Promoting peaceful & inclusive societies for sustainable development, providing access to justice for all & building effective, accountable & inclusive institutions at all levels is the purpose of Sustainable Development Goal 16 (SDG 16).

Actions, stories, & resources related to SDG 16: Peace, Justice & Strong Institutions 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


Promoting peace, justice, and strong institutions means supporting inclusive societies; providing justice for all; and building effective, accountable institutions. Advancing all other SDGs cannot be done without peace, justice, and strong institutions because fear, corruption, violence, oppression, and discrimination undermine all of the SDGs. Auburn University moderately engages with Goal 16 across teaching, research, and outreach activities. Teaching activities are Auburn University’s main method of engaging with Goal 16, providing no fewer than 14 courses related to promoting peace, justice, and strong institutions from 2016-2018.

Auburn University’s strategic plan highlights Auburn University’s goal to “address society’s most challenging issues.” Addressing society’s most challenging issues will require engagement with institutions at all levels to make enduring, positive change that will reverberate throughout the community, state, nation, and world. Establishing peace and justice will involve all Auburn men and women, and Auburn University has the power to spark the spread of peace and justice in our institutions because of its scale and reach of influence.

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

The Global Studies in Human Sciences Major, housed in the College of Human Sciences, is designed to educate students on relevant global issues, the realities of globalization and how local and global issues are interconnected. The major draws on content relevant to human sciences, such as international nutrition, hunger and food insecurity, microlending and entrepreneurship, environmental sustainability, maternal and child health, education of women and girls, global markets, goods and services, humanitarian aid, and social policy. Students are trained to activate their critical and design-thinking skills for positive global change and become true global citizens.

students in global studies sdg Photo courtesy of Gabriela Hayes
Decorative Image sdg Logo courtesy of Government and Economic Development Institute

The mission of Government & Economic Development Institute (GEDI), part of Auburn University Outreach, is to promote improved government policy and management, civic engagement, economic prosperity, and improved quality of life for the State of Alabama and its communities. GEDI prioritizes enhancing local economic and leadership development in communities across the state and beyond. GEDI offers services in education, training, and professional development; community assistance, engagement, and consulting; and applied and policy research. The center develops entrepreneurs, businesses, and Alabama’s local government sector through workshops and conferences.

Juvenile Delinquency Lab is the result of a 20-year partnership between Alabama Department of Youth Services and AU’s Department of Psychological Sciences. This partnership provides residential treatment services for adolescents adjudicated for illegal sexual behavior. The Lab collects data to inform individual treatment decisions for clients and provides information about the overall functioning of the treatment model in order to inform decision-making for the program. The success of the partnership speaks to the importance of this institutional model in bringing about client-centered results. All who are involved in this partnership are motivated by the results of the data showing mental health and behavioral improvements in the youth served.

Mount Meigs Campus photo sdg Photo courtesy of Alabama Department of Youth Services

People & Stories

Is the Response to Climate Change a War? Yes. And No.

| Director's Corner, SDG13, SDG16 | No Comments
As I write this, the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties – COP 26 for short – is about to convene in Glasgow Scotland.  It opens on October 31 and ends on November 12.  Before 1995 when COP 1 was convened we already knew that planetary warming…

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…

International Justice Mission & the Fight Against Violence

| Guest Posts, SDG1, SDG11, SDG16, SDG5 | No Comments
There are an estimated 40 million people that are trapped in different forms of slavery around the world. That is more people in slavery than ever before in history. Human trafficking itself is a $150 billion industry – and it’s growing rapidly. International Justice Mission is a global organization fighting…


| Guest Posts, SDG1, SDG10, SDG16 | No Comments
The Lee Country Remembrance Project (LCRP) was created to “confront the history of racial terror in Lee County and engage our community in public conversations about the narrative of racial difference and the legacy of racial inequality.” It is a grassroots initiative run in Auburn by Ashley Brown and Olivia Nichols,…

Director’s Corner: Healing the Heart of Democracy

| Director's Corner, SDG11, SDG16, SDG17, SDG9 | No Comments
“The human heart is the first home of democracy.  It is where we embrace our questions.  Can we be equitable? Can we be generous?  Can we listen with our whole beings, not just our minds, and offer our attention rather than our opinions?  And do we have enough resolve in…

Explore the SDGs & AU