"Trying to tackle any societal issue without understanding the impact of historical and structural racism is like trying to fathom the universe without knowing about carbon."
We want to create better problem solvers.
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:
September to October 2021
- Workshops by the Racial Equity Institute (REI)
- 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 common language and understanding of structural racism to work for change
October 2021 to May 2022
- Guided 1-hour conversations on a reading, podcast, or video
- Occur every 2 to 3 weeks
- Program participants must attend at least 4 sessions per year
Goal: Build a supportive peer group to continuously interact around these issues
Support Towards Action
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
Goal: Participants identify and begin to implement structural solutions in their workplaces and classrooms; share best practices
When is it?
The application period opens in late May/early June and ends in mid-July. The program runs from September 2021 through May 2022:
- September to October - Education
- October through May - Community
- December through May - Support Towards Action
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; $460 for non-SEAS participants
How to apply
- Three seats will be reserved for each SEAS department and center through Thursday, July 1, 2021.
- After July 1, 2021 any unreserved seats will be made available to other SEAS departments and centers on a first-come, first-served basis until Thursday, July 8, 2021.
- After July 8, 2021 any unreserved seats will be made available to non-SEAS Princeton faculty and staff on a first-come, first-served basis until Thursday, July 15, 2021. These participants will be charged $460 per person via chartstring charge back.
The application period will open in early June. Be notified when the application period opens.
Why was this program created?
- How does artificial intelligence often exacerbate racial disparities when it is thought to be neutral and unbiased?
- 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 are there so few Black professors in STEM?
- 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 these questions are rooted in an understanding of race and racism.
This is true for engineering, technology and innovation, and essential to understand because these fields have outsized and ever growing impacts on society. The study of race and racism and its intersection with these areas is of acute importance.
This program will make SEAS faculty and staff into better engineers, innovators, and problem solvers who will:
- Move beyond diversity and inclusion education and understand racism as a structural issue beyond individual acts or biases
- Recognize that the impacts of racism are embedded in all aspects of our society, including in STEM and innovation
- Develop the awareness to recognize racism within their spheres of influence on campus and in their personal lives
- Learn to assess and account for the ways structural racism impacts any field when creating an innovation or attempting to address a societal problem
- Identify and implement structural solutions within the School of Engineering and Applied Science
- Accurately factor in the effects of structural racism when designing structures, courses, programs, and pedagogies
- Develop solutions that reduce rather than exacerbate racial inequity