Department of Social Justice & Community Studies

Saint Mary's University is in K’jipuktuk, Mi’kma’ki, the Ancestral and Unceded Territory of the Mi’kmaq People


The Department of Social Justice & Community Studies (SJCS) at Saint Mary's University offers students and professionals a strong interdisciplinary training to promote social responsibility and the development of active citizens. It does this by fostering intersectional knowledge and community engagement around issues such as gender and sexuality; Indigenous-settler relations, and settler colonialism; race and critical whiteness; citizenship and migration status; urban politics and histories; material conditions and resource distribution; and social organizing and organizational theory, in order to build stronger institutional and community relationships with and between diverse Indigenous peoples, African Nova Scotians, immigrant peoples, and historically settled white Nova Scotians and Canadians. Among the key ways in which SJCS at SMU builds intersectional knowledge and relationships is by fostering mutual engagement between community members, the university, and the city, and mobilizing social justice and community work on and off campus. 

The Social Justice & Community Studies Minor Program offers university students in all faculties, and social justice and community engaged professionals, the intersectional knowledge necessary to engage in problem solving, organizational work, and public deliberation in a range of complex social issues.

A proposed  SJCS Major and SJCS Honours Program will be considered for SMU and Maritime approval in 2018-2019, to begin running in 2019-2020. Always consult the academic calendar to ensure you are fulfilling all requirements. 

See Social Justice & Community Studies course options here.


SJCS positions Students and Professionals for Future Opportunities through:

o   Social justice-informed and community-engaged training for further study in undergraduate, professional and graduate programs;

o   Training for social justice-informed and grassroots community-engaged employment in the civil service and government; politics and social policy; non-profit/non-governmental organizations; unions and labour relations; social advocacy and research; international organizations and relations; social work; education; law; journalism; medicine and nursing; socially responsible business; university and college administration. 

Meet our Social Justice & Community Studies faculty and staff here.


For More Information Contact Us:


Val Marie Johnson
Associate Professor, Department Chair
McNally South 203
Profile page

For general SJCS inquiries, contact