Liberating Learning: Social Justice in The Chemical Engineering Curriculum

Facilitated by:
Donna Riley, Ph.D., Purdue University
Sindia M. Rivera-Jiménez, Ph.D., University of Florida

Offered on: November 7th, 2021, 2021 AIChE National Conference

For questions or comments:

Workshop Goals

Workshop participants will be able to identify and discuss:

  • Why social justice is important for the chemical engineering profession and curriculum.
  • Strategies on how the content and pedagogy for a course.
  • What activities participants can do in their classrooms.
  • Common challenges in implementing a social justice curriculum.
  • Strategies to get started in social justice work and advocacy.

Workshop Handout

Reflection about our motivation

  1. Why are you here with us?
  2. What is your motivation?

Reflection about your courses

  • What courses do you teach?
  • Select a topic you can reframe in your course
  • What SJ questions you can ask related to this topic?

Reflection about classroom activities

  • What activities you can do in your classroom?
  • What learning outcomes can be addressed when discussing SJ?

Reflection about challenges you may encounter

  • What challenges you foresee when implement these efforts in your classroom?

Reflection about how you can act now

  • What do social justice pedagogies & curricula look like in your classroom?
  • What will ChemE-related programs look like when social justice is infused in your courses?

Download a copy of the question:


  • Freire, Paulo, 1921-1997. (2000). Pedagogy of the oppressed. New York :Continuum
  • Hooks, Bell. (1994). Teaching to transgress: education as the practice of freedom . London: Routledge.
  • Eubanks, V. (2018). Automating inequality: how high-tech tools profile, police, and punish the poor. First edition. New York, NY: St. Martin’s Press.
  • Noble, S. U. (2018). Algorithms of oppression: How search engines reinforce racism. New York University Press.
  • Harris, C. E., Pritchard, M. S., & Rabins, M. J. (1995). Engineering ethics: Concepts and cases. Belmont, Calif: Wadsworth.
  • Riley, D. (2011). Engineering thermodynamics and 21st century energy problems: A textbook companion for student engagement. Synthesis Lectures on Engineering, 6(3), 1-97.
  • Antonia Darder, Marta Baltodano, and Rodolfo D. Torres (Eds.), The Critical Pedagogy Reader. (2017), New York: Routledge Falmer

Resources: Journals and Articles

Resources: Reports

Resources: Other