• Why are certain neighborhoods 5 to 20 degrees hotter than other neighborhoods in the same city?
  • What are the considerations for public health officials when trying to vaccinate Americans against COVID-19?
  • Why is traffic so bad in Atlanta?
  • Why does life expectancy vary by 20 to 30 years within the same city based on the neighborhood in which a person lives?

The answers to the above questions are rooted in an understanding of race and racism.

"Trying to tackle any innovation or societal issue without understanding the impact of historical and structural racism is like trying to fathom the universe without knowing about carbon."

If you're a faculty member, postdoc, researcher, or staff in the School of Engineering and want to know why, this program is for you. Participants will:

  • Create better solutions by learning to assess and account for the ways structural racism impacts any field when creating an innovation or attempting to address a societal problem
  • Gain a framework for revealing basic design flaws in their innovations
  • Understand how racism hurts everyone, not just people of color
  • Develop solutions that reduce rather than exacerbate racial inequity
  • Expand their understanding of racism to be a structural issue beyond individual acts or biases


A cohort-based program focused on the intersection of race and racism with engineering, technology, and innovation spanning academic year 2021-2022. It consists of three elements:


Goal: Build common language and understanding of structural racism to work for change

September to October 2021

  • Workshops by the Racial Equity Institute (REI) likely to be offered in house during Fall midterm week (October 11-15) and/or Fall recess (October 18-22)
    • Groundwater (3-3.5 hours) - uses data to show racism is structural in nature
    • Phase 1 (2 days) - shows how institutions, systems, and culture produce unjust and inequitable outcomes; helps participants recognize historical and root causes of disparities
    • Note: The learnings from the above workshops are foundational to the program. If a participant is unable to attend when these workshops are brought to Princeton, they may alternatively pay to attend these workshops when offered to the public within the relevant time frame.
  • Workshop by Janet Vertesi, Associate Professor of Sociology, Princeton University
    • Values in Technology and Design (1-2 hours) - shows how societal values are often baked into technology
  • Inclusive and Equitable Teaching workshops and resources by McGraw Center


Goal: Build a supportive peer group to continuously interact around these issues

October 2021 to May 2022

Support Towards Action

Goal: Participants identify and begin to implement structural solutions in their workplaces and classrooms; share best practices

December 2021 to May 2022

  • Intake and project scoping meeting with experts who can coach and/or advise participants
  • Followup progress meeting with expert(s)
  • Private, 1-on-1 office hours with expert(s) (as needed)
  • Participants will work individually or in small groups to develop structural solutions

Who can participate?

Faculty and staff in Princeton's School of Engineering and Applied Science (SEAS). Participants must commit to fulfilling the requirements of the year-long program with the goal of identifying and implementing at least one structural solution in their workplace or classroom. Each cohort will consist of 30-35 participants.


Free for eligible participants; $498 for non-SEAS participants

How to apply

  • Three seats will be initially be reserved for each SEAS department and center.
  • After July 23, 2021 any unreserved seats will be made available to other SEAS departments and centers on a first-come, first-served basis until Friday, July 30, 2021.
  • After August 9, 2021 any unreserved seats will be made available to non-SEAS Princeton faculty and staff on a first-come, first-served basis. These participants will be charged $499 per person via chartstring charge back.

Apply by Friday, August 20.

Apply now


Cornelia Huellstrunk
Executive Director
Website Project Manager