Who we are

The Academy is an initiative of the Community Action Council of Tulane University Students (CACTUS) and the Center for Public Service.  CACTUS provides leadership and guidance to the student-led service organizations on campus, facilitates service projects, and sponsors campus-wide service events.  The Academy complements the other council programs by providing first-year students the opportunity to become integrated into the Tulane service community and develop leadership skills that will support campus and community engagement efforts.  To learn about other CACTUS initiatives and CACTUS organizations, visit the council website by clicking on the link to the right.

Our Purpose

CACTUS Academy seeks to expose students to local social justice advocates, campus and community resources, and to create a space for meaningful discussions around community involvement and mobilization. The program encourages students to understand systemic community issues, to create engagement experiences that reflect each student’s own values, and  to contribute in a meaningful way to the body of work already being done.

Our Goals

  • Tulane University will produce a generation of engaged social activists who have the tools to build accountable, sustainable, and meaningful community action experiences.
  • Social Justice Efforts of Tulane University students will be integrated into similar work being done in the New Orleans community and have a positive impact on broader local, state, and national movements.

Our Objectives

  • To develop a critical consciousness of systematic societal issues and understand how those impact New Orleans
  • To encourage students to create a community network of local organizations and individual leaders of social movements
  • To increase student awareness and utilization of Tulane resources
  • To foster the development of professional and leadership skills


How it Works

  • Students participate in a variety of events that may range from training sessions to actual acts of protest and resistance
  • Students build relationships and explore the basics of social justice during weekly cohort meetings
  • Students focus on personal and professional development as well as goals setting during a group retreat