CFP: Ethics of Change International Student Conference

Submission deadline: August 31, 2021

Conference date(s):
December 7, 2021 - December 8, 2021

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This event is online

Conference Venue:

Centre de Recherche en Éthique
Montréal, Canada

Topic areas


The way we live, and the norms, beliefs, and attitudes that shape our behavior are constantly changing. Much of that change is driven by people who refuse to accept the status quo and rise to ask critical questions about what is right and wrong in how governments, communities, and individuals treat others, including members of sexual, racial, religious, and other minorities, dissidents, people with disabilities, women, children, nonhuman animals, and the natural environment.

The Centre de Recherche en Éthique (CRÉ) in Montréal, Canada, invites students from across the globe to come together to explore the ethical considerations around social and political activism, and strategies to achieve local and global change. The conference aims to allow students to exchange ideas across borders and make sustainable connections with each other as well as with the CRÉ. Presenting at the conference offers a unique opportunity to showcase your work to an international audience and benefit from the diverse perspectives people from different national, religious, cultural, social, and economic backgrounds bring to issues of moral concern.

The conference will be conducted online via Zoom on Tuesday and Wednesday, 7 and 8 December 2021. Times will be chosen to be as convenient as possible for the time zones of the presenters. Sessions will be 45 minutes each – 20 to 30 minutes of presentation, followed by discussion.

The conference language is English. There is no conference fee. Participation is free for both presenters and non-presenting attendees. Presenters from low- and middle-income countries will receive an honorarium of 100 Canadian dollars each. The deadline for abstract submission is 31 August 2021. The deadline for registration is 5 December 2021.

Please contact [email protected] for any questions.

Possible Topics

The following list of possible topics for presentation is by no means exhaustive. We welcome all discussion of change as long as sufficient attention is paid to relevant ethical considerations. 

  • Forms and practice of activism
    • Social media and hashtag activism
    • Civil disobedience
    • Anger and civility in activism
    • Privilege and allyship
    • Reform vs. revolution
    • Expediency vs. principle
    • Methods and strategies
  • Human rights of sexual, racial, and ethnic minorities
    • 2SLGBTQIA+ rights
      • Efforts to repeal anti-homosexuality laws
      • Laws prohibiting the “promotion of homosexuality”
      • Acceptance of 2SLGBTQIA+ people in society and the family
      • Reducing stigma toward the transgender community
      • The role of culture and religion in shaping attitudes toward sexual minorities
    • Racial justice
      • The ethics and practice of affirmative action
      • Racial bias in criminal justice
      • Tribal and caste discrimination
      • Hate crimes
      • Black Lives Matter
    • Indigenous rights
  • Rights of persons with disabilities
    • Disability barriers
    • Access to education and employment
    • Freedom from discrimination and abuse
  • Children’s rights
    • Child labor
    • Child marriage
    • Barriers to girls’ education
  • Gender equality and women’s empowerment
    • Combating violence against women and girls
    • Forced marriage
    • Marital rape
    • Female genital mutilation
    • Political representation of women
    • Gender stereotypes and social expectations
    • Patriarchy and family life
    • Discriminatory inheritance laws
    • Sexual harassment in education and the workplace
    • Reproductive justice
      • Sex education
      • Birth control
      • Abortion access
  • Freedom of expression
    • Free speech, censorship, and access to information
      • Social media bans
      • Speech crimes
    • Defending the right to peaceful protest
    • Press freedom
  • Freedom of (and from) religion
    • Promoting particular religious beliefs in public schools
    • Efforts to repeal apostasy and blasphemy laws
    • Religious discrimination and violence
    • Restrictions on the free exercise of religion
  • Poverty, economic inequality, and quality of life
    • The ethics and reality of borders, visas, asylum, and migration
    • Population ethics
    • Effective altruism
    • Health inequity
      • Global vaccine justice
      • Minority access to quality care
      • Mental health stigma
  • Animal advocacy
    • How to effectively promote veganism
    • Animal rights activism
    • Strengthening and enforcement of animal welfare laws
    • Legal personhood for nonhuman animals
    • Promoting the welfare of working and farm animals
    • Religious animal sacrifice
  • Human impact on the environment
    • Responding to climate change
    • Global environmental inequality
    • Air and water pollution
    • Water scarcity
    • Threats to biodiversity
    • Anti-poaching efforts
    • Environmental crimes

Who Can Submit an Abstract?

Only undergraduate and graduate students who are currently enrolled at a college or university anywhere in the world are eligible to submit abstracts. Underrepresented minority students and students in the Global South are particularly encouraged to submit abstracts.

How to Submit an Abstract

Submit an abstract of 150 to 250 words at no later than Tuesday, 31 August 2021. You must include your full name, your field of study, and the name and location of your college or university.

In reviewing abstracts, we will consider the quality of the abstract as well as whether the proposed presentation will further the conference’s goal of including diverse voices. Relevant diversity considerations include but are not limited to speakers’ geographic location, field of study, and viewpoint.

Submitting students will be notified by the end of September whether their abstract has been accepted.


All students whose abstracts are selected for the conference will be paired with a mentor from the CRÉ who can help them prepare for their presentations. Mentors will discuss ideas, give feedback on drafts for presentation slides, help with language issues, and answer questions about the conference.

Honorarium for Presenters from Low-Income Countries

We aim for the conference to be inclusive and accessible. Therefore, all presentering students from low- and middle-income countries will receive an honorarium in the amount of 100 Canadian dollars. The honorarium is meant to offset the cost of internet access and other costs associated with attending the conference. It will be paid out after the conclusion of the conference.

Prize for the Best Presentation

The best presentation, as chosen by the organizing committee, will be recognized at the end of the conference. The winning student will receive a certificate and be invited to work their presentation into a short essay, with the help of members of the CRÉ, that will then be published on the website of the CRÉ.

Attendance without Presentation

Any student, postdoc, or faculty member affiliated with any college or university anywhere in the world is welcome to attend without presenting. In order to attend, you need to register at no later than Sunday, 5 December 2021.

Certificates of Participation

Both presenters and non-presenting attendees will receive a certificate of participation. The certificates for presenters will include the details of their presentations.

Organizing Committee

Rainer Ebert, Valéry Giroux, and Kristin Voigt

Supporting material

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