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Open Education Week 2021: Social justice considerations

Lincoln Park Campus

Open Education Week 2021, March 1 – 5, marks the 10-year anniversary of the annual celebration of the Open Education Movement.

Over the last decade, the movement has made considerable progress as demonstrated by the increased creation and adoption of open educational resources across the globe. Much of this progress was driven by initiatives to reduce the high cost of textbooks.

As the movement has matured, advocates and practitioners have broadened the focus of their work to address how open education can improve social justice and equity. Highlighting this deeper focus are two long-term champions of open education: 

The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation

The Hewlett Foundation was an early supporter of open educational resources beginning with financial support for grants in 2002. Angela DeBarger, a program officer, describes the Foundation's renewed focus on racial equity and systemic racism in Our Approach to Systemic Racism in Open Education.

Dave Ernst, executive director of the Open Education Network 

Dave Ernst has been a leader in the movement since 2012 when he founded the Open Textbook Library based out of the University of Minnesota. Two years later, he created the Open Textbook Network. Rebranded in 2020 as the Open Education Network to reflect the broader scope, Ernst kicked off the OEN's 2020 annual summit with a reflection on George Floyd's murder, institutional racism, how higher education may exclude others and the intersection of this exclusion with open education.

To celebrate Open Education Week, the DePaul University Library invites faculty to consider adopting open education resources in courses for the summer or upcoming fall quarter. The new Faculty Select database​ and Library liaisons are available to assist faculty in their exploration.​