The Ethics and Social Justice Center

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Upcoming Events

Faculty Webinars - Spring 2021

January 28 at 11 a.m.

Dr. Kyle Barnett - "Genres and Social Divides: Music Media and Cultural Change Between the World Wars"

Thursday, March 11 at 11 a.m.

Dr. Ryne Clos - "Fidelity to the Now": The Rise and Fall of Consensus among U.S. Catholic Missionaries to Latin America in the 1960s

Wednesday, March 31 at 3 p.m.

Dr. Abigail Blanco - "Far-Right Extremism: An Unintended Consequence of Foreign Intervention?"

Faculty Webinar Series - Fall 2020: Dr. Kaitlyn Selman

Beyond Reform: Understanding the Abolitionist Project through Youth Organizing

Described by some as an impossible dream and by others as the only real way towards creating a new world, “abolition” has recently gained prominence in mainstream conversation. The goal of this webinar, then, is to provide participants with the tools to work through the conversations evolving around some of the most prominent abolitionist calls right now: those to defund the police and divest from prisons. The conversation will trace the historical roots of abolitionist consciousness and practice, and detail the ideas and efforts of six abolitionist-oriented youth justice organizations across the US, in order to show what abolition looks like today.

Dr. Kaitlyn J. Selman is an Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice at Bellarmine University in Louisville, Kentucky. Her work lies at the intersection of youth justice, critical carceral studies, and abolitionist organizing. Her most recent publications appear in Contemporary Justice Review; Youth Justice; and Critical Criminology.

View Dr. Selman's talk.

Commonwealth Ethics Lecture

We congratulate Dr. Shannon Oltmann, Associate Professor, School of Information Science, University of Kentucky, for her winning Commonwealth Ethics Lecture submission titled "Combating Information Poverty: Today's Ethical Challenge." Read Dr. Oltmann's abstract.

The Sixth Annual Prize in Ethics Essay Competition winner is Andrea Doll. Her winning essay is titled "On Property and Freedom: An Evaluation of Lockean Theory."


The Ethics and Social Justice Center aims to promote excellence in ethics education, stimulate ethical awareness and reflection, and facilitate ethical inquiry. Motivated by the vision of Bellarmine as a place of personal, academic, spiritual and ethical formation and growth, ESJC aims to enhance critical reflection, dialogue and constructive action on contemporary ethical issues in society. We support the “evocation of moral qualities of leadership” as expressed in the Charter of Purpose of Bellarmine University and is an expression of the University’s dedication to these values and an extension of its commitment to these tasks. It is the specific mission of the ESJC to initiate and sustain a program of ethics education throughout the curriculum, and extending beyond the Bellarmine campus. In light of Bellarmine’s history and tradition, its concern for the promotion of Catholic social teachings and its commitment to the educational, cultural, and service needs of the Louisville region, the Ethics and Social Justice Center shall seek to provide reflective and empowering resources to faculty, students and the community.


The purpose of the Ethics and Social Justice Center is to provide a program of ethics education and activities that enhance and promote the vision of Bellarmine University. Drawing on the expertise of scholars from different disciplines, including civic and community leaders, the Center participates in the investigation of contemporary moral issues that confront all human beings by providing forums, workshops, lecture series, seminars, and strategic partnerships to the university and the community.

Undergraduate and Graduate Programs and Events

The Sixth Annual Prize in Bioethics and Social Justice Competition

The Ethics and Social Justice Center is pleased to announce this year's winning essays for the Prize in Bioethics and Social Justice essay contest. The 1st place essay "Ethical Dilemmas Healthcare Professionals Face During the COVID-19 Pandemic" was written by Sarah Webb. Sarah is a graduate student in the MHS - Health Care Leadership program. The 2nd place essay "The Ethical Psychology Behind a Pandemic" was written by Lily Miller. Lily is an undergraduate student in the Honors Program. She is a double major in Aging Studies and Clinical & Counseling Psychology.

The Seventh Annual Prize in Ethics Essay Competition 

Emma Stiver's essay "The Pandemic of Isolation," was selected as the winner of the 2021 Prize in Ethics essay contest. Emma is a member of the class of 2022. She is a vocal performance major and pre-PT student.

Faculty Events    

  • Spring 2021 faculty webinar call for proposals will be announced in January 2021    

Ethics Madness Month

  • Spring 2021
  • Details coming soon

Contact Information

Kate Johnson, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Philosophy

Joseph Flipper, Ph.D.
Associate Director
Associate Professor of Theology