Skip to main content

Events programme announced for 2021 Alumni Day of Action

Events programme announced for 2021 Alumni Day of Action

3 August 2021

Newcastle University’s annual Alumni Day of Action has been transformed for 2021, with a month-long festival of events on the theme of social justice

Newcastle University’s annual Alumni Day of Action has been transformed for 2021, with a month-long festival of events around the theme of social justice, which will conclude with the annual meeting of Convocation on Saturday 9 October.  

Starting on Monday 13 September, each of the four weeks leading up to the Day of Action will focus on a different area of social justice and will showcase the impressive work already undertaken by Newcastle University students, alumni and research teams in this area.  

Newcastle University is dedicated to working together to create a fairer and more just society, at a local, national and global level. Current projects to advance social justice include an international exhibit conveying the history of African Americans in Pittsburgh, better understanding the marginalisation of women in farming and a network helping children, young people and families benefit from the latest advances in mental health research. 

The festival will explore a range of social justice topics including poverty, welfare and social class; gender and sexuality; race, religion and migration; and health and wellbeing. 

Professor Julie Sanders, Deputy Vice-Chancellor at Newcastle University, said: 

“Newcastle University is committed to embedding thinking about social justice in all that we do, in local, national and global contexts. To us, social justice is about the distribution of society's benefits and burdens and addressing the unfair outcomes that result from the coming together of social inequalities and institutions. It is also at the heart of our commitment to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.  

“It’s really great to see this topic getting a prominent platform through the 2021 Alumni Day of Action, and I look forward to seeing our whole University community come together to create positive change.” 

Each week will involve a range of online activities, including digital talks, live lectures and discussions for the University’s 240,000 graduates around the world. Accompanying digital resources will also be available to enable further learning and opportunities to take action.  

On Saturday 9 October former students can join Chair of Convocation, Sophie McDermott, for the 64th Meeting of Convocation. Convocation is a statutory body that gives Newcastle graduates the opportunity to input into the University’s challenges and successes.  

Reverend Professor Keith McGee, Chair and Professor of Practice of Social Justice, will deliver the keynote Convocation lecture at 2.00pm GMT, entitled ‘Mind Moves Matter: Beyond hashtags into change’. This lecture will discuss the value of the University’s shared experiences, to shape brighter futures and champion social justice, to bring about meaningful change. 

Following the lecture, Sophie McDermott will moderate a panel discussion entitled: ‘Make the change: What are we doing to address the challenges of social justice?’ Panellists include a selection of key alumni changemakers who have each made a significant impact within the area of social justice. 

Ways in which alumni can take action ahead of the events programme include joining one of the two fundraising challenges planned to support future students facing barriers to higher education, volunteering with student society NEST or committing to the University’s anti-racism pledge. Full details on pre-programme activities are available online. 

All events will be live-streamed online for those unable to make it on-campus, and the University encourages alumni from across the globe to get involved and take action against social injustice.  

Visit the Alumni Day of Action webpage to see the full 2021 programme, sign up to an event and to browse our social justice resources.