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Welcome to Catalyst

Do you like discussing topics regarding social issues? Do you want to explore topics such as difference, power and privilege, and multiple identities? Do you want to create change on campus? Then Catalyst is for you!


Catalyst: A Social Justice Retreat is an opportunity for students, faculty, and staff to engage in introductory conversations around issues of inclusion, equity, and social justice. Participants and facilitators will examine their personal identities; the dynamics of oppression on an individual, systemic, and institutional level; and concepts of advocacy for oneself and others. The ultimate goal of Catalyst is to help participants develop the skills to become social change agents.   

Catalyst takes place every January, over the weekend before Martin Luther King Jr. Day, in the beautiful scenery of Estes Park. The three-day, two-night retreat is free to all UNC and Aims students, faculty, and staff. Students have the opportunity to apply as participants, while returning students are given an additional option of applying as facilitators. Faculty and staff are encouraged to apply as facilitators and/or participants.

2022 Catalyst Group

2022 Catalyst Group

Adams, Bell, and Griffin (2007) state

“Social justice is both a process and a goal. The goal of social justice is full and equal participation of all groups in a society that is mutually shaped to meet their needs. Social justice includes a vision of society in which the distribution of resources is equitable and all members are physically and psychologically safe and secure. We envision a society in which individuals are both self-determining and interdependent.”