Degree Name

MA in Social Justice in Intercultural Relations

First Advisor

Janaki Natarajan


Work toward the collective movements for liberation has proven to be a difficult task for those who have chosen to dedicate their lives and work to make social change. A close examination of the non-profit industrial complex and the connections with the prison-industrial complex will enable social change agents to better articulate the ways in which we can move forward toward a more just world. The question central to my research asks: Is prison abolition necessary for social justice? To answer this question I will use an analysis of the non-profit industrial complex to explore how a social justice institution, such as World Learning, can achieve their mission and vision and be funded by the same foundations and corporations that fund the prison-industrial complex. To contextualize this theoretical analysis I examined data from SIT/World Learning and explained it through the theory of the non-profit industrial complex. I will focus on the current economic system of masked imperialism, global capitalism, which inhibits movements from formulating successful strategies of resistance, transformation and transcendence.

Through this examination, I conclude that social justice is incompatible with the logic of capitalism, thus questioning the source of funding to organizations such as SIT/World Learning in contradiction to its goals. I hope to show contradictions within SIT/World Learning and urge the graduates from that institution to examine and transform the way in which we think about our collective work for social justice.


Arts and Humanities