Civic Engagement and Social Justice

Welcome to the home of civic engagement, volunteering, and social justice education at the University of Puget Sound. We are housed in the Center for Intercultural and Civic Engagement (CICE) and serve as the primary connection between the campus community and the city of Tacoma for community service, social justice, and service learning activities. Here, students are urged to draw connections between their curricular studies, co-curricular involvement, volunteering, and off-campus communities. CICE and its programs nurture these connections by offering students many opportunities to become active citizens in our community while completing their degree at the University of Puget Sound.

Did You Know?

  • Approximately 75% of the Puget Sound population is involved in some type of service activity during the year.

  • CICE works to connect students with many community partner agencies and non-profits, seeking to help students contribute to Tacoma, while providing them unique opportunities to learn from all Tacoma has to offer. 

  • Many of our students become involved in areas that are related to their academic interests, while others decide to explore a newly discovered passion or concern, or even an area of personal significance.

  • CICE offers students access, either as a group or as an individual, to area agencies and families who welcome their time, talent, and ideas.

  • Examples of areas that have developed a strong history of support with Puget Sound students include  K-12 education, adult literacy and ESL tutoring, advancing the abilities of developmentally disabled youth and adults, residential assistance for people with AIDS, youth advocacy, ecological advocacy, and women's rights.

The programs outlined below are great ways to get involved. If you would like to pursue service for a specific interest, please contact us or visit us in person any time!


Alternative Breaks

Rather than taking time off during Fall and Spring Breaks at the University of Puget Sound, we encourage students to take time ON, fostering connections and reflection through meaningful service to the community. Led by the CICE staff, every Alternative Break is a structured experience with a theme that focuses a particular issue of concern to the local Tacoma community. 

Community Partnerships 

Our outreach team represents the point of entry to CICE services and programs for both students on our campus as well as members of the larger Tacoma community.

If you are interested in discovering more information about any civic engagement programs or projects in Tacoma or on the campus, we encourage you to contact us at

Food Justice

Food Justice seeks to address deep and systemic inequalities that lead to food insecurity. As hunger widens in scope in Tacoma, the CICE seeks to provide opportunities for students to learn, engage, reflect, and mobilize to support the vision of sovereign and healthy communities.

Youth Programs

Each youth program at the University of Puget Sound aims to expose and provide academic and personal enrichment to children in Tacoma as well as the student volunteers involved. Our program coordinators work hard to create a mutually fulfilling experience for both participants and volunteers by making these programs free for Tacoma residents, and providing flexible scheduling for busy student schedules.

JuST: Justice & Service in Tacoma

The program exposes students to situations outside of their previous experience and provides a place to reflect upon and discuss those experiences.  Drawing from faculty, staff, older student leaders, student clubs, and community partners, JuST teaches the tools and background needed to be active and proactive in society.  We engage issues of race, class, sex, gender, homophobia, ability, religion, the relationship between service and social justice, and the systems that perpetuate inequality.

CICE Events and Activities

The Fall semester brings us 2 blood drives sponsored by Cascade Regional Blood Services and several annual events, including LogJam, the Service Fair, the Puget Pacer, and Winterfeast.