Program Highlights

Program Highlight: Activate

Each month, we feature a stand-out program sponsored by a college or university women’s/gender equity center. If you’d like to highlight your program for consideration, you can submit more information about it online!

Today, we’re highlighting Activate, an annual program sponsored by the Grand Valley State University Women’s CenterWant more information about this program? Contact Brittany Dernberger at 

About the Program

Activate provides service learning opportunities on campus White_Activateand in the community. Supporting the Women’s Center mission of gender justice, Activate members engage in several tiers of service learning: Activate the Center, Activate Campus, and Activate Community. Examples of opportunities include stocking the Student Food Pantry, staffing a Women’s Center table at other events on campus, and participating in Days of Service in the community. The Women’s Center offers 6 Days of Service each semester, and the trips are led by Women’s Center Ambassadors, student leaders who have been trained in feminist leadership principles, facilitating reflection, and various content areas. Unique as of this academic year is that the training to join Activate, which formerly consisted of a 90-minute in-person orientation, now takes place completely online!

How This Program Makes an Impact

With the transition to our online training starting in the fall 2014 semester, we have seen enrollment in Activate jump from about 100 members joining a semester to over 200 people joining! Activate now has close to 700 members who have been trained to talk about the work of the Women’s Center, why community engagement matters, and how one’s own privilege and identity can impact service learning. The vast majority of survey respondents indicated that their participation in Activate has increased their understanding of gender equity issues and the intersectionality of women’s identity, and that, as a result of their participation, they plan to continue engaging in service learning in the future.

Activate Participant Photo







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