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Editorial StaffFebruary 21, 202413min
By Lorna Grisby Wesleyan students, faculty, alumni, and members of the broader university community came together with education, political, and media thought leaders Feb. 16 to 17 for critical discussions about the roles universities and students can play in defending a democracy, especially a vulnerable one. The goal of the two-day, on-campus convening, Democracy in Action—part of the Shasha Seminar for Human Concerns—was to inspire people, especially Wesleyan students, to get involved and do the work necessary to save what many believe is the nation’s faltering democracy. From lingering false claims of widespread voter fraud to book bans and voter…

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Editorial StaffFebruary 21, 20247min
By Rose Chen ’26 Wesleyan University’s Democracy in Action convening kicked off Feb. 16 in the John B. Frank Public Affairs Center with a media literacy workshop.  Led by Associate Professor of Government Logan Dancey, the session was designed to teach participants to laterally read and ask questions when consuming content. Dancey’s tutorial of government students helped attendees—students, other professors, and community members—fact-check claims across a variety of sources, determine the credibility of claims, and critically engage with political media. During the session, Dancey and those students, Julia Armeli ‘25, Sophie Fetter ‘25, and Rory McClenahan ‘24 discussed a selection…

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Sarah ParkeFebruary 21, 20247min
On Saturday, Feb. 17, 2024, the Forum of the Frank Center for Public Affairs buzzed with discourse on higher education, civic engagement, and art as students, alumni, parents, and community members gathered for the second day of the Democracy in Action convening, sponsored by the Shasha Seminar for Human Concerns. Corwin-Fuller Professor of Film Studies Tracy Heather Strain led a session titled “Art and Activism” where she discussed the impact of Black mentorship on her journey as a filmmaker, the importance of mentors for all artists, and activism through art. “Sometimes activism for Black artists is just practicing one’s art…

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Jeff HarderFebruary 21, 20245min
Earlier this year Tracie Potts, a former NBC correspondent and local media expert, paid a casual visit to the Maryland State House and heard a member of the legislature say something jarring: despite thousands of bills working their way toward becoming laws, you’ll rarely find a reporter covering what’s happening in the chambers at the capitol. “These are decisions that are being made for us every day,” Potts said, “and here’s an elected member of a state legislature saying, ‘Nobody’s covering us.’” Potts joined a panel of experts from across the media landscape as part of Wesleyan’s Democracy in Action…

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James SimsJanuary 24, 20245min
Universities and colleges across the country are asking what the role of higher education is in supporting our democracy in the run-up to the 2024 election. This question will take center stage at Wesleyan University in February at the Democracy in Action convening, a two-day seminar seeking to make clear how students, faculty, staff, and alumni must all commit to defending democracy. Taking place Feb. 16 to 17, the Democracy in Action convening will feature a keynote address by author, academic, reverend, and activist Dr. Michael Eric Dyson, sessions led by faculty, students, and outside experts exploring topics that lie…

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Mike MavredakisJanuary 15, 202410min
When he came to Wesleyan University’s campus on January 14, 1962, many people thought Civil Rights leader Martin Luther King Jr., Hon. 64, was in a moment of defeat. Uncharacteristically for King, the Albany Movement, which he helped lead after it was started by protestors, struggled to gain a foothold in the media. But if King were feeling defeated, no one could tell by the impassioned address he gave before interested students and faculty. In December of 1961, many protesters were arrested in Albany, Georgia and intentionally declined bail to attempt to crowd jails and spotlight inhumane conditions. However, Albany…

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Mike MavredakisDecember 20, 202321min
It has been a consequential year at Wesleyan. The University announced the end of legacy admissions and loans, policy changes aimed at improving the access and affordability of its liberal arts education. It also launched the largest fundraising initiative in school history.   While Wesleyan was focused on its mission to provide a diverse group of students with an expansive and broad education, its students continued to learn and create and faculty continued to make significant contributions in their fields of study. Throughout the year, the Wesleyan Connection has documented this creative and compassionate community hungry to have an impact on…

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Mike MavredakisDecember 13, 20235min
In a time when campus dialogue is front page news as violence continues in the Middle East, Wesleyan President Michael S. Roth ’78 has spoken and written extensively on the topic over the last few days, providing his perspective and insight into the environment at Wesleyan. Roth appeared on MSNBC’s “The 11th Hour with Stephanie Ruhle” on Dec. 5 to discuss the campus conversation surrounding the war and student’s perception of safety during times of rising religious interpersonal conflict. “On our campus, we have seen that people have the ability to sit together in the same room and listen to…

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Editorial StaffDecember 6, 20232min
Author and academic Michael Eric Dyson will offer the keynote address at Wesleyan University’s Democracy in Action Convening, a weekend exploration of the convergence of higher education and democracy. The event will be held February 16-17, 2024, and is free for Wesleyan students and $25 for all other attendees. Registration is now open. Across two days of thought leadership and engaging activities, participants will hear from a collection of scholars, community leaders, experts, and peers. Following a Friday afternoon filled with student-centered engagement opportunities, the Convening opens to all with Dyson’s keynote address that evening. Saturday will be filled with…

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Steve ScarpaOctober 10, 20236min
Professor of Government Sonali Chakravarti connected the 1970 Black Panther trials held in New Haven to important jury reforms taking place in Connecticut today. Chakravarti delivered her lecture on the subject, entitled “The Black Panther Trials in New Haven and the Power of the Jury,” at the Faculty and Staff Lunch Talk held on October 5. She outlined a brief history of the Black Panther Party in Connecticut and the facts behind two trials surrounding the 1969 murder of Alex Rackley, a 19-year-old Floridian who had been sent to help the Panther chapter in New Haven. The Black Panther Party…

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Mike MavredakisJuly 28, 20237min
U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona visited Wesleyan University on July 28 for a roundtable discussion with first-generation students on the Biden-Harris Administration’s efforts to advance diversity and opportunity in higher education. Cardona engaged with students about how diversity is important to their learning experiences, bilingualism, having staff that represent their student populations, and culturally relevant teaching. He also sought advice on how to elevate students’ voices and what they want Washington to do to further this charge. “Each one of these students here today told me that one of the things they love about Wesleyan is learning in an…