• Social Justice Leadership Retreat

Sharing in the Social Justice Journey


What is the Social Justice Leadership Retreat?

University of Minnesota Social Justice Leadership Retreat takes approximately 56 students and 18 facilitators away from campus for three days and two nights of amazing activities and storytelling. After arriving mid-afternoon on day one, the group spends time developing trust and relationships in small groups of seven students and two facilitators, as well as participating in large-group activities. The following two days are used to facilitate a journey for each student in exploring their own identities, sharing their personal story in their small group, listening to the personal stories of others, and attending training sessions on privilege, understanding personal identities, and what all of this means in leadership. Thirteen successful retreats have taken place since January 2005.



The Social Justice Leadership Retreat is designed to help educate students about the concepts of social justice and community leadership through exploration of their own stories, the stories of others, and issues of oppression and privilege, as well as developing contacts and support networks across campus and skills to be an ally to many different groups.

Through exposure to theory and extensive experiential learning situations, students will accomplish the following:

  • Gain new knowledge around social justice issues
  • Sharpen skills of self-awareness
  • Learn how to integrate what they gain from the retreat into their lives and into the lives of others


Why should you attend the retreat?

Don’t take our word for it; past attendees have shared the following experiences:

"My favorite aspect of the retreat was the atmosphere and warmth I felt and how much I learned."

"I can see myself taking small steps to make a difference and actually having them matter."

"After being submersed in this atmosphere of feeling, thinking, and accepting, it will be all but impossible for me to forget what I have learned."

"I wasn’t sure what would happen here, but it exceeded my expectations for quality of learning and valuable experiences."

"The theories are everything I’ve covered in classes, but the honesty was amazing. It is so rare that we really let down our guard and tearfully tell people how racism, sexism, heterosexism, etc. has damaged us."


Camp Information

When: January 14–January 16, 2017 

  • Depart campus January 14, 2017, at 10:00AM and return to campus Monday, January 16, 2017, at 4:00PM

Where: Camp Friendship (Annandale, MN, 60 miles northwest of the Twin Cities)

Who: 56 students and 18 facilitators from all areas of campus

Cost: Participants are requested to pay a $20 materials fee. Scholarships are available upon request. No one will be turned away for financial reasons. All other expenses (including transportation, food, and lodging) will be covered by the University of Minnesota. Do not send money with your application; we will take care of that later.

Note: The Social Justice Leadership Retreat will begin accepting applications late September-early October. Please check back for an updated application form.

Participant Application

Facilitator Application