Educational Programs

Social Justice

Social justice is woven throughout every student’s experience at Crossroads, informing the lens through which they see the world. The K-12 curriculum provides students with a progressively nuanced exploration of historical and current-day inequities: locally, nationally and internationally. Through class projects; community service; clubs and organizations; student-led activism; and the Crossroads School Equity & Justice Institute, students learn about critical social justice issues, raise awareness among their peers and take action to affect meaningful change.

Elementary School

The seeds of social awareness are planted as our youngest students learn about the world around them, including prejudice and its effects on individuals and societies. Classroom research topics—which students often present to the wider school community during Monday Morning Meetings—have included immigration, environmental degradation and criminal justice reform. Each classroom has a curricular component that embodies service learning, such as building friendships with residents of a senior citizen home and serving food to the homeless. Our Elementary School students pride themselves on being “upstanders” who are willing to take a stand for what is right.

Middle School

The Middle School curriculum offers multiple approaches to teaching social justice. Students study key questions about American justice and global citizenship in the Core program while calculating living costs on a minimum wage budget in math. Students hold awareness-raising campaigns and fundraisers on and off campus: recent topics include gun control, Black Lives Matter and women’s rights. The Service Learning program integrates community service with independent research and projects that educate students on social justice issues in our community.

Upper School

Social justice is embedded throughout the Upper School curriculum: Course offerings include Modern Gender Studies; American Social Movements; and Global Health: Equity, Social Justice and Sustainability. During Annual Forum Days on social justice topics, students engage in workshops and hear from guest experts. Student-led clubs tackle issues from homelessness to LGBT rights, partnering with and supporting the work of local nonprofits. Through the four-year Community Service program, students develop community service projects and volunteer with partner organizations including Heal the Bay, Operation Gratitude and Habitat for Humanity. Seniors graduate with a clear sense of the inequities that exist in our world and a drive to be part of the solution.

Guest Speakers

Every year, Crossroads invites esteemed guest speakers to address students, parents, faculty and staff on a number of topics related to social justice. Recent speakers have included gender equality scholar Jackson Katz; Equal Justice Initiative Founder Bryan Stevenson (pictured); Little Rock Nine member Terrence Roberts; and Philadelphia Councilmember Helen Gym.

Speaking events through The Younes and Soraya Nazarian Equity & Justice Distinguished Lecture Series—a feature of Crossroads School’s Equity & Justice Institute—are free and open to the public. For a list of past and upcoming events in this series, please click here.

Social Justice

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