UC San Diego News Center


Student passes out balloons while marching in the Martin Luther King Jr. parade. Photo by Erik Jepsen/UC San Diego Publications

UC San Diego Rings in 2020 with Changemaker Week

A new year … and a new decade … is an opportunity to spark positive change locally and worldwide. At UC San Diego, students, faculty and staff are invited to usher in 2020 at the second annual Changemaker Week from Jan. 18–25. The weeklong lineup of events is designed to motivate campus community members to create positive social change through public and community service, research, social innovation, social entrepreneurship and social justice.

Kicking off with the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service on Jan. 18, the week includes free activities, workshops and discussions ranging from a sustainability scavenger hunt across campus community gardens and a discussion with women in AI, to a class on gender inclusivity and a ball pit where strangers can share thoughts on life’s big questions.


Volunteers painting for Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service. Photo by Erik Jepsen/UC San Diego Publications

“UC San Diego’s dedication to pushing boundaries and challenging expectations has led us to extraordinary ways of driving positive change,” said Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla. “We celebrate the impact of our Changemaker Campus designation as we inspire, educate and equip our campus community to make a difference in the world.”

In 2017, UC San Diego was designated as a Changemaker Campus for its commitment to social innovation and changemaking education. Only 45 universities around the world have been recognized with the esteemed honor by Ashoka, the world’s largest network of social entrepreneurs. Recognized as one of the top 20 research universities worldwide, UC San Diego’s campus-wide culture of collaboration sparks discoveries that advance society and drive economic impact.

The second annual Changemaker Week will offer dozens of unique ways for participants to channel their talents to create positive impact on campus and beyond. The events are open to attend for all UC San Diego community members; select workshops and discussions require registration. A sampling of this year’s events include:

Jan. 19
San Diego Martin Luther King Jr. Parade

UC San Diego will march in the 40th annual San Diego Martin Luther King Jr. Parade at the San Diego Embarcadero from 2 to 5 p.m. This event is open to all, and free shirts and transportation from campus are available for parade participants.

Jan. 20
Thousand Tree Initiative Tree Planting on Campus

In alignment with UC San Diego’s commitment to planting 1,000 trees on campus over the next three years, the campus community is invited to join in the gardening efforts from 10 a.m. to noon at Mesa Verde Hall at Eleanor Roosevelt College.

Jan. 21
Feminism 101

UC San Diego Women's Center will lead an introduction course from 7 to 8 p.m. on feminism, challenging popular myths and discussing topics ranging from bra burning to Beyoncé. This session will provide participants an opportunity to move toward their own personal definition of what it means to be a feminist.

Jan. 22
How to Change the World without Losing Your Mind: Leadership Lessons from Three Decades of Social Entrepreneurship

In this discussion, held in UC San Diego’s Great Hall at 5:30 p.m., attendees can gain leadership insight about social entrepreneurship from Alex Counts, author of Changing the World Without Losing Your Mind. Counts is the founder of the Grameen Foundation, a global nonprofit that empowers the poor, especially women, to create a world without poverty and hunger.

Jan. 23
Changemaker Orientation Workshop

At UC San Diego, every student, staff and faculty member is a changemaker. In this workshop, held from 2 to 3:30 p.m. in the Price Center Bear Room, participants will explore the significance of being a changemaker and discover ways to get involved in efforts that address social and environmental issues.

Jan. 24
Bias and the Brain 101

The campus community is invited to an interactive workshop that dives into implicit and explicit bias, the socio-cultural factors that influence our perceptions, what happens in the brain, and the social implications of these dynamics. This event will take place in the Price Center’s Cross-Cultural Center from noon to 1 p.m.

To learn more about the UC San Diego Changemaker designation and events, visit