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Brady Program in Ethics and Civic Life

The Brady Scholars Program in Ethics and Civic Life was joined in 2020-21 by Professor Laura Martin, who was awarded a Post-Doctoral Fellowship by Northwestern. Professor Martin taught the sophomore seminar on “The Good Society” and participated in the Program’s weekly teas and other meetings.  She received her Ph.D. from Columbia University in 2020. Her areas of specialization are social and political philosophy, feminist philosophy, and Frankfurt School Critical Theory. Her recent research focuses on the nature of social reality. In particular, she is interested in how we both create and come to be constrained by structural forms of oppression, and what this reveals about human agency. 

The Brady Program adapted to the constraints imposed by the Covid pandemic as did many academic units – by moving meetings and classes online.  Events meant for larger audiences were postponed.  In the spring term, Professor Martin’s class was able to accommodate many second-year students in the classroom.

 The pandemic forced the senior class to revise its plans for  a community service project.  They decided to work with a mutual aid group in Evanston, “Back on Their Feet,” which uses Facebook to exchange services and goods (for example: furniture, toys, and clothing). They used their organizational and technical skills to pool information about the needs of the community and to make it available in Spanish as well as English. The result was a database that matches requests and offers. In addition, they strengthened connections between student organizations and Back on Their Feet, so that students can offer and receive services and useful items.