About the Institute

Scholars at UC Santa Cruz take an unflinching look at the forces that shape our world. We are known for cutting-edge work that addresses critical issues - including economic inequality, environmental threats, and social stratification - that are jeopardizing our very democracy. We share a commitment to social justice. That is our heritage and our future. We do this work through rigorous research that is complemented by the hands-on engagement of our students and strong partnerships beyond the academic world. We build intellectual and community collaborations, proposing bold and innovative solutions to pressing social and environmental problems.

The Santa Cruz Institute for Social Transformation builds on the campus's progressive values and areas of existing strength, while simultaneously serving as an incubator for new ideas and an accelerator for pathbreaking scholarship in the public interest. The institute sharpens our focus, and facilitates faculty interaction, with a persistent determination to break through the crowded media landscape to reach policy makers, elected officials, advocates, community partners, donors, prospective students, and the general public.

The Santa Cruz Institute for Social Transformation was founded in 2018 by Social Sciences Dean Katharyne Mitchell as part of a broader vision of the social sciences at UC Santa Cruz.  It relies on Divisional Support and the generous support of donors, foundations, and grants.