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 Our Initiatives



Listed below are all the programs and activities in which the Center for Ethics & Social Responsibility is currently involved.  Click on any initiative for more information. Additionally, you can use the “sort by” options in the left column to narrow this list down by either a particular audience or a particular topic.


Ethics & Social Responsibility Scholar: A four-year scholarship available to high school seniors showing exception intellectual promise and demonstrated commitment to service in their communities.


Moral Forum: Annual moral dialogue and debate program focusing on a values-based controversial issue. Culminates in a University-wide tournament each October.


Documenting Justice: A two-semester anthropological documentary filmmaking course for non-film majors, focusing on issues of justice in the state of Alabama.


Documenting Justice: International: Building off of the Documenting Justice course, this  multi-semester course in documentary filmmaking allows students to tell stories of justice from all corners of the globe in conjunction with an existing study abroad program.


FocusFirst: FocusFirst is a volunteer program in which UA students screen children in Head Starts and lower-income daycares for vision problems and ensure they receive subsidized examination, diagnosis, and treatment.


Tuscaloosa Pre-K Initiative: A program that engages the city school system administrators and educators, UA faculty, staff, and students to offer the best health and education services possible for academically at-risk children and their families.


SaveFirst: A service learning opportunity that trains college, graduate, and law students to provide free tax preparation services, financial literacy information, and opportunities for savings and investment to low-income individuals, especially targeting those eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit.


Every Move Counts: A Chess in Education Project: A course that examines educational disparities and reforms while positively impacting the lives of local middle-school children through the game of chess.


Virtual Advantage: Developing Websites for Alabama Nonprofits: An independent study in which students skilled in website design, writing or photography gain real-world experience by designing websites for nonprofit organizations throughout the state.


Poverty & Civic Engagement: Service learning course that allows students to examine perceptions and policies toward those living in poverty in the US while providing vital vision screenings to children in the immediate region. Coursework focuses on perceptions of those in poverty, race and poverty, socioeconomic issues faced by low-income families, federal and state policies toward working families, and the impact of service learning on individual civic engagement and political socialization. 


Bridge Builders of Montgomery: A service-learning course that allows students to examine leadership development, cultural competency, and relationship-building while working with Alabama’s youth.


CollegeFirst Summer Academic Institute: An Advanced Placement mentoring initiative that partners college students with Pre-AP high school students for three weeks of tutoring during Summer Term I.


Nonprofit Enrichment Team: A multidisciplinary team of students working together to assist new and developing nonprofit agencies for course credit.


Faculty Fellows in Service Learning Program: A one-year fellowship designed to accelerate the work of faculty members who are eager to develop exemplary curricular approaches to education for active and ethical citizenship, social responsibility, and engagement by applying service learning to their courses. 


Applied Ethical Statistics & Mathematics Course: An introductory statistics/mathematics course designed around ethics-based case studies, applying math and statistics to the social, political, and ecological problems in our world through a series of intriguing case studies.


Tuscaloosa Academic Enrichment: A program that provides high-quality academic and cultural learning experiences to at-risk incoming high school freshmen in Tuscaloosa through a collaborative partnership between UA and the city.


Alternative Spring Break: An opportunity for students to travel while providing meaningful community service during Spring Break.


Minor in Civic Engagement & Leadership: A multidisciplinary minor designed for students in any discipline who are interested in incorporating themes of justice, human rights, and social responsibility into their studies.


Service Learning: An academic course with structured opportunities for students to critically reflect on the ethical dimensions of both their service and the course.


To Whom Much Is Given: September 2007 statewide conference on service learning and poverty co-sponsored by CESR, focused on defining higher education's obligation toward communities of need in Alabama and developing solutions to poverty through service learning and community engagement.