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Seton Hall University

Sustainable Development Teach-in Raises Awareness and Provides Lessons in Advocacy  

Sustainable Development

Left to right:
UNA-SHU E-board Renata Alvarenga, Danielle Lindo, Gabriela Taveras, Sarah Tabat, Daniel Garay, Liza Bell, Associate Professor, Martin Edward

Recently, hundreds of student from campus, as well as, Cranford High School, and Queen of Peace High School in North Arlington, convened in the Main Lounge for an engaging Teach-In designed to increase awareness and advocacy for the Sustainable Development Goals. The event professor, was organized by, associate Martin Edwards director of the Center for United Nations and Global Governance Studies of The School of Diplomacy and International Relations, as well as the United Nations Association of the United States.

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are the successor to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which guided international efforts in poverty reduction for the past 15 years. Backed by world leaders, the 17 global goals aim to tackle 3 main challenges by 2030: end extreme poverty, fight inequality and injustice, and fix climate change. The goals apply to all countries and will be a focus for UN efforts for the next 15 years.

“We’ve never done anything like this teach in before,” Edwards explained.

Students had the opportunity to interact with faculty in a one-on-one setting to discuss several different development goals in-depth:

  • Joseph O’Mahoney, School of Diplomacy and International Relations discussed Goal 16, Peace and Justice
  •  Catherine Tinker, School of Diplomacy and International Relations, covered Goals 6, 14 and 15, Water, Oceans and Land. 
  • Nalin Johri, School of Health and Medical Sciences, examined Goal 3, Health. 
  • James Daly, College of Education and Human Services discussed Goal 4, Education.
  • Alyson Neel, from the U.N. Foundation covered Goal 5, Gender.

Gabriela Taveras, founder and president of the UNA-USA campus chapter, explained the importance of the event. “For Seton Hall University, it is an opportunity for our community to frame its priorities in the international context and match up our needs as a campus with those of the rest of the world. The School of Diplomacy has been at the forefront of this, and has hosted a number of individuals who have played an instrumental role in the United Nations. This helps give a face to such a prestigious international institution and bring us closer to the actors involved in its day-to-day decision-making processes,” she explained.

The forum also provided an opportunity for high school students to participate and experience Seton Hall’s relationship to the U.N. Margaret Farrell, director of Guidance and English Language Learning at Queen of Peace High School described the value the seminar held for her students.

“Our connection to Seton Hall exposes our students to speeches by graduate students and events like these expand the world of our students. Our students need to be citizen of the world, and anything that moves that along is a step in the right direction,” Farrell said.

Michael Mangarelli, an educator at Cranford High School, shared that the event contributed to his school’s mission of building a 21st Century education system.

The Keynote Speaker, Alyson Neel of the United Nations Foundation shared that her advocacy started with representing victims of domestic violence in Turkey

“We are at the moment of greatest risk, the risk of being complacent now that we have agreed upon the goals, and grassroots activism and rewarding society for continuing its commitment matters,” Neel stated.

Edwards started students on their own path of advocacy, giving a lecture on the nature of op-ed writing.

“Educated people have a great responsibility to explain complicated things in a simplified manner. I am optimistic about the sustainable development goals. It’s a quiet success that we halved the rate of extreme poverty, and it’s hardly discussed. These goals are ambitious, but it isn’t bad. We have fifteen years to accomplish them,” he said.

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For additional details on the SDG’s click here»

Categories: Nation and World

For more information, please contact:

  • Martin Edwards
  • (973) 275-2507
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