Community Justice & Engaged Pedagogy

Moving Beyond the Walls that Separate Us

The Initiative for Community Justice & Engaged Pedagogy creates transformative learning opportunities within and beyond prison walls. In order to support long-term productive exchanges between the university and community, the initiative also convenes dialogues and catalyzes applied research about critical issues through the lens of community justice and engaged pedagogy.

Why community justice and engaged pedagogy now?

There is a growing call to include more community-based perspectives in conversations and decisions about justice in the United States. Our approach to community justice points toward building up community collaborations, resources, strengths and capacity to resolve conflicts, address crucial human developmental needs, or prevent crime.

At the same time, in the current age of information-overload and specialized academic disciplines, there is a need for holistic and formative education. Our approach to engaged pedagogy builds on the rich history of human-centered Jesuit pedagogy and community-engaged liberal arts education at Boston College, to foster education that is relevant to people’s lived experiences and bridges the university and community in unique ways.

The Initiative for Community Justice & Engaged Pedagogy brings together these two key concerns to create transformative learning spaces, facilitate engaging conversations, and catalyze applied research projects.

The Initiative for Community Justice & Engaged Pedagogy is supported by a generous grant from The Hearst Foundations

Initiative Academic and Research Advisors are David Goodman, Stephen Pfohl, and Julia DeVoy.

Contact Initiative Coordinator, Matt DelSesto (, with any questions or to learn more.

A university is inescapably a social force: it must transform and enlighten the society in which it lives.
Ignacio Ellacuría, S.J.

Latest News 

In November 2020, Inside-Out Program Coordinator Matt DelSesto, along with former students Diannelle Chaparro and Allison Pyo, published a report on the Boston College Inside-Out Program titled, "Advancing Transformative Learning Partnerships." Click the photo on the left to read the report.

The March 2020 issue of Common Ground (The Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department Newsletter) profiled the successful partnership with Boston College for the Inside-Out Program. You can view the article on page 8 of Common Ground at the Sheriff’s Department website.