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Engineering, Social Justice, and Peace: Grounded in community, engaged in praxis was the seventh in a series focusing upon the connections between engineering, engineering education, social justice and peace. Previous conferences and workshops had been held in Kingston, Ontario, Indianapolis, Indiana, NewYork, New York, San Diego, California, and Binghamton, New York, hosted by Caroline Baillie, George Catalano, and others.
The 2008 conference theme, grounded in community, engaged in praxis, sought to examine the phenomena of service learning, community based learning and research, and community engagement on college campuses, as they intersect with engineering, social justice, and peace. Who is the community? Who is served by service learning in engineering? How are community members engaged in projects that democratize engineering, or that work toward social justice and peace in relation to technology in society? What are the possibilities for engineers' involvement in community movements for social justice and peace?
We explored these questions and posed new ones through conference activities, which included:
Participants came away from the conference with specific ideas on how we may promote social justice and peace through our teaching and our practice.
The conference was held on the campus of Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts. Since 2004, Smith is the first women's college in the United States to offer an accredited engineering program. Northampton is a lively small arts town located along the Connecticut River in Western Massachusetts, with plenty of cafes, music venues, galleries, and excellent food, all in a town of just 30,000. Follow links for directions and travel information, and for local accommodations.
Contact Donna Riley for more information (driley<at>smith<dot>edu).
The conference organizers wish to acknowledge the support provided by the Picker Engineering Program, the Program for the Study of Women and Gender, the Smith College Lecture Commitee, and the Smith College chapter of Engineers for a Sustainable World.