Seminar to discuss social justice

Pratiksha Joshi
Staff Writer

The Institute for Humane Studies (IHS) is organizing a daylong seminar entitled “Social Justice and Fairness” to take place on Saturday, April 1, in Patterson Hall Room 300 from 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
“We at the Johnson Center are the bridge between Troy University and IHS,” said David Hebert, assistant professor of economics and finance.
“Several professors at the Johnson Center have worked closely with the IHS before, so when the IHS proposed this event to the Troy University administration, we took the necessary steps to provide this seminar with what it needed.”
This seminar will comprise various discussions on social justice and fairness, presentations by four guest speakers, Q&A sessions, screening of the film “Poverty, Inc.” and two meals: a lunch and a dinner.
The guest speakers will be Chris Frieman, associate professor of philosophy from College of William and Mary; Adam Martin, assistant professor of agricultural and applied economics at Texas Tech University; Peter Jaworski, assistant teaching professor of business ethics at Georgetown University; and Lauren Heller, assistant professor of economics at Berry College.
“The reason why we have these business and economics professors coming in is because the broad goal of the seminar is to talk about this issue in terms of politics, philosophy and economics,” said Hebert.
“These branches are really important towards understanding what social justice is and how to achieve it.”
IHS is a nonprofit educational organization that encourages students and professors toward the study and advancement of freedom.
IHS has been holding such social justice seminars and debates in various states throughout the country. Sponsored by the John Templeton Foundation, these events examine the big questions surrounding society today from a liberal classical perspective, often across a broad range of disciplines.
Several students shared their ideas on the various social issues that exist in society today.
“I think one of the biggest problems are discrimination and prejudice against certain religions, like with Islam in America,” said Tori Colvin, a junior chemistry and physics double major from Daleville.
“The first step to stopping the discrimination and prejudice is to educate the people on what the religion actually stands for and about their beliefs.”
Hebert agrees that this discrimination hinders the U.S. as a nation.
“Social justice is something we all want. We certainly don’t want discrimination taking place; we don’t want people being left behind because of ethnic, racial or background situations,” said Hebert.
“Another one of the pressing social issues is cyber security,” said Mavis Awuku, a freshman nursing major from Koforidua, Ghana.
“I think it can be best solved when computer and internet providers work together to make policies for people’s safety and privacy.”
Finding solutions to these problems can be daunting, but there are practical steps individuals can take to begin to solve these problems.
“I think the first step to bringing about any change is to be aware of the problem,” said Hebert.
“The next step is to investigate and find specific causes of the problem; what they do next is largely up to the individual.”
Registration for the event can be completed directly through the IHS website. Limited travel scholarships are available for students who need assistance with either traveling to the event or lodging.
The seminar is a free event designed specifically for college students, but is open for nonstudents as well.
More information about the seminar can be found at

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