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Sunlight peers through the massive windows in Talley Student Union on Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2020.

NC State will host the University’s first research symposium on social equity, bringing together more than 100 researchers from across the campus to answer the question, “What does equity mean to you?”

The inaugural Equity Research Symposium features a keynote address from Raj Chetty, the William A. Ackman Professor of Public Economics at Harvard University and one of the youngest tenured faculty in Harvard history. 

“His work combines empirical evidence and economic theory to help design more effective government policies,” said symposium co-coordinator Juliana Makuchi Nfah-Abbenyi, assistant dean for diversity with a doctorate in literature. “He really has a big focus on the equality of opportunity. How can we give children from disadvantaged backgrounds better chances at succeeding?”

The University describes the event as “a true collaboration across the university and is sponsored by the deans of all 10 colleges.” Other collaborators include the Graduate School, the Division of Academic and Student Affairs, the University Office for Institutional Equity and Diversity, the Office of Research and Innovation and the Research Leadership Academy. 

“The goal of the symposium is to bring together researchers who are examining equity in their research so that we can develop these collaborations and potentially pursue interdisciplinary projects,” said symposium co-coordinator Karen Hollebrands, a professor in the College of Education.

Hollebrands said unity is a big part of the symposium.

“The goal of the symposium is to bring together researchers who are examining equity in their research so that we can develop these collaborations and potentially pursue interdisciplinary projects,” Hollebrands said.

Research on equity will be presented through the lens of gender, linguistic, educational, environmental, economic and racial dynamics, to name a few. The symposium will feature research presented through panel sessions, round tables, lightning sessions and poster presentations.

“We’re highlighting research across disciplines,” Hollebrands said. “You might think of research as something that's done in a lab … but research in social sciences often involves the study of people and systems … research can look very different depending on the discipline.”

The Equity Research Symposium takes place Feb. 8 in Talley Student Union, with sessions running from 8:30 a.m. until 6 p.m. The symposium is open to the NC State community and the general public in person or via livestream.

Both NC State and members of the general public may register in Talley Student Union on event day or sign up online in advance.