Global Master of Arts in
Social Justice & Advocacy* (Full-Time)

Learn to address some of the most critical social and political issues in the world today through a comparative analysis of global movements for justice, equity, and rights.

At a Glance

For programs beginning in 2023

Credits

34

Format

Global

Priority Deadline

January 31, rolling thereafter

Final Deadline

August 1

Duration

One Year

Instructional Sites

Argentina, Serbia

Program Excursion Countries

Hungary

Critical Global Issue of Study

Peace & Justice

Peace & Justice Icon

Please note that SIT will make every effort to maintain its programs as described. To respond to emergent situations, like COVID-19, however, SIT may have to change or cancel programs.

Why a Master's in Social Justice and Advocacy?

Movements today—in the United States and around the world—are confronting racism and the oppression of Black, Indigenous, and other people of color; gender equity; environmental collapse; and other critical challenges. With this comparative program, SIT will prepare you for a career advancing social justice on an international, regional, or local level. In a globalized world, this degree will put you in an advantageous position to address some of today’s most pressing issues.

Through SIT’s global, experiential framework, you will examine southeast and central Europe and Latin America, where social rights are entangled with challenges for democracy and local and regional dynamics, embedded in past social and political struggles and informed by current events.

Spend your first semester in Belgrade, Serbia, the largest urban space in Europe and home to dynamic, new social movements and activist groups demanding social change. Here, you will study post-conflict change and activism; social change after socialism and communism; transitions to democracy and illiberal democracies; citizenship and citizen activism; the future of southeast Europe and the Balkans; contemporary challenges to political, cultural, economic, and social integration; and digital activism and advocacy.

Spring semester takes you to Buenos Aires, Argentina, where issues around Afro-descendants’ rights and farmers’ land struggles inform movements for social justice throughout the Southern Cone. You will examine movements for gender, racial, and environmental justice; the socio-environmental impacts of the neo-extractivist model in the global south; territorial struggles led by peasant and indigenous communities; identity and common goods; and advocacy communication.

During your final semester, you will undertake a professional practicum in close consultation with your faculty advisor to ensure alignment with your personal career goals. This semester culminates in the presentation of your capstone paper or MA research thesis either online or in person on SIT’s beautiful and historic Vermont campus.

*Accreditation for this program is pending.

Career Paths

Students who graduate with this degree can expect to work in careers such as:

  • Nonprofits, foundations, and NGO management

  • Rights advocacy

  • Community organizing

  • Public policy analysis

  • Lobbying

  • Political campaigns

  • Social entrepreneurship

  • Corporate social responsibility

  • International development

Program Sites

Belgrade, Serbia

As the largest urban space in southeast Europe, Belgrade is home to numerous social movements, local and international NGOs, dynamic civic activism, and advocacy work. In the aftermath of Yugoslavia and a decade of war politics during the 1990s, Serbia’s transitions into new economic systems and political regimes have generated struggles around issues of social and economic justice, violent pasts, rights to the city, and the decision to join the European Union (EU). Local actors have been engaged in street activism, as well as in policy and advocacy. Belgrade offers a view from the south, and from below, to everyday activism as it challenges and engages with top-down politics, in times of populism and struggles for democracy in the Balkans and around the globe. New movements such as “Ne Davimo Beograd” (We Won’t Let Belgrade Down/We Won’t Let Belgrade Drown) will be examined through the local, regional, and transnational networks of activism.

An excursion to Budapest, Hungary, will extend your understanding of the challenges of social justice and demands for social change in illiberal democracies in the context of today’s European Union and the post-communist states that have become EU member states.

Excursion highlights include:

  • Budapest, Hungary
    • Local NGO and rights advocates
    • International organizations

Buenos Aires, Argentina

Argentina’s reputation as a human rights pioneer springs from prominent protests that led to the historic prosecution of dictators in a court of law. This sparked a “human rights cascade” that set in motion protests and judicial processes throughout the Southern Cone.

Regional “truth commissions” arose from the Argentinean experience and have informed current movements including the landmark abortion rights law that took effect in January 2021, making Argentina the largest Latin American country to legalize abortion. At the sociopolitical center of the country, Buenos Aires remains a driving force behind changes in the region, as evidenced by mobilizations like the feminist collective “Ni una menos” campaign against gender-based violence, which has spread rapidly to the rest of the continent.

On an excursion to Patagonia, you will examine the challenges that the renewed extractivist model has set for collective rights, especially environmental and indigenous ones. You will also witness the evolution of “eco territorial” resistance characterized by diverse movements working in solidarity toward common goals, such as indigenous communities and feminists joining forces with environmental activists. Learn how these experiences are generating new trends and a new language of valuation, influencing public agendas, and generating new narratives about territory, nature, and environment.

Excursion highlights include:

  • Patagonia, Argentina
    • Socio territorial movements and environmental NGOs
    • Ecofeminist activists
    • Visit peasant-indigenous communities and organizations
    • Resistance to mega-mining in Argentina: The case of “No a la Mina” and the assembly movement

 

 

Please note that in order to take advantage of dynamic learning opportunities, program excursions may occasionally vary.

Academics

Coursework

With SIT’s experiential curriculum, you will learn to put theory into practice, focusing on topic areas that help you meet your career goals. In this program, you will: Identify and interpret core contemporary theoretical and applied traditions in studies of citizenship, conflict studies, social movements, and human rights.

  • Analyze and compare issues related to social justice and advocacy between Southeast Europe and Latin America
  • Develop critical practice skills to assess social, political, ethical, and professional standards of social justice.
  • Demonstrate skills required in strategic foresight analysis and community leadership.
  • Apply qualitative and quantitative research methodologies to the investigation of social and political challenges.
  • Develop leadership skills to design an advocacy program for collaborative problem-solving in an international context.
  • Analyze critical challenges in social justice and advocacy through the development of a capstone project in the form of a research-based paper, policy advocacy paper, or an evidence-based intervention.

Please expand the sections below to see detailed course information.

This is SIT

  • We value active togetherness, reciprocity, and respect as the essential ingredients for building a sustainable community.
  • With open minds, empathy, and courage, we facilitate intercultural understanding and respect for the commonalities and differences between people.
  • We champion social inclusion & justice in all that we are and all that we do, from ensuring our community and our programs amplify the voices, agency, and dignity of all people to deliberately instilling the principles and practices of inclusion in all ofour work.
  • We are committed to human and environmental well-being through sustainability and contributing to a better world for all living and future generations.

Semester One: Serbia (12.5 credits)

  • Foundations: Social Movements, Civic Engagement and Social Justice Advocacy
  • Citizenship in Southeast Europe: Divided Societies and Unequal Cities
  • Critical Approaches to Activism, Advocacy, and Policy Change
  • Digital Activism and Advocacy: Action for Social Change

Semester Two: Argentina (12.5 credits)

  • Foundations: Social Movements and Human Rights in the Southern Cone after Dictatorships
  • Social Justice, Rights, and Community Organization in Contemporary Argentina
  • Socio-Environmental Conflicts and Alternatives to Neo-Extractivism
  • Communication in Advocacy Organizations: Practices and Challenges

Semester Three: Practicum and Capstone (9 credits)

  • Practicum
  • Capstone seminar and paper or MA research thesis

A cornerstone of SIT’s Social Justice and Advocacy master’s program is the practicum. This will allow you to apply learning directly to real-world settings, while getting hands-on, professional experience you can put to immediate use after you graduate. 

For your final semester, SIT and your advisor will support you in finding an approved practicum in a role and location of your choice, aligning with your career goals. This practicum experience will give you the opportunity to work in the field, as well as expand your professional network. 

During the practicum phase, you will remain engaged with faculty and other students and receive course credit for documenting the integration of your knowledge and skills while working in a professional context.

Faculty & Staff

Social Justice & Advocacy* (Full-Time)

Orli Fridman, PhD
Chair, MA in Social Justice and Advocacy • Affiliated Faculty, MA in Peace and Justice Leadership
Ana Laura Lobo, PhD Candidate
Associate Chair, MA in Social Justice and Advocacy
Igor Štiks, PhD
Faculty, MA in Social Justice and Advocacy
Maristella Svampa, PhD
Faculty, MA in Social Justice and Advocacy
Juan Wahren, PhD
Faculty, MA in Social Justice and Advocacy
Jelena Vasiljević, PhD
Faculty, MA in Social Justice and Advocacy

Accommodations

Students will arrange their own their accommodations in local apartments or ask to be placed with a homestay family, where you will be immersed in the local culture and customs. Please note that homestays are less expensive but also less independent. You may ask SIT local staff for support and advice in arranging housing during your time abroad.

Discover the Possibilities