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joomah logoMuzzy Rosenblatt ’87 — CEO of Bowery Residents Committee, member of the Wesleyan Board of Trustees, and a founding member of the PCSE Advisory Board — wrote with this offer. Please make a gift to the JooMah campaign on Wednesday, April 1, and maximize Muzzy’s challenge!

Muzzy Rosenblatt '87

Muzzy Rosenblatt ’87

Where passion for change meets practical idealism you find Wesleyan alum who don’t just aspire to change the world, they do it. I recently met Kwaku Akoi (Wesleyan ’14), who has an innovative strategy to reduce unemployment across Africa.  His bold vision will transform Africa’s talent landscape through a web platform and smartphone app called JooMah, that he co-created with other Wesleyan students. I was impressed; and so was the jury of Wesleyan’s Patricelli Center for Social Entrepreneurship, awarding him a $5,000 seed grant to build JooMah and test it this year in Ghana. It worked.

Now, Kwaku and the JooMah team have launched an indiegogo campaign to raise $36,000 to release their platform to millions of jobseekers and employers in Sub-Saharan Africa.

I’d like to inspire you to join them and support them.  So I have pledged to contribute up to $500 — a dollar for dollar match for all gifts made on April 1, 2015, up to a total $500 — no fooling! Here is link (https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/joomah-transforming-africa-s-talent-landscape). Make a gift, and I’ll match it, and together we’ll help JooMah achieve its goal.


Muzzy (Wesleyan ’87)

Wesleyan students want to change the world. Understanding how change occurs is a great place to start. Check out Nonprofits and Social Change – a new .5 credit course offered this Fall at the Allbritton Center – to take a closer look at the social sector:

This course explores the world of nonprofits and how they help—or don’t help—the process of social change. As nonprofits increasingly address issues and concerns that governments have previously addressed, a critical analysis of how and why they carry out their work is central to the Allbritton Center’s concern with public life.

Each of the seven class sessions will include:
1) background on a particular social issue (including global health, inner city education, clean water, hunger, refugees and national borders)
2) a “case study” of a nonprofit addressing that issue
3) discussion with leaders of that nonprofit

Jeff Shames, a member of the Wesleyan Board of Trustees and Senior Lecturer at the MIT Sloan School of Management, teaches courses at MIT including Perspectives on Investment Management and The Global Health Lab, a project-based class about how to scale global health organizations focused in Africa and Southern Asia.
Rob Rosenthal is the John E. Andrus Professor of Sociology and the  Director of the Allbritton Center for the Study of Public Life.

This class will meet on Wednesday evenings from 7:00 to 9:50 PM for the first half of the semester. Click here for a list of innovative courses coming to the Allbritton Center next year.

Join the 2015-2016 Allbritton Center Collaborative Cluster Initiative, a unique offering of Wesleyan’s Allbritton Center for the Study of Public Life:

allbrittoncenterThe Allbritton Collaborative Cluster Initiative ties together several courses through a common research theme and a culminating project. Courses and the seminar are supplemented by special events, meals together, outside speakers, and team-building exercises.

This Collaborative Cluster of courses and performative research will include course work in music, dance and African American Studies centered on the notion of renaissance in African American culture. Acts of “renaissance” are efforts of revival and of renewal that often suggest hopeful restorations and vibrant re-creations. Yet, even as these processes of revival and renewal suggest a visible flowering, they simultaneously call attention to matters of decline and undoing. Our collaborative project is rooted in a multi-faceted conception of renaissance, and explores states of past and present, of vitality and decay, and of presence and absence.

This project takes on those questions of the multiplicity of African American performance practices, the vital weaving of tradition and experimentation, and the ways in which dancing bodies serve as moving histories by engaging with the traditions of black musical theater. However, rather than seeking to recreate the traditional tripartite relationship between text, music, and dance this projects aims to create new forms of expression developed collaboratively with writers, musicians and dancers.

This work will draw inspiration from the musically significant African American communities of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, notably Homewood, The Hill District, and Garfield; as well as the better-known New York neighborhood of Harlem.

The culmination of this year-long exploration will be an evening-length performance at Wesleyan University’s Center for the Arts in the Spring of 2016.  In addition, students engaged in the project will develop independent written and performative research around the work done in the courses and the performance.

To join the Cluster Initiative:
1. Sign up for the year-long Collaborative Cluster Initiative Research Seminar (CSPL 320). This requires Permission of Instructor from Professor Lois Brown or Professor Nicole Stanton.  Each semester earns a .5 credit.
2. Sign up for section 02 (also POI) of one or more of the following classes:

Fall 2015
AFAM 249-02/MUS 249-02: Sacred and Secular African American Musics (Jay Hoggard)
DAN 377-02: Perspective on Dance as Culture: Dancing the African Diaspora (Nicole Stanton)

Spring 216
Storied Places: Revival, Renewal, and African American Landscapes (Lois Brown);
An interdisciplinary visual and performance art course taught by Visiting Artist and Scholar, L’Merchie Frazier

For further information, contact Rob Rosenthal (rrosenthal@wesleyan.edu), director of the Allbritton Center for the Study of Public Life.

Professor Jack Dougherty invites interested students, faculty, and staff to attend the April 29 meeting of his class, Choice: A Case Study in Education and Entrepreneurship. During this session (7-8 p.m. in Allbritton 004), five Wesleyan alumni will speak in person or by video about their work as educators. You can see the full syllabus here.

Excerpt describing the April 29 session:

Panel discussion (7-8pm via video conference or in-person) with Wesleyan alumni working as educators, on how they entered the teaching profession and their personal experiences across different types of public choice schools:


In the spirit of March Madness:


As more Division I athletes and their supporters call for payment for players and even consider unionizing, it raises the question of the purpose of college athletics and perhaps of institutions of higher education themselves. Is it exploitative for universities to profit off of their athletes if it is indeed to the detriment of their education, finances, and health? Are athletically-based admission and scholarships unfair – if so, for whom? – or are they a means of expanding college access and diversifying student populations?

In this session of Allbritton Talks, we will examine the controversy surrounding Division I athletics while also pondering what compels us – as a University, as a society, and even as a species – to care about sports.

Recommended reading (and viewing):

“The Shame of College Sports” by Taylor Branch
“Punting Our Future: College Athletics and Admissions” by Barbara H. Fried
“Ed O’Bannon Takes Even Stronger Stance on NCAA Player Compensation” by Maxwell Strachan
“The Myth of Parity” by Scoop Jackson
“Beyond Northwestern: Should Non-Football College Athletes by Able to Unionize?” by Josh Freedman”
“College Athletes of the World, Unite” by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: The NCAA

This event is sponsored by the Allbritton Center for the Study of Public Life. Please send topic suggestions to scapron@wesleyan.edu.

Scholars in Action – a new student group tutoring at the local middle schools – is looking for Wesleyan students to participate in its first ever Wesleyan Enrichment Days on April 22 and May 5! Wesleyan students, either individually or as a group, will lead engaging workshops on topics they are passionate about. The lessons could cover a wide range of interests – dance, drawing, chemistry, creative writing, environmental science, and more! – as long as they’re designed for a young (and antsy) audience. If you are interested in education or just feel like frolicking on Foss with some hilarious preteens, then this may be the low-commitment opportunity for you!

We anticipate that each lesson will have between 5 and 15 middle school students and will last for about 40 minutes. If you or someone you know would like to participate in one or both of the Enrichment Days, e-mail Lily Wittrock (ewittrock@wesleyan.edu) and Rebecca Brand (rbrand@wesleyan.edu) for more information. We are excited to hear from you!

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On Friday, April 3 will be an info session at noon in Allbritton 311 for Wesleyan’s Civic Engagement Certificate, a unique program that encourages students to reflect on their civic life and integrate it with their academics. This is a great opportunity to ask current CEC students about their experiences, learn about upcoming courses, and get ideas for your practicum and community service requirements. Lunch will be provided!

The 2015-2016 WesMaps is now live and pre-registration begins March 30, so check out Civic Engagement and Service-Learning courses, as well as classes in the Center for the Study of Public Life.

BUKO Site Launch

2014 PCSE Seed Grant recipient Joaquin Benares ’15 brings “the internet in a box” to the Philippines with BUKO – Boundless Update Knowledge Offline. This low-cost electronic library stores files from the web for offline use, which allows teachers to access and organize high-quality educational materials for their curriculums, even when working in areas without an internet connection. Visit BUKO’s new website and Facebook page for more information on Joaquin’s coconut-inspired brainchild, and read grant reports from the first few months in action.

Kai Wesleyan in NYC


Kai Entrepreneurship Wesleyan – a student group promoting openness, inclusion, and community in entrepreneurship – will travel to New York City on Saturday, April 4 the visit with several alumni who are working in the tech scene. Transportation, lunch, and dinner will be provided, and applications are due on March 28. Check their blog for details, where you can also read fantastic reflections from Kai Wesleyan’s recent trip to Silicon Valley.

InspiringCapitalLogo-01Nell Derick Debevoise, Founder and CEO of Inspiring Capital, wrote to the Patricelli Center to share news of a new undergraduate training institute. Like Inspiring Capital’s popular MBA Fellows program, this will provide an opportunity for college students to learn business skills from leading faculty and get first-hand experience with mission-driven organizations. The program runs from June 15-August 21, and the cost is $3800. For more information, visit http://inspiringcapital.ly/undergraduate-training/.


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