About the Chair

On February 11, 2019, Audrey Azoulay, Director General of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), and Rafael Garesse, Rector of the Autonomous University of Madrid, signed an agreement for the creation of the “UNESCO Chair on Education for Social Justice of the Autonomous University of Madrid”.

Its existence is justified through two elements. In the first place, because of the serious situation of injustice and oppression that is experienced throughout the world. We are experiencing the biggest refugee crisis since World War II, the gap between people who have more and less have increased, extreme poverty persists in many countries and millions of people continue to starve in the 21st century, violence continues. Homophobia, racism, aporophobia and xenophobia, labor exploitation persists – even children – and human trafficking. The destruction of biodiversity is progressing unstoppably and climate chage an irreversible reality. 

And, secondly, by the conviction that education can contribute to modify that situation. If – as Nelson Mandela said – “education is the most powerful weapon to transform the world”, let’s transform education to achieve a more just, equitable and inclusive society.

Accordingly, the Chair aims to contribute to the creation of a more just society through education: an Education in and for Social Justice. This purpose is specified in a series of objectives, agreed between UNESCO and the Autonomous University of Madrid, focused on four complementary elements:

    • High quality interdisciplinary research.
    • Development of an Education for Social Justice through the development of teaching materials and through the promotion of innovation actions in educational centers and non-formal education.
    • Training of teachers and specialists in Education for Social Justice.
    • Diffusion and dissemination of documentation, research and resources on Education for Social Justice. 

To achieve them, the Chair includes a large research and teaching team made up more than 90 academics from the Autonomous University of Madrid, as well as different collaborators from other universities and teaching centers.

Consistent with its objectives, the Chair is organised around four areas

Innovation and Development
Difussion and Dissemination

The activities of the Chair are supported and based on their collaborative work and networks. In this way, on the one hand, it promotes and participates with other organisations in different networks and, on the other, it collaborates closely with other instances in bilateral relations.

Currently, it focuses its actions on ten interdependent workstreams:

School segregation
Democracy in education
Socioecological literacy for Social Justice
Educational evaluation for Justice Social
Representations on Social Justice
Art and participation
Culture of peace and global citizenship
Creativity and Complexity for Educational Change and Social Justice
Drowning and accident prevention in the aquatic environment

A summary of the actions carried out in each year can be found in the following annual Reports:

Activity Report 2019 (in Spanish)
Memoria 2020
Activity Report 2020 (Spanish)