Democratic Practice explores the principles, progress, and setbacks of democracy at a time of authoritarian resurgence. OSUN’s programs examine contemporary and historical dynamics of democratic practice and open society, including the erosion of democracy in today’s world, and opportunities to advance democratic practice in the face of current challenges.
Sustainability and Climate
Sustainability is a defining challenge of our age, as the ambitions of human enterprise continue on a collision course with planetary life support systems. OSUN provides a distinctive combination of: interdisciplinary study across environmental, social, economic, and governance dimensions; rigorous scientific inquiry; emphasis on sustainability as a decision and leadership challenge; explicit solutions orientation; and truly global perspectives.
Inequalities of multiple types characterize the contemporary world. OSUN’s programs explore the causes and consequences of inequalities within and between societies, including national and global disparities in income and wealth, social and political dimensions of inequality, and various forms of inequality related to gender, race, ethnicity, and forced displacement.
Human rights are under assault around the world. OSUN deepens the theoretical interdisciplinary knowledge and strengthens the skills for empirical analysis to defend and advance human rights. It interweaves the study of human rights law, politics, and advocacy with a focus on the power of aesthetic, performative, and curatorial forms in human rights struggles.
Many of the twenty-first century’s most urgent global problems—from climate change to forced migration to global pandemics—present unprecedented challenges to humankind and have given rise to new forms of social, political and economic injustice. OSUN programs in Global Justice explore how individuals and groups can organize within and across state borders to develop new mechanisms of global governance, agitate for social change, hold power accountable and build more just and inclusive societies at the local, national and global levels.
Arts and Society
Arts and Society promotes expression of contemporary life, including dissent, difference, and the full power of the human imagination. OSUN programs promote cross-cultural study and presentation of work in fields ranging from poetry to film, photography, and dance and connect the arts to politics and society, including freedom of expression and struggles against oppressive regimes.
Global Public Health
The COVID-19 pandemic has precipitated massive disruptions to global health systems already compromised by deeply rooted inequalities in global distribution and access to quality health solutions. OSUN offers a range of education, research and advocacy initiatives in Global Public Health that respond to these dire circumstances. OSUN’s distinct programs advance a global vision that fosters and promotes a rights-based approach to Public Health policy, emphasizing the connectedness of science, policy and practice, knowledge, access to credible data and sound communications on population and global health.
- Liberal arts pedagogy and teacher education to promote student-centered learning
- Early colleges, microcolleges, and pre-undergraduate programs to prepare underprivileged students for university
- Refugee education for displaced persons to enter or resume higher education
- Education in prison
- Civic engagement, including student-led initiatives, socially engaged research, and a global debate network
- People with disabilities who are excluded from attending higher education
- Inclusion of students who have difficulties attending higher education because they are discriminated against based on gender considerations
- Support and integration of threatened scholars from around the world