The Environmental Citizenship Speaker Series is an ongoing opportunity to engage the entire St. Mary’s College community in a sustained conversation about nature, national identity, and how stewardship shapes our individual and collective beliefs, attitudes, and actions in the public sphere. How does nature fit into our conceptions of citizenship? In what ways do communities cultivate attitudes and aptitudes aimed at moving society toward a more environmentally, socially, and economically just path? What is the role of science and the liberal arts in shaping human-nature interactions? Since environmental stewardship is central to the school’s mission and values, it is essential we explore publicly how it connects with and underscores central tenets of liberal arts education; namely, cultivating civic responsibility and leadership potential through critical and creative dialogue across the sciences, social sciences, and humanities.
“Alexa: Am I Racist?” Social Science Meets Smart Tech in the Internet Age
Thursday, April 19, 2018
Free and Open to the Public
In his presentation, “’Alexa: Am I Racist?’: Social Science Meets Tech in the Internet Age,” cultural anthropologist and educational technology entrepreneur Michael Baran will explore the intersection of innovative smartphone apps with deep, ethnographic research for social change. As President and CEO of Interactive Diversity Solutions, he consults for businesses, universities and non-profits on issues related to diversity, equity, and inclusion, often incorporating digital tools he creates as part of a blended approach. His digital program “(Don’t) Guess My Race” was recently selected as one of the top 100 most inspiring innovations in education globally by the Finland-based education group hundrED.org.
Dr. Baran’s presentation is part of the Environmental Citizenship Speaker Series, which asks critical, cross-disciplinary questions about stewardship and the public sphere, inviting experts and practitioners to campus to share insights, foster dialogue, and inspire action.
Michael Baran is a cultural anthropologist with more than twenty years of experience conducting ethnographic research for social change on a variety of issues, including race and identity, racial disparities in education, violence against children, healthy housing, environmental health, human services, criminal justice reform, immigration reform, climate change, and early childhood development.
Currently a Principal Researcher at the American Institutes for Research, he manages several research-to-practice projects in which deep ethnographic cultural research is used to inform strategic messaging campaigns, outreach and interventions on a wide range of topics.
Series co-sponsors: Environmental Studies Program, The Lecture & Fine Arts Committee, the Associate Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion, , the Center for the Study of Democracy, and the Departments of Biology, Chemistry & Biochemistry, Psychology, Political Science, Philosophy and Religious Studies.