2. Literature Review and Approach
3. Roundtable (Results)
3.1. How University Partnerships Help Cities Achieve Sustainable Development
Erin Bromaghim and Angela Kim (City Partners)
3.2. Humanizing the SDGs: Student Empowerment to Advance the 2030 Agenda
Caroline Diamond and Alejo Maggini (Undergraduate Students)
- Students must believe in the mission of the SDGs to be passionate actors and advocates for their localization. In every project, our lived experiences, academic interests, and passions play a crucial role in shaping creative ways to achieve the SDGs. This spring semester, our common interests in restorative justice, community activism, and peacebuilding led to a project titled “From Truth and Reconciliation to Transformative Justice in L.A.” With this project, we have delved into the intersections of conflict resolution and government responsibility, while centering racial justice and community healing. We feel committed to SDG localization because we had the opportunity to shape this process with our varied interests and expertise.
- We cherish the relationships we have built with our student colleagues, faculty supervisors, and government officials. These relationships are founded on the belief that all of us are valuable to a conversation around SDG localization. We find that this level of collaboration is non-existent in most academic spaces. Working across professional sectors and education levels has expanded the depth of our research—combining knowledge of institutional history, past and present literature, grassroots movements and policy initiatives, and lived experience of the inequalities the SDGs address.
- Student-driven SDG research is experiential in nature. Experiential learning is a powerful path for undergraduate students to apply theoretical frameworks to the real world. Task Forces, unlike traditional internships, invite students to shape their working environment, express their aspirations, and assume full responsibility for their deliverables. In summer 2020, we completed separate projects with the Mayor’s Office of International Affairs and the Mayor’s Office of Economic Opportunity. Our final deliverables were the culmination of extensive quantitative and qualitative research, and the process itself provided valuable insight into transforming findings into engaging visuals and actionable recommendations.
- We believe in bringing the SDGs to the human level—one based on diversity, lived experience, and restorative practices. Task Forces become spaces for knowledge sharing and community building where we can shift our positions as “students” and “supervisors” to partners working to achieve the SDGs. Being able to voice our ideas with experts and public servants affirms that our background and experiences belong in these environments. The Task Force model and SDG partnerships have allowed us to express creative solutions for real world problems—showing that the ability to “do well” in class is not the only thing that matters in the academic sphere. We can be passionate activists for SDGs beyond our status as students.
3.3. Academic–Government Partnerships Offer Unique Opportunities for Graduate Students to Professionalize
Avery Everhart (PhD Candidate)
3.4. Cooperative Policy Making: Learning by Doing
Sofia Gruskin and Anthony Tirado Chase (Academic Advisors)
Institutional Review Board Statement
Informed Consent Statement
Conflicts of Interest
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