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Editorial StaffAugust 1, 20226min
Citing the urgent need for more effective and equitable health communication, researchers at Wesleyan University are collaborating with two other universities on a unique rapid response research endeavor led by Cornell communication professor Jeff Niederdeppe and funded with a newly announced $5 million grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF). “At this moment it is crucial to understand both the nature of and the potential of messaging around policies promoting racial and health equity,” said Steven Moore, assistant professor of government and an expert on race and politics. “I’m excited to be a part of this fantastic team of…

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Steve ScarpaJuly 15, 20225min
Enoila Shokunbi, a fifth grader at McDonough School in Middletown, knows exactly what she wants to be when she grows up. “President,” she said quickly. “But I might want to be a singer first.” Enoila explains that someone like Taylor Swift would likely get more votes for president because of her pop stardom, so that might be the route she wants to emulate. After her visit to Wesleyan University’s IDEAS Lab on July 14, Enoila might be able to add scientist to her list of career aspirations. Enoila is part of the STEM GEMS camp run by STEAM Train, a non-profit…

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Steve ScarpaJuly 11, 20226min
  A new database created by Alyx Mark, assistant professor of government, documents the often mundane, yet vitally important changes courts made to their policies and procedures over the course of the global pandemic, changes that directly impact ordinary people’s access to justice. “We have 51 judiciaries – 52, if you count the federal system – and they are their own special unicorns. They all have different structures. They all have different personalities … they all approach their administrative roles and big policy questions in such different ways,” Mark said. The pandemic allowed Mark to examine how state courts make…

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Editorial StaffJune 29, 20229min
By Victoria Pitts-Taylor, professor and chair of Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies In May this year I attended a reproductive freedom protest organized by Wesleyan University students. We were taking part in a nationwide campus walkout after the draft Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade was leaked. Using the inclusive, intersectional language of reproductive justice, speakers at the rally advised the crowd how to get abortion access through medication by mail, how to help others attain abortions across state lines, and how to fight for legal protections at the state and national level if Roe was overturned. They were…

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Editorial StaffJune 27, 20221min
As part of the City of Middletown’s PrideFest Celebration, Middletown Pride partnered with Wesleyan’s College of Film and the Office for Equity & Inclusion for a showing of The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert. On June 24, members of the Wesleyan and Middletown communities gathered on the south side of Foss Hill for the screening. The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (1994), directed by Stephan Elliott, is an Australian road comedy film that follows two drag queens, played by Hugo Weaving and Guy Pearce, and a transgender woman, played by Terence Stamp, as they journey across…

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Editorial StaffJune 16, 20222min
In recognition of Juneteenth, we share a message from Alison P. Williams, vice president for equity and inclusion: On Saturday, June 18, Middletown will have a Juneteenth celebration in Smith Park. Wesleyan’s Office for Equity & Inclusion is a Gold sponsor of this event. We invite everyone to come out and celebrate with us. Juneteenth is also known as Emancipation Day, Freedom Day, Jubilee Day, Juneteenth Independence Day, and Black Independence Day.  It marks the date when, on June 19, 1865, Major General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, TX, and announced the end of the Civil War and the end of slavery. …

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Editorial StaffMay 9, 20229min
By Maia Dawson '24 A philosophy student writes an essay, pen to paper. He then hands it through the bars of his cell to a passing Corrections Officer. That CO gives it to a liaison, who gives it to a staff person, who gives it to Lori Gruen, William Griffin Professor of Philosophy at Wesleyan. It’s Spring 2020 and there is no Zoom in Cheshire Correctional Institution. After pandemic hiatuses, Wesleyan's Center for Prison Education (CPE) is planning to return to in-person teaching this summer. The program currently operates in Cheshire and York correctional facilities, both in Connecticut. Gruen has taught…

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Steve ScarpaMay 2, 20224min
Every year, as Wesleyan students empty their rooms at the end of the Spring semester, they fill dumpsters with usable items – everything from clothing and room décor to small appliances. “There was still more waste generated than we like,” said Hayley Berliner, temporary sustainability director. “We want to divert as much as we can.” Debbra Goh ’24 and Annie Volker ’24, both eco-facilitators for Wesleyan Sustainability, have come up with an idea on how to lessen the waste. The duo will launch WesThrift at 284 High next fall, a free store for clothing and dorm essentials located in the…

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Olivia DrakeApril 25, 20228min
During a recent meditation, Katja Kolcio pondered the question, 'What do you wish for the world?" Without much premeditated thought, Kolcio determined that she'd want all humans to have the kind of optimism and inner strength that Ukrainians have during the current war. "Nobody would defend one's rights with that kind of veracity without undaunted optimism and faith in our individual capacity to make a difference in the world. With everything horrible happening, there's something that's at a base level inspiring," she said during Wesleyan's sixth Livestream Conversation with Ukraine discussion on April 22. "I can't thank you enough for…

Editorial StaffApril 11, 20221min
Earl Bloodworth, the Jewett Center for Community Partnerships’ 2022 Mentor in Residence for the Re-Imagining Justice Initiative, is committed to giving incarcerated people a second chance. The stark truth of his work is that for many individuals who have experienced the criminal legal system, they’ve never had a first chance. In an effort to correct what he sees as a real need in Connecticut, Bloodworth serves as the director of the Mayor’s Initiative for Reentry Affairs in Bridgeport. “You gain the trust and build up rapport with people who have been let down by a lot of folks in their…

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Olivia DrakeApril 5, 20226min
This April, the Office of Support, Healing, Activism, and Prevention Education (SHAPE) is encouraging the Wesleyan community to reflect, learn, and better show up for survivors of violence through a plethora of Survivor Solidarity Month activities. The 2022 theme is “Community Responsibility and Care," and the various events highlight ways to support survivors in a healing-centered way, particularly in line with restorative practices and even in line with transformative justice values. "It’s important of us as a community at Wesleyan to be having these conversations because a better world is possible—a world where we’re disrupting and challenging systems of oppression…

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Olivia DrakeApril 4, 202210min
Girls who grow up in the patriarchal Massai community in Kenya are often impoverished, voiceless, and undermined by men. Although Kenya offers free public education, less than 5 percent of Kenyan women end up attending college. Diana Naiyanoi Kimojino '25, however, was determined to continue her education, even if it meant going against her family's wishes and her cultural norms. Now an economics major at Wesleyan, she's feels "an immense call of duty" to bring awareness to her Kenyan community about the benefits of college access for women. "Growing up, my education is always a point of contention with my…