Claremont Graduate University, through a collaboration between the THRIVE Program, Transdisciplinary Studies, and the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee, invites scholars from across academic disciplines to join us for the Realizing Equity: A Transdisciplinary Approach to Justice & Transformative Research Symposium.

This symposium showcases research for positive social transformation from students committed to scholarship in equity and justice. Don’t miss this opportunity too learn more about how CGU students are advancing research on equity and justice.

This year, in light of the profound global challenges we face, marked by the pervasive urgency, sorrow, and upheaval of the wars, and conflicts, and destruction affecting our global shared communities, the overarching theme of the symposium will be Peace.

This year, in light of the profound global challenges we face, marked by the pervasive urgency, destruction and sorrow, the overarching theme of the symposium will be Peace, Justice, and Belonging.

The planning committee encourages proposals from all academic disciplines to advance research that centers equity and justice around the topic of peace. Presentations can be individual projects or group collaborations.

Themes for Consideration

Building Equity, Building Peace: Scholarly work within this theme focuses on the different efforts and narratives in constructing a world of equity and peace. This includes examples of: 1) representing innovative, conscientious, problematized, and nuanced narratives and visions of peace and justice; 2) ethically integrating and prioritizing intersectional and marginalized experiences into solutions of parity, equity, freedom, and belonging; 3) designing and collaborating to reorganize and reconfigure oppressive systems, institutions and ideologies; and 4) going beyond symbolism and representation, by transforming critique into positive action and practice.

Destabilizing and Restabilizing: Scholarly work within this theme focuses on disruptions rooted in violence, instability, and injustice and the opportunity for well-being, peace, and justice to follow. This includes examples of: 1) community engagement and partnership in the face of conflict and loss; 2) concerns with instability, injury, wellness, and quality of life across working, living, and other conditions; 3) inventories of violence and injustice to account for building sustainable and just models of healing and futurity; 4) and research focusing on security and insecurity at individual, organizational, social, political, and other higher levels of influence.

Session Format

Sessions at the symposium will take the following formats:

  • Roundtable Discussion (45 minutes) – Engage attendees in discussion around topic areas. Presenters will provide a brief introduction to their topic areas, present a short synopsis of their scholarship (including background, relevant questions, proposed methods of study and interpretation of data and texts) for the first 15 minutes, and then engage participants in conversation with guiding questions. Roundtables can be used for research-in-process.*
  • Visual Storytelling (45 minutes) – Leverage images and visuals to tell the story of one’s research area. Presenters may be familiar with PechaKucha style presentations where speakers rely on images to tell the story. Visual storytelling might include a theoretical concept, a program, data, developing trends, or research. Scholars will present for 7 minutes with 5 slides, relying on imagery, to tell the story of their research area and then engage participants in conversation. The Storytelling portion will be pre-recorded, and presenters will be available live during the Symposium session to then engage participants in Q&A.*

* The Center for Writing & Rhetoric offers webinars and one-on-one consultation support on both of the Symposium’s formats for presenters.

Evaluation Criteria

Proposals will be evaluated by several program reviewers using the following standards:

  • Significant and creative contributions to current research or evidence-based practices centered around equity and justice.
  • Engaging program format that involves attendees and stimulates discussion.
  • Conceptually strong foundation with clearly stated research topic and themes, and appropriately documented research.

Required Application Materials

To apply, please submit the following items via the airSlate form linked to below, by TBD, spring 2025:

  1. Proposed Session Title* (60 character limit):
    Include a short and impactful title that accurately reflects your topic and is also reflective of the Symposium theme.
  2. Proposed Session Theme* (100 word limit):
    Identify and detail which of the Themes for Consideration align with your session.
  3. Proposed Session Abstract* (100 word limit):
    The abstract serves as a concise summary of your session description. It serves as context for attendees on your topic area and it should be consistent with your session content.
  4. Background of Presenters/Familiarity of Topic* (300 word limit):
    Describe your background including the perspective and experience (academic or non-academic) you bring to the session topic.
  5. Session Description* (1000 word limit):
    Consider your session’s relevance to the Symposium’s focus and theme of equity and justice as well as areas it crosses disciplinary boundaries. Include relevant frameworks, literature, research questions or sources. Include what you hope attendees will learn or take away from your session.
  6. Session Type* (choose one):
    • Roundtable Discussion Writing Sample** (maximum of 20 pages):
      Please include a sample of your emerging research or completed research here that demonstrates your ability to do original research and synthesis. The writing sample may be a paper from a previous or concurrent course including: term papers, papers-in-progress, or a developed outline. To fulfill the detailed outline submission option, the outline must contain an introductory section and 2-3 body sections. The introduction must have developed background points and a working thesis. The body sections must have drafts of main points, supporting points, and references to literature. For more information, see the Center for Writing & Rhetoric handout.
    • Visual Storytelling Sample** (maximum of 3 pages):
      As part of the review of your proposal please include an outline of what you intend to present, with the types of images you plan to use, and how you plan to visually represent your research (visual storytelling guidance).

Application Period Closed for 2024

* Required For All Applications.
** Only Required For The Respective Session Type Chosen.

  • Key Dates: TBD, Spring 2025
  • All CGU students are welcome and encouraged to apply.
  • Students may apply as an individual or as a group:
    • The same form is used for group applications.
    • Limit of 5 students per roundtable or visual storytelling group project.
    • Whoever signs the eligibility statement for a group project is certifying eligibility for each individual in the group.
    • Each group application must include each individual’s: Name, Email, Academic Advisor, and School or Division.
  • We highly recommend drafting, revising, and compiling the required application materials prior to using the form to submit your application.
  • If your research involves human subjects, please ensure that you follow all necessary steps to meet IRB regulations if and as needed.
  • Applicants cannot save a draft of their application within airSlate. Applicants must complete the airSlate application form in one session.
  • Incomplete Applications will be rejected and the applicant will need to re-submit their application.
  • Please note most reviewers of your application will be outside of your field of study, so write clearly and avoid or clearly define specialized terms or concepts.
  • The Center for Writing & Rhetoric can provide one-on-one consultation support for applicants.
  • If you have issues using the airSlate form, please contact the Realizing Equity Symposium Committee at

Questions? Need Help? Want to Learn More?

Interested in presenting? The CWR is hosting a series of prep sessions to assist students. You can also check out our frequently asked questions section below to learn more about the symposium.

Learn More!
2024 Realizing Equity Program
Don’t miss this opportunity too learn more about how CGU students are advancing research on equity and justice.

View the Program!

Learn More!
2023 Realizing Equity Program
Review the 2023 program to gain a better understanding of the topics and possibilities open to you and your research.

View the Program!

Learn More!
Virtual Info Session
View the slidedeck from this pop up session to learn more.

View the Slide Deck!

Learn More!
Proposals and Abstracts
Learn about elements frequently present in a conference proposal submission, and the key components of a well-crafted abstract.

View the Guide!

Learn More!

Turning Your Seminar Paper into a Journal Article or Conference Proposal

TBD, spring 2025 (online webinar)

Register Today!

Learn More!

An Introduction to Roundtable Presentations

TBD, spring 2025 (online webinar)

Register Today!

Have A Question?
Ask Us on TBD
Stop by the pop up table in the (TBD, spring 2025) to learn more.

TBD, Spring 2025

Have A Question?
Ask Us on TBD
Stop by the pop up table in the (TBD, spring 2025) to learn more.

TBD, Spring 2025

Have A Question?
Ask Us on TBD
Stop by the pop up table in the (TBD, spring 2025) to learn more.

TBD, Spring 2025

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What are the themes?You can review the suggested themes at the top of the page: “Suggested Themes for Consideration.”Think about this way, this symposium showcases research for psotive social transformation from students committed to scholarship in equity and justice. The symposium is open to all, active CGU students within any field and at any stage in their graduate journey.If you are not certain if your idea meets one of the suggested themes or you have other questions related to the themes, please contact us at either You can also reach out to the Center for Writing & Rhetoric to request a consultation meeting. You are also welcome to review the the slide deck from our November 4th symposium info session.

    View the Info Session Slide Deck!

  2. Where can I get help?

    We are also hosting a series of prep sessions for students to assist applicants throughout the application period. Please review the sessions (past and future) in our help section below. You can also email team for help.

  3. How do I create an abstract? What are the best practices?

    Review the recording on abstracts below to learn about elements frequently present in a conference proposal submission, and the key components of a well-crafted abstract.

    View the Guide!

  4. I have never done a visual storytelling piece, but I am interested, where can I learn more?

    The Center for Writing & Rhetoric created a guide to visual storytelling. You can check it out here:

    Visual Storytelling Guidance!

  5. I am nervous about presenting, what resources are available?

    The Center for Writing & Rhetoric has a number resources related to presenting at conference and speaking in public. You can find those resources here:

    Presentation Resources!

    The Center for Writing & Rhetoric also hosts a number of in-person, online, and hybrid events and webinars every term. You can find those events and webinars here:

    Events & Webinars!

    All events offered through the Center for Writing & Rhetoric are free and open to students, alumni, staff, and faculty.

  6. I am doing human subject study stuff, is there anything special I need to do?

    Yes. First, talk to your faculty and/or research advisor. Second, reach out to the university’s Institutional Review Board (IRB). The IRB’s “focus is to facilitate faculty investigators and help train student investigators to understand and carry out the fundamental purpose of all IRBs, which is to assure the Investigator’s Respectful Behavior toward every person who participates in research as a ‘human subject’.”

    The IRB advises that asking whether a project is HSR is really asking two questions: (1) Is it research? (according to federal regulations) and (2) Does the research involve human subjects?

    Human subject means a living individual about whom an investigator (whether professional or student) conducting research:

    1. Obtains information or biospecimens through intervention or interaction with the individual, and uses, studies, or analyzes the information or biospecimens; or
    2. Obtains, uses, studies, analyzes, or generates identifiable private information or identifiable biospecimens.

    Research means a systematic investigation, including research development, testing, and evaluation, designed to develop or contribute to generalizable knowledge. Activities that meet this definition constitute research for purposes of this policy, whether or not they are conducted or supported under a program that is considered research for other purposes. For example, some demonstration and service programs may include research activities. For purposes of this part, the following activities are deemed not to be research:

    1. Scholarly and journalistic activities (e.g., oral history, journalism, biography, literary criticism, legal research, and historical scholarship), including the collection and use of information, that focus directly on the specific individuals about whom the information is collected.
    2. Public health surveillance activities, including the collection and testing of information or biospecimens, conducted, supported, requested, ordered, required, or authorized by a public health authority. Such activities are limited to those necessary to allow a public health authority to identify, monitor, assess, or investigate potential public health signals, onsets of disease outbreaks, or conditions of public health importance (including trends, signals, risk factors, patterns in diseases, or increases in injuries from using consumer products). Such activities include those associated with providing timely situational awareness and priority setting during the course of an event or crisis that threatens public health (including natural or man-made disasters).
    3. Collection and analysis of information, biospecimens, or records by or for a criminal justice agency for activities authorized by law or court order solely for criminal justice or criminal investigative purposes.
    4. Authorized operational activities (as determined by each agency) in support of intelligence, homeland security, defense, or other national security missions.

At Claremont Graduate University, we prepare scholars and practitioners to be leaders in their disciplines and active citizens in creating positive change in the world. Realizing equity and justice in the spaces and places we occupy, whether in the disciplines where our scholarship is created or in the fields in which our practice occurs, requires reflection, critical thinking and application of the knowledge that we possess.