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Saturday, September 30, 2023

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The Suscitatio Terminus (Awakening Border in Latin) mural, developed by faculty member Gabriela Fernandez and students Gabi Zaballa and Karenina Zaballa. The Suscitatio Terminus (Awakening Border in Latin) mural, developed by faculty member Gabriela Fernandez and students Gabi Zaballa and Karenina Zaballa.

Think Globally – Act Locally: The UN Sustainable Development Goals at SDSU

New exhibit shows how students, staff, researchers, and faculty at SDSU are supporting these efforts.
By Rebecca Williamson

SDSU Inspires Action: U.N. Sustainable Development Goals on Display” is an exhibit exploring the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and how students, staff, researchers, and faculty at San Diego State University support these efforts. 


The two parts of the exhibit are housed in Donor Hall at the University Library and are open to the public during normal library hours. 


The United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is a blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future. At its heart are 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), an urgent call for action by developed and developing countries. These sweeping goals include eliminating poverty and hunger, increasing education and health, and ensuring that no one is left behind as we build a more just, equitable, and sustainable world.


The “SDSU Inspires Action: U.N. Sustainable Development Goals on Display” exhibit highlights both the global reach of these goals and selected research and projects that SDSU students, staff, and faculty have completed to bring them closer to fruition. 


Here is additional information on its two parts:


Metabolism of Cities Living Lab — SDSU 4 SDGs “Leave No One Behind” Exhibition


The exhibition covers four walls of the library’s Donor Hall and includes a sustainability timeline, the 17 goals, the work of the Metabolism of Cities Living Lab under The Center for Human Dynamics in the Mobile Age (HDMA), and a responsive art mural created by SDSU faculty and students.


The exhibition was spearheaded and designed by adjunct faculty member Gabriela Fernandez, director of the Metabolism of Cities Living Lab in the Department of Geography, with support from the College of Arts and Letters (CAL), HDMA, and the library, especially library graphic designer Dania Mukahhal


Former CAL Dean Monica J. Casper wrote, “We could not be more excited to support this innovative, interdisciplinary collaboration. As a scholar who has written on the Millennium Development Goals – which preceded the SDGs – I know how important such international benchmarks are to human (and nonhuman) flourishing.”


Using art, statistics, research, and photography, this exhibit explores the subtle and profound impact of the U.N. SDGs experienced by underserved communities. By sharing stories of underserved communities in the Southern California and Baja California regions, the exhibit opens up a larger discussion about those who are affected along the U.S.-Mexico border.


“I want to educate the SDSU community about the importance of the U.N. SDGs and the impact that one person can have on another,” Fernandez said. “ I want to encourage young people to be future leaders, and advocates for their own communities, and stand up for what they believe in while considering the different perspectives/differences, and needs of people from all around the world.”


Libraries and Sustainability: Working Toward the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals in the SDSU Library


Sciences Librarian Sarah Tribelhorn created a companion exhibit concentrating on how the library is contributing to the U.N. SDGs. The U.N. has noted that libraries are key partners in this global work since a library's role includes access to information, protecting cultural heritage, providing universal information literacy, and bringing knowledge to communities in ways that are tangible to achieve the SDGs.


Highlighted projects include diverse activities such as research support (life below water/life on land), gender-neutral bathrooms (gender equality), the food bank at the SDSU Imperial Valley Library (no hunger), displays and events with health information (good health and well-being), and financial literacy resources (decent work and economic growth).


Libraries are an essential component of the social infrastructure essential to achieving the SDGs,” said University Library Dean Scott Walter, “and we have identified a number of ‘sustainable libraries’ goals as part of our strategic plan. Academic libraries have a critical role to play to promote a sustainable future and I hope this exhibit will provide a foundation for promoting collaborative efforts in the future.” 


The exhibit website has a virtual 3D walk-through of the exhibition created by ITS using Matterport technology, as well as a slideshow of library postersThe website also includes resources to learn more about the U.N. SDGs at SDSU and beyond.



Exhibit Grand Opening: 12:30-1:30 p.m., Feb. 21,

Donor Hall, University Library