Global Engagement Groups
More than 50 Northwestern student groups work to address critical local and global issues, from hunger to global health and human rights. We encourage students to become involved.
Jump to an area of focus:
- Art for social good
- Community service
- Design for social good
- Environment & sustainability
- Global health
- Human rights & humanitarian relief
- Hunger, poverty alleviation, and social Justice
- International policy
Africa Business Club is an association of Africans and all people interested in Africa at Kellogg. The club's mission is to increase the professional and cultural interest in Africa at Kellogg, and to build Kellogg's brand equity in Africa.
ASA promotes a deeper understanding of Africa and the roots and histories of African culture to the greater Northwestern community. In the Fall, ASA hosts Afropollo, a mock of Showtime at the Apollo, where students perform. In the winter, the Cultural Show features a fashion show, skits, and performances. Throughout the year, ASA hosts events and film series and partners with the Sunlight African Community Center in Chicago for philanthropic programming.
Afrilogue is a student-led seminar hosted by the Program of African Studies. Students discuss topics of interest, share experiences on the continent, learn from faculty speakers, and present their own work. Students determine topics and subjects each quarter.
The Alliance of African Scholars unites students across varied academic disciplines: creating spaces for critical discourse regarding African representations, social movements, and current events. The organization is established to contextualize and interrogate dominant (neo)colonial narratives, in order to challenge the manner in which NU engages the continent.Academy of Music and Art for Special Education (AMASE)
AMASE teaches children with autism how to play musical instruments. Northwestern student volunteers teach children with autism from the Chicago area at on the Evanston campus on Saturday mornings throughout the year. AMASE aims to create a community in which music is the primary means of communication between volunteers and students.Applause for a Cause
Applause for a Cause is a philanthropic film production company that makes a feature-length film and donates all of the money raised to charity. Applause is the only student group in the country that produces a feature-length film. Over 70 students are involved in Applause each year, ranging from freshman to seniors and covering all of Northwestern's schools.
Cirque du NU is a circus and service club that volunteers at the Ronald McDonald House, an international "home away from home" where families stay when other family members are hospitalized. We make meals for the families there and use lighthearted circus entertainment in order to alleviate some of the stress of having another family member hospitalized.Inspire Media
Inspire Media produces and funds socially conscious media, and strengthens the global Northwestern community by engaging social issue topics on local, national, and international levels. Believing that all media platforms have the power to motivate and create social change, Inspire Media's programming provokes discussion, engages audiences, and inspires action in the global community.Northwestern University Dance Marathon (NUDM)
NUDM is one of the largest student-run philanthropies in the nation. Since it was founded in 1975, Northwestern students have raised more than $14 million for more than thirty different beneficiaries.Unity Charity Fashion Show
The UNITY Charity Fashion Show celebrates fashion, philanthropy, and diversity at Northwestern University. We are an organization formed by cosponsorships, bringing together NU's premiere organizations to plan the largest fashion event on campus.AIESEC
AIESEC is the world's largest student-run organization present in over 113 countries. In the US, AIESEC is focused on providing a platform for youth leadership development. AIESEC US offers young people the opportunity to be global citizens, to change the world, and to get experience and skills that matter today. AIESEC is run by young people, for young people, enabling a strong experience to all its stakeholders.Alpha Phi Omega
Alpha Phi Omega's Sigma Chapter at Northwestern is comprised of 50 members who focus on leadership, friendship, and service. The major focus of their operations is service on campus and the local community including soup kitchens, animal shelters, and tutoring. Alpha Phi Omega offers many different leadership positions to foster leadership development and create opportunities for their members.Best Buddies
Best Buddies is an international nonprofit organization dedicated to enhancing the lives of those with intellectual and/or physical disabilities by providing opportunities for one-to-one friendships, integrated employment, and leadership. Each member is matched with an adult with disabilities and connects regularly for fun activities and themed outings. Best Buddies also promotes disability awareness on campus and throughout the community.Chicago Area Mentorship Program (CAMP)
CAMP inspires high school students to work towards their aspirations by stressing the importance of hard work, determination, and self-confidence. CAMP seeks to empower students who would not consider themselves college-bound through annual programming, high school visits, and Annual "College Day," a full day of programming on campus for high school students from the Chicago-land.Freshman Urban Program (FUP)
FUP is a pre-freshmen orientation program that challenges freshmen to learn and tell the story of Chicago, both its triumphs and struggles. Students get to know neighborhoods and people in Chicago that they would normally not visit, and join the city they will come to love. FUP provides an outlet to make lifelong friends and develop leadership skills.International Student Association (ISA)
ISA promotes interaction among students from different cultural and religious backgrounds and encourages campus-wide dialogue on global issues. ISA assists international students in their transition to a new surrounding, serves as a platform for the international student community to voice their opinions and concerns, and promotes international student rights and interests at Northwestern. ISA welcomes not only international students but also those interested in international issues.Jumpstart
Jumpstart is a national early education organization that helps children from low-income neighborhoods develop the language and literacy skills they need to be successful in school, setting them on a path to close the achievement gap before it is too late. Since 1993, Jumpstart has trained more than 20,000 college students and community volunteers to deliver its program to more than 90,000 preschool children nationwide.Northwestern Community Development Corps (NCDC)
NCDC is a student-run organization that engages students in community development at Northwestern University, in Evanston, and throughout Chicago. NCDC promotes civic engagement through direct service, social awareness, and advocacy. Utilizing existing skills, talents, and abilities, NCDC strives to build mutually beneficial relationships, enriching both Northwestern and the communities, while forming a foundation for the future.NU Heights
NU Heights members tutor and mentor local students in elementary, middle, and high school in math, science, and reading comprehension, and other subjects. There are morning and afternoon shifts throughout the week, and transportation is provided. Volunteers travel in groups to their school.Rotaract
NU Rotaract dedicates spring break to international service, connecting with Rotaract chapters abroad and working on a weeklong project. We also join other Rotaractors and Rotarians from all around the nation at the annual forum held before the Rotary International Convention. This event offers Rotaractors from all over the world the chance to meet, discuss issues of mutual interest, and develop bonds of international understanding and goodwill.Supplies for Dreams
Supplies for Dreams is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that provides Chicago Public Schools students with critical resources and extra-curricular opportunities ranging from basic school supplies to field trips and one-on-one mentoring.Design For America (DFA)
DFA is an award-winning nationwide network of interdisciplinary student teams and community members using design to create local and social impact. DFA teaches human centered design to young adults and collaborating community partners through extra-curricular, university-based, student-led design studios to look locally, create fervently and act fearlessly. Students work throughout the school year to tackle challenges in health, education, economy and sustainability.Engineers for a Sustainable World (ESW)
ESW mobilizes engineers through education, training, and practical action, building collaborative partnerships to meet the needs of current and future generations.Engineers Without Borders (EWB)
EWB-NU works with underprivileged communities around the world to engineer solutions to some of their most prevalent issues. EWB-NU works throughout the academic year to brainstorm, research, and design these solutions, all while interfacing with a group of engineering professionals who serve as mentors in the process and approve of any designs. Each summer EWB-NU senda a group of students to the country and community for whom we have worked to conduct further research and/or implement the design.EPIC
EPIC is Northwestern's undergraduate student-run entrepreneurship organization. Ultimately, we envision EPIC to foster a community where all students can be entrepreneurs. We work towards this goal by creating events and opportunities such as Wildhacks (our annual 24-hour hackathon), Northwestern University Venture Challenge (our pitch competition with prize money that is up to $200,000), and Launch (our in-house student year-long accelerator).
Since 2006, more than 700 delegates from universities across the globe have participated in GES. Delegates present a community development project or social entrepreneurship venture that they want to advance to the next stage. During a week of capacity-building workshops, critical discussions, and networking sessions, students work to improve their projects and learn skills that will serve them throughout their career.Lending for Evanston and Northwestern Development (LEND)
LEND is a student-run, non-profit organization that empowers entrepreneurs in Evanston to create businesses, create jobs, and reach financial self-sufficiency. By providing access to small amounts of capital and business development services, LEND is devoted to connecting the Northwestern and Evanston communities under the shared objectives of aiding businesses, economic development, and social change.Northwestern Students Consulting for Non-Profit Organizations (SCNO)
SCNO is a student run organization that provides pro-bono strategic consulting for non-profits in the Chicago-land area. Through ten weeks of intensive research and development, student teams with the guidance of a professional mentor work with non-profits to develop action-items that aim to achieve the development goals of the non-profit client.Green Cup
Green Cup is a month-long competition that challenges Northwestern University students living in campus residence halls and Greek housing to reduce energy and water use. The goal of Green Cup is to engage students in behavior change and give them a better understanding of the impact of daily activities.Northwestern Energy and Sustainability Consortium (NESC)
NESC is an interdisciplinary student group that encourages and facilitates communication and collaboration at Northwestern University regarding sustainability and energy.NU Sustainable Food Talks
NU Sustainable Food Talks is a community program, made of students, faculty, staff and community members, whose mission is to strengthen our sustainable food systems network, our knowledge base, and find ways together to maximize our outreach. We host a pot-luck talking group the first Tuesday of each month, featuring an expert from part of our food system who speaks on their work, the issues they face, and how it affects our foodshed.Pura Playa
Pura Playa is an Engineers for a Sustainable World project at Northwestern University addressing the consequences of plastic use in our community and their accumulation in our oceans and on marine plastic sink beaches across the world.
The mission of Real Food at NU to create a student-led movement that engages administrators, faculty, staff, workers, producers and community members, to enact a shift to a community-based food system built on fair labor practices and food that is humane, local, and ecologically-sound. We are asking NU to pledge to shift 20% of its food purchases to real food — food that is good for the earth it grows in, the farmers who grow it, the workers who process and sell it, the communities through which it passes, and the consumers who ultimately eat it.Students for Ecological and Environmental Development (SEED)
SEED promotes advocacy, education and service on campus, around Chicago, and across the globe. SEED is a group of people passionate about renewable energy sources, recycling, upcycling, keeping informed about environmentalist policies, and tracking our carbon footprints and those of the greater Evanston community.Wild Roots
Wild Roots connects students to the earth and each other and inspires students to think critically about the food we eat by starting conversations about sustainability, social justice, and our food system. We live our mission by growing fresh produce for the Northwestern and Evanston communities using sustainable practices and by using the garden as an educational tool to empower students to produce their own food, to creatively solve ecological problems, and to share their knowledge with others.Camp Kesem
Camp Kesem empowers college student leaders nationwide to create free, life-changing summer camps for children affected by a parent's cancer. Their mission is to provide children affected by a parent's cancer with a supportive, lifelong community that recognizes and understands their unique needs while at the same time, helping college students develop invaluable leadership skills by developing and managing every aspect of the Camp Kesem Chapter.China Care
Northwestern China Care aims to save the lives of abandoned Chinese orphans by sponsoring surgeries and medical treatments for orphans in China. Within the Chicago area, we work to create and foster a stronger community among adopted children and with China Care families by holding playgroups and a mentorship program for adopted orphans. Money raised goes to support individual children.Engineering World Health (EWH)
EWH Northwestern seeks to inspire and mobilize the engineering community, to improve the quality of healthcare in vulnerable communities. More specifically, to provide the members of EWH Northwestern with the opportunity to repair, build, and learn about medical devices.Global Brigades at Northwestern University
Global Brigades at Northwestern University is a chapter of Global Brigades, the world’s largest student-led global health and sustainable development organization. Global Brigades at Northwestern University systematically works with more than 300 other university groups around the world to deliver and implement skill-based programs that benefit more than 130,000 Honduran, Panamanian and Nicaraguan community members annually.GlobeMed
GlobeMed aims to strengthen the movement for global health equity by empowering students and communities to work together to improve the health of people living in poverty around the world. GlobeMed believes that health is a basic human right and that students have the ability and responsibility to build a better world. GlobeMed aims to foster skills and commitment of students to become tomorrow's leaders for global health equity and social justice.NU-AID (Northwestern University Alliance for International Development)
Northwestern University Alliance for International Development (NU-AID) is a unique student volunteer organization at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine (NUFSoM) in Chicago, IL. NU-AID provides much-needed primary medical care in underserved populations in Latin America and Jamaica, while providing valuable educational experience for medical students and physicians at NUFSoM.
The Northwestern Community Health Corps (NUCHC) is a grass roots student run organization that aims to empower individuals to improve their health outcomes in the Evanston and Skokie communities by increasing access to health information and resources. NUCHC has formed partnerships with the Evanston and Skokie Public Libraries, Erie Family Health Center, Asian Human Services, the Evanston and Skokie Health Departments, and community health leaders.Peer Health Exchange
Peer Health Exchange's mission is to give teenagers the knowledge and skills they need to make healthy decisions by training college students to teach a comprehensive health curriculum in public high schools that lack health education. PHE's vision is that, one day, all teens will have the knowledge and skills they need to make healthy decisions.Project RISHI
Project RISHI (Rural India Social and Health Improvement) is a non-profit organization dedicated to advancing public health in rural India. Our purpose is to establish a sustainable community clinic in Northern India and provide medical care, health education, and easy access to health resources. Annual fundraising efforts culminate in a student-led trip to clinic each summer. We will improve the infrastructure and aid the clinic such that it will become the center of the community's health system.Fight For Freedom Project (F3)
F3 is a community that seeks to spread the word about modern-day slavery and human trafficking and to work together to form a thoughtful and effective response. We aim to educate people about the extent to which they inadvertently promote slavery by what they buy; the presence (and exploitation) of slaves in the cities where they live and work and to which they travel; and the decisions that they can make for the short- and the long-term to start living in a way to end slavery.
The Immigrant Justice Project promotes on-campus awareness of contemporary immigrant rights issues, specifically relating to newly arrived immigrants and undocumented migrants, by providing educational and political advocacy opportunities through various community organizations in Chicago. The Immigrant Justice Project is a student-led, student-run organization led by a coalition of students seeking to learn and advocate for immigrant rights at Northwestern University, in Chicago, and for the nation at large.
International Gender Equality Movement is a campus chapter of the UN Foundation campaign Girl Up that promotes the education, leadership, and well-being of girls both in our community and in developing countries around the world. Through campus events, iGEM fundraises, advocates, and raises awareness for UN programs specifically aimed at adolescent girls in Ethiopia, Liberia, Malawi, and Guatemala. Additionally, iGEM works with girls in the Chicagoland area in order to stay connected to its mission in a hands-on way, culminating in an annual leadership summit for local middle school girls in the spring.Northwestern University Community for Human Rights (NUCHR)
NUCHR runs the largest undergraduate student-organized conference on human rights in the United States. Each conference addresses a unique topic, such as humanitarian aid, globalization, or human trafficking. Speakers have included journalists Nicholas Kristof, diplomat Richard Holbrooke, and Bernard Kouchner, co-founder of Doctors Without Borders. Through events, student-organized seminars, and the culminating conference, NUCHR raises awareness of international human rights issues and fosters social activism at Northwestern and beyond.Red Cross Club
The American Red Cross, a humanitarian organization led by volunteers and guided by its Congressional Charter and the Fundamental Principles of the International Red Cross Movement, provides relief to victims of disaster and helps people prevent, prepare for and respond to emergencies. Northwestern chapter strives to raise awareness for all of those in need.Campus Kitchens Project (CKP)
CKP is a national leader in community service for students and is the future of hunger relief. CKP is empowering the next generation of leaders to implement innovative models for combating hunger, developing food systems, and helping communities help themselves. CKP partners with high schools, colleges, and universities to share on-campus kitchen space, recover food from cafeterias, and engage students as volunteers who prepare and deliver meals to the community.Challah for Hunger (CfH)
CfH raises awareness of and money for hunger and disaster relief, through the production and sale of challah bread. Chapter volunteers gather weekly at Hillel to make challah, which we sell to the Northwestern community. Half of each chapter's profits are donated to the national CfH cause: the American Jewish World Service's Sudan Relief and Advocacy Fund. The remaining half goes to Soup at Six, a local Evanston soup kitchen.Habitat for Humanity
Habitat For Humanity is an international organization dedicated to providing decent housing to deserving, low-income families. Our ultimate goal is to eliminate poverty nationally and globally. Habitat for Humanity invites volunteers to work together in partnership with families in need, providing "a hand up—not a hand out" in building simple, decent houses at no profit and financed with affordable loans.LIFT-Chicago
LIFT's mission is to help community members achieve economic stability and wellbeing. LIFT clients and volunteers work one-on-one to find jobs, secure safe and stable housing, make ends meet through public benefits and tax credits, and obtain quality referrals for services like childcare and healthcare. Simultaneously, the LIFT experience pushes volunteers to grapple with the country's most challenging issues related to poverty, race, inequality, and policy.
MEChA de Northwestern is a student organization that promotes higher education, cultura, and historia. The organization seeks to create a critical consciousness on campus that allows all communities to come together for the betterment of the school and society. They focus on building community, creating safe and critical spaces to talk about real issues, and creating programming to reflect. MEChA de Northwestern seeks to bring a critical Chicana/o voice on campus that recognizes it can only exist if it works with other student organizations that speak to marginalized experiences and corporealities.
Points for a Purpose is a initiative at Northwestern University that focuses on local food security issues. In partnership with dining services, Points for a Purpose organizes the drive that allows students to donate leftover meal points or munch money at the end of each quarter by swiping their Wildcard at any of the C-stores across campus. This money is then used to purchase food for distribution to people who would not be able to afford it otherwise.
Student Action at NU is a coalition of student organizers building power to create systemic change to advance racial, gender, economic, and environmental justice. The organization works across identities of race, religion, sexual orientation, age, gender, and income because we recognize our common goal of creating a more just world.
ZOOZ is Northwestern’s Jewish social action organization dedicated to advocacy and community service. ZOOZ partners with progressive organizations and leaders in the Chicagoland area to address issues of injustice impacting our local communities. The organization offers direct action and educational initiatives and develops on-site and off-site service projects with our partners. Additionally, ZOOZ provide opportunities for students to explore the intersections of Jewish learning and social action through our year-long ZOOZ Fellowship.Brady Scholars
Brady Scholars Program is a scholarly community in which undergraduates join together with graduate students and faculty to discuss values and norms, goodness and badness, rightness and wrongness, virtue and vice, duty and obligation, justice and rights, equality and freedom, and the application of these concepts to local, national, and international communities. It combines a yearlong examination of these topics in a small-classroom setting, exposure to a part of the world outside the U.S., and a capstone project that addresses social, economic, or political issues in the Evanston community.
Northwestern's Model Arab League is a region-specific club with a goal of educating Northwestern students about the difficulties of Arab diplomacy. Through our programming and our competitive conferences, Model Arab League provides Northwestern students the opportunity to develop public speaking, leadership, and debate skills in a professional diplomatic setting all while discussing Arab issues and politics.Northwestern University Political Union (NUPU)
NUPU is a community of students united by their common interest in discussion of political and global affairs. Bringing together students of various backgrounds, ideologies, and political persuasions, the Political Union aims to foster intellectualism, sincerity, and sophistication in campus political discourse.Northwestern University Model United Nations (NUMUN)
NUMUN's mission is to be the premier Model UN high school conference in the Midwest. NUMUN's high-quality, dedicated secretariat and staff create a personal, professional, and passionate simulation experience. NUMUN seeks to broaden delegates' knowledge of worldwide politics, increase interpersonal skills, and create impactful experiences.Politics & Policy (P&P)
P&P is a non-partisan student publication seeking to encourage informed political conversation on college campuses around the country. Made up of students of all majors and backgrounds P&P is a community of individuals interested in why world shaping events occur and what impact these events have on our lives. We publish non-partisan analysis of current events—local, national and international. We layer the opinions and leverage the minds of many to produce quality, objective analysis.