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Department of Sociology, Anthropology & Social Work
Social Justice Lecture Series

Learning from the Past, Improving the Present, and Preparing for the Future


In 2022, the Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Social Work organized the annual Social Justice Lecture Series as a means to bring nationally and internationally known advocates to Auburn to share expertise and experience on topics related to social, economic, and environmental justice.


Fall 2023 - Catherine Coleman Flowers

 Catherine Coleman Flowers

Catherine Coleman Flowers is the founder of the Center for Rural Enterprise and Environmental Justice (CREEJ) which seeks the implementation of best practices to address the reduction of health and economic disparities, improve access to clean air, water, and soil in marginalized rural communities by influencing policy, inspiring innovation, catalyzing relevant research, and amplifying the voices of community leaders. This is done within the context of climate change and through the lens of environmental justice.

A member of the Board of Directors for the Climate Reality Project and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), Flowers is employed as the Rural Development Manager for the Equal Justice Initiative. She also serves as a Senior Fellow for the Center for Earth Ethics at Union Theological Seminary. Her goal is to find solutions to raw sewage that exist in rural communities throughout the United States. Catherine is also an internationally recognized advocate for the human right to water and sanitation and works to make the UN Sustainable Development Agenda accountable to front-line communities. Her journey is chronicled in her book titled Waste: One Woman’s Fight Against America’s Dirty Secret, which will be published by the New Press this fall. Flowers was recently awarded a 2020 MacArthur Fellowship grant for her work as an environmental health advocate. Learn more about her work here.


Fall 2022 - David L. Garlock

David Garlock

David L. Garlock is a successful returning citizen and criminal justice reform leader. Sharing his powerful testimony of grace and redemption, as well as leveraging his professional expertise and wide-reaching network, David fights for second chances for all and believes that everyone is worthy to be restored. Learn more about his work here.