• 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

Description

A cohort-based program focused on the intersection of race and racism with engineering, technology, and innovation that runs from December 2021 to May 2022. It consists of three elements:

Education

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

December 2021 to January 2022

  • Workshops by the Racial Equity Institute (REI) conducted over Zoom
    • Groundwater (December 8, 2021 from 9 am to noon) - uses data to show racism is structural in nature
    • Phase 1 (December 9 and 10, 2021 from 9 am to 5 pm each day) - 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

Community

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

January 2022 to May 2022

Support Towards Action

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

January 2022 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 up to 30-35 participants.

Costs

Free for eligible participants

How to apply

The application period for 2021-2022 is now closed. You may add your name to the wait list to be considered if spots open up in the future.

Contacts

Cornelia Huellstrunk
Executive Director
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Website Project Manager