NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Social equity is the promotion of fair, just and equitable distribution of public services, but how can technology and data be used to drive policy and effective programmatic solutions to enhance social equity? That was the question more than 150 experts, including academics, government employees and non-profit practitioners from across the nation, grappled with when they met at Tennessee State University for a three-day conference June 3-5.
“Leveraging Technology and Data to Promote Social Equity,” was the focus of the 14th Annual Social Equity Leadership Conference (SELC), which offered participants the opportunity to deliberate and analyze the changing world of technology and data and its impact on public policy in the area of equitable social change. Specifically, participants discussed new trends in the technological application of data collection, analysis, policy implementation, service delivery and community change. The goal was to increase research and its effective application for the use of technology and data to drive policy and programmatic solutions.
The conference was hosted by the College of Public Service and Urban Affairs, in partnership with the TSU Center on Aging Research and Education Services. It brought together experts and participants from a diverse group of institutions, including the University of California at Los Angeles, Rutgers, University of Massachusetts-Boston, University of North Carolina, University of Louisville, Vanderbilt University, Lipscomb University and the University of Mississippi. Participants also came from federal and state agencies including the Federal Reserve, the Veterans Administration, the General Accounting Office, the Tennessee Department of Human Resources, and the Mayor’s office.
The SELC, established by the National Academy of Public Administration, aims to advance knowledge and understanding of applied and theoretical research in social equity in governance.
“We are proud and honored that we were selected to host this national conference,” said Dr. Michael Harris, dean of the College of Public Affairs and Urban Studies. “It reflects national recognition among our peers of the academic quality and relevance of CPSUA. The conference allowed the college and TSU the opportunity to facilitate and participate with national experts in timely and relevant discussions as they relate to public policy, specifically social equity and leadership.”
Keynote speakers were Nashville Mayor Karl Dean; Chair of the NAPA Standing Committee on Social Equity, Dr. Blue Woodridge; and the Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Human Resources Rebecca Hunter.
Sponsors included Nelson & Sue Andrews Institute for Civic Leadership, The Frist Foundation, the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration, the Tennessee Human Rights Commission, Safe Haven Family Shelter, and the American Society for Public Administration.
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With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 45 undergraduate, 24 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.