Monthly Social Issue

The Ballard Center exists to teach students how to solve social problems. In an effort to introduce and educate individuals about various social problems (and their corresponding evidence-based solutions), the Ballard Center is focusing on a social issue each month. Below you will find our monthly topic and corresponding events.

Be sure to follow our Instagram account and sign-up newsletter to receive more details on events, access to solution-based stories, and more. 

Connect with Us

If you are a department or club that is hosting an event that aligns with one of these topics, or if you are a professor doing research related to one of these topics, please contact us at

This month the Ballard Center for Social Impact is focusing on the issue of mental health. Mental health includes an individual’s emotional, psychological, and physical well-being. It affects all aspects of life and can be experienced at a range of different intensities. According to NAMI and NIHM, 1 in 4 adults (61.5 million Americans) experience mental illness in a given year and fewer than 1 out of 9 will seek treatment. See below to learn more about our various events!

Suicide Prevention Week

  • When: 6-12 September 2020

Movie Screening: The S Word

  • What: The S Word is a documentary that tackles one of the most unfathomable issues of our time; suicide. Join us in watching this film to open the conversation to reduce the shame and the silence. 
  • When: 16-26 September 2020
  • Where: Online

Campaign: Watch2Give

  • For every BYU student and employee that registers to watch The S Word, the Cook Center for Human Connection will donate $2 to Hope4Utah, a youth suicide prevention program. RSVP at 

Social Impact Association Workshop: QPR Training

  • What: Question, Persuade, and Refer (QPR); these are three steps anyone can learn to help prevent suicide. Just like CPR, QPR is an emergency response to someone in crisis and can save lives. QPR is the most widely taught Gatekeeper training in the world. This training is hosted by the Ballard Center’s Social Impact Association and provided by BYU’s CAPS services.
  • When: TBD

“Now Let’s Talk about it”

  • What: Mental Health Discussion featuring a BYU CAPS representative, Sponsored by the Social Impact Association.
  • When: 30 September 2020 at 6 p.m. MT
  • Where: Online

During the month of October, the Ballard Center is diving into racism. 

This feels timely after President Nelson’s compassionate words at General Conference: “I grieve that our Black brothers and sisters the world over are enduring the pains of racism and prejudice. Today, I call upon our members everywhere to lead out in abandoning attitudes and actions of prejudice. I plead with you to promote respect for all of God’s children.”

Do you ever wonder, “Are there ways I can promote more respect in our society?,” or “Do I have blind spots that are preventing me from being more inclusive?” If so, stay tuned. This month, we are connecting readers with educational opportunities, articles, and resources surrounding racism and inclusiveness. Below you will find a few events that you won’t want to miss.

Movie Screening: I am Not Your Negro, in partnership with International Cinema

  • What: Nominated for forty-four international awards, I Am Not Your Negro is a that examines race in America, from the Civil Rights movement up to the present-day. You won’t want to miss this film. (Did we mention it has a 99% rating on Rotten Tomatoes?) This movie is complementary to watch online for BYU students and employees. RSVP below to gain access to the screening.

“Now Let’s Talk about it”

  • What: Racism and bias discussion. Hosted by the Social Impact Association.
  • When: 28 October 2020 at 6 p.m. MT
  • Where: Online

Did you know that 10% of the world’s population lives in extreme poverty, surviving on less than $1.90 a day?

Though we’ve made great strides towards eradicating poverty in recent years, there’s still a lot of work to be done–including here in Utah! The United States has over 38.1 million citizens who suffer from the daily effects of poverty. It’s time to get involved!

This month, the Ballard Center will be focusing on Poverty as our monthly social issue. Be prepared to read some great materials, watch inspiring films, and learn a bit more about how to be a part of the solution! 

Movie Screening: The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind

  • What: Odds are, you’ve never had to blackmail your science teacher to gain access to the school library. For William Kamkwamba, however, that was the price of an education. A few years later, William’s education became invaluable. As his home village in Malawi began experiencing devastating drought and famines, it was up to William–and his background in engineering–to save the town from ruin. Come enjoy an award-winning film that is based on a true story, and leave feeling inspired.

Movie Screening: Living on One Dollar

  • What: What would it be like to live on $1 a day? That’s the question four young American friends set out to answer on a two-month expedition to Guatemala. Armed with only a video camera, they battle hunger, parasites, and extreme financial stress as they attempt to survive life on the edge–and learn about the reality that exists for over 1.1 billion people worldwide. Highly praised by figures like Nobel Laureate Muhammad Yunus and Director of The Hunger Games, Gary Ross, this film is a must-watch!

Kindness Day

Friday, 13 November 2020

Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week

  • When: 15-22 November 2020

“Now Let’s Talk about it”

  • What: Poverty discussion. Sponsored by the Social Impact Association.
  • When: TBD
  • Where: Online

Check back for more details.

  • Giving Tuesday
    • When: Tuesday, 1 December 2020
  • Human Rights Day
    • When: Thursday, 10 December 2020

Check back for more details.

Human Trafficking Awareness Day (Wear Blue)

  • When: Monday, 11 January 2021

Movie Screening: I am Jane Doe

  • Awarded a 91% on Rotten Tomatoes, I am Jane Doe is a documentary that chronicles the legal battle that several American mothers are waging on behalf of their middle-school daughters, who were trafficked for commercial sex on, the classified advertising website formerly owned by the Village Voice. The film is a gut-wrenching wake up call for any who believe that human trafficking has been fully stamped out in the United States. Watch-party questions will be provided.
  • When: 13-30 January

Where: Online


Movie Screening: The True Cost

  • When we shop for clothes, it’s often the price tags that catch our eye first. But what if we learned that the real price of our fashion goes far beyond what we could have imagined? In The True Cost, a documentary film by Andrew Morgan, the garment industry is looked at through a new lens. It explores the life of low-wage garment workers in developing countries and the after-effects of production such as river and soil pollution, pesticide contamination, disease, and death. Get ready to see the fashion industry with fresh eyes this January 13-30!
  • When: 13-30 January
  • Where: Online

Check back for more details.

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  • International Women’s Day:
    • When: Monday, 8 March 2021
  • Women’s History Month

Check back for more details.

  • Earth Day
    • When: Thursday, 22 April 2021

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