-confidence. I felt like I was allowed and encouraged to be myself and grow into myself.  I had an eclectic group of friends who have all gone on to contribute to the world in a variety of ways. The structure of Notre Dame academics and sports programs prepared me to be self-directed and to rise to challenges. My general take-away from Catholic-based education is to live a life of service and compassion. 

Felicity Hartnett '02

Felicity Hartnett '02
Police Officer, Field Training Officer and Fire Fighter