Fall Symposium Recap

With our Fall Symposium, “Who Is Included? Restructuring Our Work and Our World”, an event held on December 6 at The Graduate Center, The Futures Initiative wrapped up the semester with faculty and students from our Fall 2018 Team-Taught Courses. They all took the stage in what was the culmination of a fruitful series of courses that are aimed at supporting diversity, equity, and student-centered interdisciplinary learning at the graduate level.

This was also a unique opportunity to learn about the nuts and bolts of our organization, as The Futures Initiative Team walked the talk and made the audience engage in a practical example of how we think and work for a more equitable and innovative higher education.

Whether subtle or overt, the dynamics of inclusion and exclusion are all around us. Classrooms, workplaces, and cultural representations are all sites of welcome or alienation (or both). This timely event included discussion, hands-on workshop sessions, and even an opera performance —all with the aim of considering the ways in which the structures that surround us do or do not contribute to a sense of belonging and agency. As educators, students, and practitioners, we have an opportunity to help design more equitable futures.

The symposium was structured in sessions that drew on the three team-taught courses last Fall:

  • Environmental Psychology of Care focused on the relationships between care and the physical environment.
  • Mind the Gap: The Future of Work dealt with the policies, technologies, and social systems that should be anticipated today to ensure positive outcomes for the future.
  • Disability, Culture, and Society addressed the ways that representation of disability in literature, art, music, theater, film, and popular culture—the ways that bodies and minds constructed as disabled are depicted—both reflect and shape cultural understandings of nonconforming identities and extraordinary bodies, affecting the lived experience of people understood as disabled, often in negative ways.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

Before the end, since we strive to be inclusive by nature, the Futures Initiative Graduate Fellows lifted the curtain and showed the audience our program’s backstage.

In this Google Doc you can find the complete schedule for that day and speaker bios.


The Futures Initiative
The Graduate Center, CUNY
365 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10016-4309