Nov. 27, 2007 – Honors students are taking civic engagement into their own hands by organizing and leading a symposium on social justice.
The two-day event, titled “Exploring Social Justice: a student symposium on social justice issues,” will take place Friday, Nov. 30 from 1 to 4 p.m. in the Hinckley Institute of Politics in Orson Spencer Hall, room 253 on the University of Utah Campus and Saturday, Dec. 1 from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Salt Lake City Main Library room A and B on 210 East, 400 South. The symposium is free and open to the public.
Created entirely by honors students as part of an Honors Professorship course titled “Historic and Contemporary Issues in Social Justice,” the event reflects the students’ vision of what a symposium on social justice should accomplish.
“The students have created a public forum in which they can bring forth issues central to their platform of social justice,” says Lisa Flores, associate professor of communication and co-teacher of the course with Mary Ann Villarreal, assistant professor of history.
Flores and Villarreal received this year’s Honors Professorship and are using the funds for the creation of the student-organized forum. Flores commends the independence of the students and their resolve to design, organize and conduct the event according to their priorities.
“That they have succeeded in creating this symposium, from start to finish, while also completing their own individual research that they will present at the symposium speaks volumes about their abilities and commitment,” explains Flores.
Joseph Bateman, an honors student majoring in English and communications, explains that the conference is about making the world better for future generations. “As a society, we used to believe that our children would be better off than our parents. Unfortunately, we have digressed to an unsustainable point in which our children inherit a world with even greater challenges than we face today.”
The symposium will include campus and community members who will explore historic and contemporary issues of social justice and injustice. Flores says that the support of the Honors College and its commitment to civic engagement impresses upon the students the need to think broadly about social justice, involving a diverse community of people in the discussion.
About the Honors Professorship
Each year, at least one faculty member at the University of Utah is selected to receive the Honors Professorship. Chosen by the members of the Honors Policy Board and representatives of the National Honors Advisory Committee, the recipient is granted a $5,000 award, designed to recognize innovation in pedagogy, content, curriculum, research about honors education or other contributions to the education of honors students.
Created to foster excellence in undergraduate education, the Honors Professorship offers faculty the opportunity to launch new projects in undergraduate education that will make significant differences in students’ educational experiences. The Honors Professor holds this position for one academic year. Half of the $5,000 award may be used by the recipient and the remaining half may be dedicated to the project.
For more information about the symposium or the “Historic and Contemporary Issues in Social Justice” Honors Professorship course, contact Lisa Flores at 801-585-1887 or firstname.lastname@example.org.