Reducing inequality in & among countries is the purpose of Sustainable Development Goal 10 (SDG 10). This goal strives to ensure access to resources, create equal opportunity, & improve migration practices.

Actions, stories, & resources related to SDG 10: Reduced Inequalities as told in the 2021 Auburn University and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals report, & then expanded on below, illustrate Auburn’s impact. For an overview highlighting our commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), please visit


Sustainable development requires reduced inequalities based on income, age, sex, gender, disability, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, and religion, not only within countries but also between countries. Inequality leads to crime, disease, and environmental degradation because it threatens long-term social and economic development. Auburn University is moderately engaged with Goal 10 across a variety of teaching, research, outreach, and student involvement categories.

Auburn University’s involvement with Goal 10 is especially well-represented through its teaching activities. Goal 10 has the most student organizations oriented toward it than any other SDG at Auburn University, indicating that Auburn University’s student body is invested in reducing inequalities. Auburn University seeks to better reflect the diversity of the world beyond the AU campus. Because of Auburn University’s mission as a land grant institution – “improving the lives of the people of Alabama, the nation, and the world.” – equality must be central to Auburn University’s activities.

View the 2021 report titled Auburn University and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals for an overview of Auburn’s contributions to all the SDGs.

Actions at Auburn

Student Excellence Programs (SEPs), overseen by the Office of Inclusion and Diversity, foster an inclusive academic environment for prospective and current students. SEPs focus on recruiting and retaining underrepresented students from diverse backgrounds. Through SEPs, underrepresented students are provided with information about financial aid, scholarships and fellowships, careers, and other success strategies. SEPs aim to bridge the gap between international and domestic students and inform underrepresented students about resources to help them succeed and excel at Auburn University. SEPs include Tiger Retreat, War Eagle Scholars Day, Academic Excellence 3.0 Ceremony, and Diversity Student Ambassadors.

Students at Student Excellence Program event SDG 10 Photo courtesy of Office of Inclusion and Diversity
Photo of Sustainability Compass Highlighting Society

Health disparities are systematic group differences in health indicators or health outcomes that are the result of past or present social injustice. The mission of the Health Equity Research Lab is to conduct cutting edge health disparities research and provide related training opportunities for students and scholars. The lab examines mechanisms for socioeconomic and racial disparities in health and health behaviors across the life span and to make clear how these mechanisms—and the overall magnitude of inequalities—are shifting in contemporary societies. The Health Equity Research Lab is housed in the College of Human Sciences.

College of Liberal Arts’ Dr. Rebecca Retzlaff studies urban planning history and law to better understand the systemic inequality prevalent in cities in the United States. Her article, “Connecting Public School Segregation with Urban Renewal and Interstate Highway Planning: The Case of Birmingham, Alabama,” analyzes the connection between public school segregation, Urban Renewal, and interstate highway construction in Birmingham, Alabama. The article argues that interstate highways and Urban Renewal were used to preserve segregation. Dr. Retzlaff’s research demonstrates how policies from decades ago can still perpetuate inequalities even today.

Map of Birmingham Alabama SDG 10 Image courtesy of Dr. Rebecca Retzlaff

People & Stories

Sustainable for Who? Decisions, Development, & Destruction

| Guest Posts, SDG10, SDG15, SDG17 | No Comments
By Ryan Thomson. What some people view to be progress, others call ruin. And visa-versa. The line between development and destruction has largely become a matter of perspective. You do need not to be a fervent conservationist or “tree hugger” to prefer an untamed river to a glass condominium. Conversely,…

Racial and Economic Disparity in the Age of COVID-19 

| SDG10, SDG5, SDG8, Sustainability in Action | No Comments
By Chloe McMahon.   As all of us know, COVID-19 has left an indelible mark on every aspect of our lives. For so many, 2020 has been a year marred by loss, and for others, we have grown increasingly thankful for all we did not lose. Globally, we have mourned the…

Director’s Corner December 2020: Concentrated Wealth or Democracy?

| Director's Corner, SDG, SDG10, SDG16, SDG5 | No Comments
“We must make our choice. We may have democracy, or we may have wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can’t have both.” ~ Louis Brandeis, Supreme Court Justice Goal 10 of the 17 international Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is Reduced Inequalities; specifically, income and wealth distribution…

Campus Changemaker: Spectrum: Auburn University’s Gay-Straight Alliance

| SDG10, SDG5, Sustainability in Action | No Comments
Spectrum, Auburn University’s LGBTQ+ and straight alliance, was founded in 1990. Since then, it has striven to become an inclusive and safe space for Auburn’s LGBTQ+ community, as well as for allies. This organization hosts a variety of meeting and events that center around two main elements: community and education.   Members of Spectrum showing…

The Pursuit of Equity: Understanding How to Reduce Inequality

| Guest Posts, SDG, SDG10, SDG11, SDG5 | No Comments
To lack equality, to experience or have injustice or partiality; these are the descriptions that populate when you google the definition of inequality. The year is 2020, and society has not progressed in the same facet or to the same magnitude as technology or athleticism. This should draw a red…

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