On July 20th, I was able to attend “Centering Racial Equity in Equitable and Sustainable Development” virtually through BlueJeans. This event, hosted by Serve-Learn-Sustain and the summer iGniTe program, could not have come at a more pivotal time. With the revitalized urgency around the Black Lives Matter movement following the unjust murder of George Floyd in May of 2020, I have been trying to attend any conversations around racial equity that I can.
Saddened by the loss of an Atlanta and civil rights icon, SLS takes a moment to honor the legacy of John Lewis. The NYT's obituary is an excellent primer on his life, and we also encourage you to read Ibram Kendi's Atlantic pie
The Living Future Conference, normally held in person, came together online this year in May. The theme of “Sustaining Hope Within Crisis,” originally intended to reflect climate emergency, became more relevant in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. The International Living Future Institute (ILFI) asked themselves, “what does good look like?” for gathering the global community online. They determined it was a time to be together as much as possible, through whatever means available, to share ideas, stories, and hopes, but also fears, obstacles, and concerns.
Early in June, SLS partner, Georgia Tech's Center for Teaching and Learning, facilitated conversations around supporting students in the current moment, with a focus on opportunities for instructors to learn strategies for engaging their students in conversations around race and racism. Although the sessions were not recorded in order to give faculty the space to speak honestly during the discussion, Carol Sabino Sullivan, CTL assistant director of faculty teaching and learning initiatives, recently wrote about the highlights from the sessions and advice from the conversation lead
Serve-Learn-Sustain emphasizes equity in our approach to sustainability. Many of the courses that are affiliated with us (and some that are not!) can help you develop new perspectives on understanding equity and justice in health, the built environment, history, energy, education, industry, and many other areas where your coursework and requirements may lead you. As many of you seek to take positive action through educating yourself on issues such as the roots of systemic inequity, why not seize this moment to take a class about race, health, equity and power.
Bill Winders is Professor of Sociology in the School of History and Sociology at Georgia Tech. One of the courses he teaches regularly is HTS 3068: Social Movements.
Over the years, some of my research has examined different aspects of social movements, including how social movements influence political policies. I am pleased to have this opportunity to reflect on the current and historic protests about racial injustice and inequality that have enveloped the country.
If you’re like us - you’ve been asking yourself this question on a daily basis for the last few months. And even more so, over the last few weeks. The world is, at the same time, at a standstill and immersed in chaos. As SLS student fellow Mira Kaufman so eloquently wrote about a few weeks ago in our SLS Reflections blog, COVID-19 has starkly revealed and exacerbated longstanding inequities in all of the systems that structure our society.