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Institute for Civic Leadership

The Institute for Civic Leadership (ICL) promotes the civic and democratic purposes of education in social justice realms. ICL sponsors academic programs, community engagement programs, campus-wide events and activities that advance the civic engagement capacities and commitments of Mills students. ICL is housed within the Mills College School of Education, and serves as a connection point between Mills and the Bay Area community.

Program Goals
Students who participate in ICL programs will gain an understanding of leadership theories and skills applicable to civic engagement and social justice work.

The Women, Leadership and Social Change Minor
The core of our program is the academic minor in Women, Leadership and Social Change. The course of study combines discipline-based analysis of civic leadership and social policy with an internship in which students work on meaningful projects linked to their social change interests. This minor compliments a wide range of majors and is encouraged for any student who wishes to meaningfully connect their academic work with leadership within the community.

Students examine the intellectual foundations of civic life while developing knowledge of the skills and strategies needed for social change leadership. Students learn to critically analyze social and political issues associated with their internships and, more generally, the ways academic knowledge can inform the design of desirable public policies. View the degree requirements.

The Olympian Thinking: Mentorship for Social Change Program
This for-credit program, in partnership with two-time Olympian Marilyn King, will train Mills students as onsite mentors for Oakland middle school-aged youth using the transformational education tool Olympian Thinking™. The goal of the mentoring relationship is to assist youth in aligning the three things common to all high achievers, while the Mills mentors also apply this model to their own goals and passions. As a process that disrupts educational inequity that is tied to the cycle of poverty, Olympian Thinking™ is a strategy for social change within Oakland. The program curriculum will present a framework for mentorship as social change using systemic change theory. Students who register for the course will receive one full course credit for completion of each semester-long phase of this program.

The Laura Nathan Endowed Scholarship for Social Justice and Community Service
This scholarship is endowed by an anonymous Mills alumna who wished to acknowledge in future students the commitment to social justice imparted to her by Dr. Laura Nathan, professor emerita of sociology at Mills. Up to two scholarships (amounts vary depending on endowment and each student’s specific financial aid package), are awarded every fall semester to two Mills Undergraduate Students with a history of commitment to social justice and community service. Any undergraduate student with a minimum GPA of 3.0 is welcome to apply. Recipients will be selected by committee on the basis of merit and the content of the application essay. The scholarship must be applied for on a yearly basis and past recipients may apply again. Deadline: September 25, 2014.

Download application and guidelines

Program Information
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Contact Information

P: 510.430.3234
F: 510.430.3174

Last Updated: 7/22/15