Cornell University: ILR expertise in civic action empowers communities to build more equitable future

2020 was a year of widespread unrest in the United States, with an estimated 15 to 26 million people protesting income inequality and racial injustice in more than 3,000 distinct locations according to the New York Times. Two years later, faced with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and new national priorities, millions of Americans who participated in demonstrations are wondering: What comes next?

At Cornell University, the ILR School has developed an answer using the expertise of its ILR Buffalo Co-Lab (ILR Buffalo) and community-based think tank Partnership for the Public Good (PPG). In January 2022, they launched an online certificate through eCornell entitled Equitable Community Change to provide practical training for individuals working in all sectors of society to build more equitable, just, and sustainable communities.

“The last two years brought thousands of demonstrations and equity actions across the U.S.,” said Sam Magavern, ILR visiting activist scholar and senior policy fellow at PPG. “People saw how much power they had when they worked together, and that was a big motivator for this certificate. Our philosophy is that you don’t do anything alone. These courses get people engaged in the civic conversation, which is very self-reinforcing.”

Equity also is at the heart of the Equitable Community Change certificate itself. The program encompasses six, two-week courses without prerequisites, and keeps class sizes under 35 people. As Weaver says, anyone can use the tools they teach to make change, whether public interest lawyers, activists and community development organizers; social workers; educators; or concerned citizens.

Comments are closed.