Office of Student Life

Social Change

Buckeye Book Community

As a partner, The Office of Student Life’s Department of Social Change will host a group of workshop discussions for students to engage in. The Office of Undergraduate Admissions hosts the Buckeye Book Community for first year students to engage in workshops to expose them to new realities and ways to think critically. This year’s book discusses many of the topics and issues that Student Life Social Change aims to bring awareness to, dismantle or encourage.

Just Mercy

This year’s selection, Just Mercy tells the story of Bryan Stevenson, a young lawyer who founded the Equal Justice Initiative, a legal practice dedicated to defending those most desperate and in need: the poor, the wrongly condemned, and women and children trapped in the farthest reaches of our criminal justice system. One of his first cases was that of Walter McMillian, a man who was sentenced to die for a notorious murder he insisted he didn’t commit. The case drew Bryan into a tangle of conspiracy, political machinations and legal brinkmanship – and transformed his understanding of mercy and justice forever.


Examining the Development of Courage, Character and Skill in Social Change and Community Engagement

Presenter: La’Rez Wilson

Description: Community engagement work requires integrity, strong ethics and a strength of character to fully advocate for and affect change. Agents of change therefore are charged to build a sense of resilience as they navigate spaces of ambiguity, uncertainty and adversity.  In the Bryan Stevenson Book, Just Mercy, readers experience this range of uncertainty as the protagonist navigates new and unfamiliar cultural environments and political relationships in an effort to change the lives of his clients. Throughout the book, the wrongly convicted inmates he represents offer countless examples of trials and lessons learned in building character, dexterity as they strive for change and hope. Participants in the workshop will reflect on the attributes and characteristics needed to build strong character and instill courage, even in the face of adversity. Participants will leave with the creation of an action plan or motto that will provide solace and motivation in times where character is tested and/or threatened.

Session themes: Activism, Awareness, Balance, Integrity, Choices, Community, Failure, Fear, Hope, Motivation, Passion, Perseverance, Purpose, Resiliency, Self-confidence, Self-sufficiency, Risk-taking

Date(s): Thursday, September 14th , Thursday, October 19th (as part of Leadership Week), and Thursday, November 16th

Location: George Wells Knight House, 104 e. 15th ave.

Student capacity: 30 students


For more infomration contact, La'Rez Wilson, Community Relations Coordinator, at