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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 17: Partnerships for the Goals are shared in our latest Auburn University and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals report. They are shared below to illustrate Auburn’s impact. They are shared below to illustrate Auburn’s impact. For an overview highlighting our commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), please visit

Sustainable Development Goals Logo


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 engages less with Goal 16 across teaching, outreach, and research activities. Teaching activities are Auburn University’s main method of engaging with Goal 16, providing no fewer than 31 courses related to promoting peace, justice, and strong institutions from 2019-2021. 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 must 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 our most recent Auburn University and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals report  for an overview of Auburn’s contributions to all the SDGs.

Actions at Auburn

Students at the National Memorial for Peace and Justice

Auburn University offers a minor, undergraduate degree, and graduate degree in social work in the College of Liberal Arts and the Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Social Work. By studying human behavior and norms, as well as social adaptations and movements, the Master of Social Work program includes both research and application in order to reach those who
are “economically, physically, mentally, or socially disadvantaged.” Dedicated to scholarship, professional practice, and advocacy, Auburn equips students to improve underperforming institutions by offering multifaceted solutions. Hands-on practice and experience enable students to develop practical skills for future careers in social welfare.

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

The Model United Nations, housed in the Department of Political Science within the College of Liberal Arts, is a student organization aimed at providing a realistic panel experience similar to that of the United Nations (UN). The club is open to all majors and stresses the interdisciplinary nature of the UN itself, in that public speaking, research, and debate skills will prove to be useful in an ever-globalizing world. In 2021, Auburn’s United Nations team competed in the Southern Regional Model United Nations Charlotte Virtual Conference. The group received a top 10 distinction and was recognized as an “Outstanding Delegation for Position Papers” for the first time in the club history.

Students in front of the Cloud in Chicago
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.

Polling planning design

Dr. Bridgett King is the Director of the Master of Public Administration Program and an Associate Professor within the College of Liberal Arts. Dr. King’s research specialization focuses on election administration, public policy, citizen voting experiences, and race and ethnicity. Particularly, King’s work involves the administrative structure of felony disenfranchisement and stigmatization and consequentially, its effect on participation and representation, citizen confidence in electoral outcomes, and the effects of administration discretion on voter experiences and democratic representation. She also collaborates on interdisciplinary projects that apply systems and architectural engineering approaches to the realm of election administration in order to address systemic issues within political systems and voter experiences.

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

Research: Auburn University’s STARS Assessment

| SDG16, SDG9, STARS | No Comments
By Randy MartinAs we face a future that hasn’t looked like our past, research will play a key role in helping us chart our course. The work of researchers has already alerted us to our current woes, such as climate change and biodiversity loss. Going forward, it is essential that…

I Care About the Environment but My Policticians Don’t

| Guest Posts, SDG16, SDG17 | No Comments
By Randy Martin  The national and local conversation around climate change is ridiculous, and that's why I’m doing something about it. If you’ve followed this issue at all, you probably know it feels as if the entire thing is just people talking past one another. It feels like we’re so…

Campus Changemaker: Karen McNeal

| SDG13, SDG15, SDG16, SDG4, Sustainability in Action, Updates | No Comments
Karen on a hike with her family By Camille Colter, Office of Sustainability Karen McNeal is a professor of Geosciences within the College of Sciences and Mathematics, hired as one of the first disciple-based education researchers (DBERs). DBERs conduct nontraditional disciplinary research on education. Karen’s work focuses on understanding how…

The Weather is More than Small Talk: What I Learned from Climate Scientists on a Trip to the Southeast

| Guest Posts, SDG13, SDG16, SDG17, Updates | No Comments
By Sabrina De Los Santos Rodríguez Dark clouds over the Week's Bay boat. Photo credits: Sabrina De Los Santos Rodríguez On Sunday, August 7th, 2022 I was on a white van with seven other people - all climate science graduate students and professors with diverse specialties. We were leading the…

Climate Change: An Issue of Climate Justice

| Guest Posts, SDG1, SDG10, SDG13, SDG16, SDG17, SDG5, SDG6, Updates | No Comments
by Ghanashyam Khanal and Nabin Bhandari  While about two frenetic weeks of discussions and negotiations on climate change, damage and loss, and climate finance were going on at COP27 in Egypt, a documentary that depicted the impact of climate change on women and children in the Himalayan regions of Nepal…

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