Social Justice Mini-Grant Program

social just mini grant program

About University Life’s Social Justice Mini-Grant Program

Many in our community are deeply engaged in efforts to promote social justice at Columbia and beyond. Annually, University Life invites students to apply for the Social Justice Mini-Grant Program and share innovative ideas that aim to address social injustices, including efforts to bring awareness to racial, economic, accessibility, educational, and other forms of inequality.

Learn all about the 2022-23 grantees
Learn all about the 2021-22 grantees
Learn all about the 2020-21 grantees

Program Goals

To receive funding through the Social Justice Mini-Grant Program, your project should address one or more of the following goals:

  • Provide opportunities for students at Columbia to explore and understand the sources and consequences of inequities and injustices in our societies. 
  • Improve students’ ability to advocate for social justice effectively.
  • Increase understanding of the intersectional dynamics of oppression.
  • Strengthen the campus culture of inclusion and belonging at Columbia.

In addition, the Institute for Religion, Culture and Public Life supports projects that focus in some significant way on the intersection of race and racism, and issues connected to religion, belief and/or secularism.

Grantees will be featured on University Life's website, social media and will receive support in planning and marketing their funded events and/or programs. They will also be invited to participate in an end-of-year roundtable event open to all students.

We look forward to the creative ways Columbia students will offer to advance the University’s commitment to social justice and equality.

Eligibility and Requirements

Funding awards will range from $50 to $1,500.

  • All currently enrolled students at Columbia’s 17 schools are eligible to apply
  • Students from affiliate schools are not eligible to apply as the primary recipient, however, they can be part of a group. Affiliate schools include Union Theological Seminary, Jewish Theological Seminary, Barnard College and Teachers College.
  • Projects must be student-initiated and completed by April 30, 2023.
  • Existing projects will be considered.
  • Candidates may apply individually or as a team
  • Previous grantees of this program may apply with a new project. However, they are not eligible for additional funding for their original project.
  • Focus on the Columbia University community
  • Address at least one program goal
  • All event-related projects must receive a review, in which University Life staff and other campus partners will evaluate the details of the proposed student event to ensure proper coordination and planning.

In addition, event-based projects must be free and open to all Columbia students.


  • September 6, 2022: Grant Applications Opens
  • September-October 2022: Information Sessions hosted by University Life
  • November 7, 2022: Grant Applications Due
  • February 2023: Recipients Announced
  • April 30, 2023: Recipient’s projects or events completed

Funding may not be used for the following expenses:

  • Personal compensation
  • Stipend for current Columbia students, staff or faculty 
  • Groceries, catering or other food expenses

Program information:

  • If a grantee anticipates that the life of a proposed project will endure beyond the April 30, 2023 deadline for this program, please explain how you intend to sustain the effort.
  • At the end of the project, awardees will be asked to submit a brief final report about project outcomes, how funds were used and how many students participated. 
  • Awardees will be invited to discuss their project and its outcomes at a University Life-sponsored event for the Columbia community.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Read University Life's weekly events newsletters delivered every Tuesday, where we highlight projects and events made possible by the Mini-Grants Program. 
  • Look for event updates on social media – if you are not already following us on Instagram or Facebook, this is a great time to start! 

Check the University Life Events Calendar for upcoming event announcements.

Attend an information session hosted by University Life:

If you have any questions, please reach out to Gaby Dominguez, Program Manager for Student Life, Inclusion and Belonging at [email protected].

It is anticipated that 8-10 projects will be funded, with a maximum award of up to $1,500. Social Justice Mini-Grants are best suited for: 

  • Hosting workshops, meetings and speaker series 
  • Hosting podcasts, training and conferences
  • Costs associated with events such as printing, Zoom pro account, honorariums and stipends to non-Columbia affiliates

How to Apply

Thank you for your interest in this program. Applications for the 2022-2023 Social Justice Mini-Grant Program are now closed. If you have any questions about this year's projects or future applications, please reach out to Gaby Dominguez at [email protected]We’re happy to talk with you.