Onlife Learning: Moving Beyond Binaries, Getting to the Heart of Education

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Brief Abstract

Whether sitting in the same room or interacting through a computer screen, relationships are at the heart of education. How do we design experiences that draw on the strengths and energize the potential of all students? In this talk, Ruha Benjamin will pair concrete examples of social and emotional learning with social scientific insights on equity and justice which, taken together, provide educators with tools to create authentic and transformative learning environments.

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Ruha Benjamin is a professor of African American Studies at Princeton University and author of People’s Science: Bodies and Rights on the Stem Cell Frontieras well as Race After Technology: Abolitionist Tools for the New Jim Code, which examines the relationship between machine bias and systemic racism, analyzing specific cases of 'discriminatory design' and offering tools for a socially-conscious approach to tech development. Race After Technology was awarded Brooklyn Public Library’s 2020 Nonfiction Prize. She has studied the social dimensions of science, technology, and medicine for over fifteen years and speaks widely on issues of innovation, equity, health, and justice in the U.S. and globally. Ruha is the recipient of many awards and honors, including the 2017 President’s Award for Distinguished Teaching at Princeton. Her work is published in numerous journals, including Science, Technology, and Human Values; Policy & Society; Ethnicity & Health; and the Annals of the American Academy of Social and Political Science and reported on in national and international news outlets. Her next book, Viral Justice: How We Grow the World We Want, releasing in 2022 was born out of the twin plagues of COVID-19 and police violence—a double crisis that has since created a portal for rethinking all that we’ve taken for granted about the social order and life on this planet.

Extended Abstract