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Presidential Power: Understanding the Issues from a Social Justice Perspective: Event Description

This guide is intended to serve as a supplemental resource for participants in the UNLV University Libraries workshop, "Presidential Power: Understanding the Issues from a Social Justice Perspective."

Social Sciences Librarian

Heidi Johnson's picture
Heidi Johnson

Event Description

Presidential Power:

Understanding the Issues from a Social Justice Perspective

President Donald Trump has taken action using executive orders on issues ranging from climate change and travel restrictions to education and bathroom use by transgender students in elementary schools. How do you understand executive orders and presidential power, including what the president can and cannot do according to the US Constitution? Join us for a workshop focused on library resources that explore how presidential power and the use of executive orders has changed since 2001.

This event will point students to library resources on presidential power and executive orders as they relate to a variety of issues, including climate change, international travel restrictions, LGBTQ+ rights, health care, and war and military spending. The event will have a social justice focus to provide participants with the opportunity to understand why these issues are important to particular groups rather than to engage in debate or discuss partisan politics.

For more information on the social justice perspective of this event, visit the Social Justice Perspective box below.

Social Justice Perspective

This Libraries event presents the issues from a social justice perspective. That is, we seek to understand how the executive orders and presidential power impact certain groups of people, particularly groups of people who are typically marginalized in our society. Social justice focuses on the fair distribution of resources and opportunities, and on giving to people what is owed to them from society simply because they are human beings. For example, one social justice principle is that all people should be treated with respect and dignity.

As a library, our values and ideals include providing all people with free and equal access to information; we strive to protect intellectual freedom and oppose censorship. In order to achieve these ideals, it is necessary to strive to treat all people with respect and dignity. Today, with the preponderance of fake news and the confusion over what counts as fake news as well as the suppression of open data online, the library is fundamentally concerned with access to factual information, and teaching the ability to discern the truth, so that all people can participate in the democratic process in equitable ways and seek to improve their lives through the use of factual information.

Libraries can also be a source of information for the purpose of civic engagement. This event will provide students with the opportunity to use library resources and the internet to discover factual information in order to become empowered to engage in the democratic process, to improve their own lives as well as the lives of others.

Below are some useful definitions of social justice.

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