International forum to examine higher education leadership, social justice and democracy

Tuesday, June 7, 2022

Some 300 leaders from across the globe will gather to address democracy, social justice and sustainability in Dublin, Ireland, this month, including Dr. Byron P. White, Associate Provost of Urban Research and Community Engagement at UNC Charlotte.

The gathering is scheduled for June 16-17 at Dublin City University. Attendees will include leaders in higher education, nonprofits and government from the U.S., Europe, Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Latin America.

The Global Forum on Higher  Education Leadership for Democracy, Sustainability and Social Justice is organized by organizations including the Council of Europe, the International  Consortium for Higher Education, Civic Responsibility, and Democracy, the Organization of  American States, and the International Association of Universities.

According to the conference organizers, the event is meant to address “how higher education institutions can work together to respond to populist attacks on democracy itself, free and independent media and truth.” The conference will also examine questions such as how higher education institutions can engage in racial and social justice work beyond the campus and in their communities, as well as how to engage and support the most at-risk students.

From the conference description: “It is time to fundamentally reimagine the modern college and university. The modern college and university must function as a genuine public good, adequately supported by national and state budgets and independent of political interference and control.  Higher education institutions can do so only if they can demonstrate that they do, in fact, serve the public good, teach and reach multiple communities, foster student leadership and engagement, treat students as members of the academic community rather than as clients, develop a knowledge project commensurate with the problems we face, and act with other institutions and communities to help solve those problems.”

Key speakers include Pam Fredman, president of the International Association of Universities; Renée T. White, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs, The New School; G. Gabrielle Starr, president, Pomona College; and Nancy Cantor, chancellor, Rutgers University–Newark. Dr. White's invitation came on behalf of Ira Harkavy, Founding Director, Barbara and Edward Netter Center for Community Partnerships at the University of Pennsylvania and Chair of the International Consortium for Higher Education, Civic Responsibility, and Democracy. 

This is the seventh Global Forum event. Full details and a list of speakers and topics can be found at Global Forum 2022.