Social Justice: Valuing Difference, Pursuing Equity, and Finding Space for Solidarity

Within a Sustainable Development framework and embracing a human rights approach (Androff, 2016; Declaration of Human Rights, 1984), we at the Millersville University School of Social Work’s Learning Institute are dedicated to the interrogation of global social issues that violate or compromise individuals’ ability to live with the freedoms and protections to which they are entitled.  The fundamental assumption embodied by human rights is that each person is a moral and rational being who deserves to be treated with dignity (United for Human Rights, 2017).

In collaboration with various Departments and Offices at Millersville University, The Learning Institute provides a platform from which experts from various disciplines share their knowledge and offer training for agents of social change.  Each year, The Learning Institute hosts events that center on a particular theme reflected in the Learning Institute’s literature, roster of speakers, and annual conference. For the 2018-2019 academic year, the Learning Institute is focused on race and racism.

We cannot realize racial justice until we are willing to talk about the injustices and inequities that exist across all levels in our society.  According to the Southern Poverty Law Center (2018), racial justice it fairness for all people, promoted by both individuals and government.  Through your attendance at this year’s conference, we hope to spark conversations and ignite action as you identify ways to promote social justice, everyday by positively affecting your spheres of influence.

This year’s conference, Social Justice: Valuing Difference, Pursuing Equity, and Finding Space for Solidarity, invites presentations (paper, roundtable, and workshop) that explore the realization of social justice and human rights and its myriad dimensions and manifestations.  Our conference welcomes research that identifies barriers to social justice and human rights, as well as strategies (policies, programs, and practices) to promote social justice and human rights across diverse populations.  These presentations may be original research, theoretical framework(s), clinical interventions, pedagogy, and/or policy/advocacy.  Human rights are complex and multifaceted; strategies to enhance it require equally complex and interdisciplinary responses.  Scholars, practitioners, students, and agents of social change from all disciplines are encouraged to submit proposals.


The conference will take place on Millersville University’s campus (1 N. George Street, Millersville, PA) from April 24-26, 2019.

Please contact Karen Rice at with any questions.  We look forward to seeing you in Lancaster County, PA in April!



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