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Our friends at Unite for Sight are offering discounted registration for their 12th annual Global Health & Innovation Conference, March 28-29, in New Haven. (That’s a full week after Wesleyan’s Spring Break ends.) The student price is only $110 until August 31, and it increases $10/month thereafter.

For full conference details, visit http://www.uniteforsight.org/conference.

Current students who register for this (or any other) conference are eligible to apply for a Patricelli Center Enrichment Grant to cover or defray the cost of attending.


Email from Unite For Sight:

I hope that you are doing well!  You and your colleagues may be interested in attending or presenting at the upcoming annual Global Health & Innovation Conference at Yale, which is the world’s largest and leading global health conference as well as the largest social entrepreneurship conference.  We would appreciate it if you could please forward this announcement to your colleagues who may be interested in attending or presenting.  For those interested in presenting at the conference, we are currently accepting abstracts for oral and poster presentation.  The first abstract deadline is August 31, and the final abstract deadline is September 30.  Register by August 31 for a very reduced early bird rate.

Global Health & Innovation Conference
Presented by Unite For Sight, 12th Annual Conference
Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, USA
Saturday, March 28 – Sunday, March 29, 2015

“A Meeting of Minds”–CNN

The Global Health & Innovation Conference is the world’s largest global health conference and social entrepreneurship conference.  This must-attend, thought-leading conference annually convenes 2,200 leaders, changemakers, students, and professionals from all fields of global health, international development, and social entrepreneurship.  Register now to secure the lowest registration rate: http://www.uniteforsight.org/conference

Interested in presenting at the conference? Submit an abstract for consideration.

To date, the conference’s 300 confirmed speakers include:

Keynote Addresses

  • Gary Cohen, President and Co-Founder, Health Care Without Harm
  • Jeffrey Sachs, PhD, Director of Earth Institute, Columbia University; Quetelet Professor of Sustainable Development, Professor of Health Policy and Management, Columbia University; Special Advisor to Secretary-General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon
  • Sonia Ehrlich Sachs, MD, MPH, Director of Health, Millennium Village Project, Earth Institute, Columbia University
  • More speakers TBA

Business Principles in Global Health Speakers

  • “Measurement for Managers: Tools for Decision Making to Advance Health in Developing Countries,” Kim Longfield, Director, Research and Metrics, Population Services International
  • More speakers TBA

Design Thinking Speakers

  • Mariana Amatullo, Vice President, Director, Designmatters Department, Art Center College of Design
  • Cal Bruns, CEO/Chief Creative Incubationist, Matchboxology
  • Ramsey Ford, Visiting Assistant Professor, Industrial Design, University of Cincinnati; Design Director, Design Impact
  • Mark Goulthorpe, Associate Professor, MIT Department of Architecture
  • Meghan Majorowski, Director, Global Health at FSG
  • Meira Neggaz, Senior Program Officer, MSI-US
  • Natacha Poggio, Assistant Professor, Visual Communication Design, Hartford Art School, University of Hartford; Founder, Design Global Change
  • More speakers TBA

Environment Health, Energy, Food and Agriculture Speakers

  • Jessie Cronan, Executive Director, Gardens for Health International
  • Cheryl Dahle, Future of Fish
  • “Why Soy is Unhealthy: It’s NOT What You Think!” Stephanie Seneff, Senior Research Scientist, MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory
  • Sasha Kramer, PhD, Co-founder and Executive Director, SOIL; Adjunct Professor of International Studies, University of Miami
  • Debra Shapira, Senior Manager Institutional Relations, Root Capital
  • More speakers TBA

Film, Photography, Art & Global Health Speakers

  • Firdaus Kharas, Chairman, Chocolate Moose Media and Culture Shift
  • Lisa Russell, Emmy-Winning Filmmaker and Global Health Advocate, Governess Films
  • More speakers TBA

Healthcare Delivery Models and Impact Measurement

  • Jane Aronson, MD, CEO, Founder, Worldwide Orphans Foundation; Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Cornell Weill Medical College and Columbia University
  • Shinichi Daimyo, Clinical Program Officer, Partners In Health
  • Martin Edlund, CEO, Malaria No More
  • Gabrielle Fitzgerald
  • Eva Harris, Professor, Division of Infectious Diseases and Vaccinology; Director, Center for Global Public Health, School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley
  • Kala Mehta, DSc, MPH, Faculty Affiliate, Global Supply Chain Management Forum, Stanford Graduate School of Business, Assistant Professor, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of California, San Francisco
  • Josh Ruxin, Founder and Director, Health Builders
  • Camille Saade, Director, Partnerships,Global Health, Population and Nutrition, fhi360
  • “Closing the Delivery Gap: An Integrated Approach to Health Systems Strenghtening in Togo, West Africa,” Jennifer Schechter, MSW, MPH, Executive Director, Hope Through Health
  • Mohammed Abdus Salem, Country Representative, BRAC Liberia
  • “Quality Assurance in Vision Center and Outreach Eye Screenings,” Sarang Samal, Founder, Kalinga Eye Hospital, NYSASDRI, India; Unite For Sight Partner
  • Harsh Sule, MD, MPP, Assistant Professor and Director of International Emergency Medicine, Thomas Jefferson University & Hospitals
  • More speakers TBA

Health Education and University Education Initiatives in Global Health Speakers

  • “InnovateHealth Yale: A Program in Social Impact and Entrepreneurship — Implementation and Lessons Learned,” Marty Klein, MPH, PhD, Lecturer in Public Health, Associate Dean for Development and External Affairs, Yale University School of Public Health
  • Jordan Levy, Managing Director, Ubuntu Education Fund
  • Tucker Marion, PhD, Associate Professor, Co-Director, High-Technology MBA; Co-Director, Institute for Global Innovation Management; Samuel Altschuler Research Fellow, Entrepreneurship and Innovation Group, D’Amore-McKim School of Business, Northeastern University
  • Joia Mukherjee, Associate Professor of Medicine, Associate Professor of Global Health and Social Medicine, Harvard Medical School
  • Richard Skolnik, Lecturer, Department of Health Policy and Management, Yale School of Public Health; Author, “Essentials of Global Health/Global Health 101″
  • Monica Slinkard, MSN, ANP-BC, WHNP-BC, Medical Director, LifeNet International
  • More speakers TBA

Health Policy & Advocacy

  • Rajesh Anandan, Senior Vice President, Strategic Partnerships and UNICEF Ventures, U.S. Fund for UNICEF
  • Sam Daley-Harris, CEO, Center for Citizen Empowerment and Transformation, A Project of RESULTS Educational Fund
  • Katie Taylor, Deputy Assistant Administrator, Bureau of Global Health, U.S. Agency for International Development
  • John Wilmoth, Director, Population Division, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, United Nations
  • More speakers TBA

Maternal and Child Health Speakers

  • Yet Asfaw, Vice President, EngenderHealth
  • “Why the Continuing Siege on Reproductive Rights?” Rebecca Cook, Professor of Law Emerita, FAculty of Law, University of Toronto
  • “In Your Own Words: Digital Youth Story Telling,” Nomi Fuchs-Montgomery, US Country Director, MSI
  • Kirsten Gagnaire, Executive Director, Mobile Alliance for Maternal Action (MAMA)
  • “Just Actions: 10 Transformational Initiatives That Can Deliver the Next Wave of Health and Development Gains,” Leith Greenslade, Vice-Chair Child Health, Office of the UN Special Envoy for Financing the Health Millennium Development Goals and the MDG Health Alliance
  • Latanya Mapp Frett, Vice President, Global Planned Parenthood Federation of America
  • “Mutual Learning and Reverse Innovation: Lessons from the Field,” Tricia Morente, COO, Kangu
  • James Nardella, Executive Director, Lwala Community Alliance
  • More speakers TBA

Mental and Neurological Health Speakers

  • Andy Shih, Senior Vice President, Scientific Affairs, Autism Speaks
  • Stephanie Smith, Health and Policy Advisor for Mental Health, Partners In Health and Inshuti Mu Buzima, Rwanda; Fellow in Psychosomatic Medicine and Psycho-oncology, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute; Research Fellow, Program in Global Mental Health and Social Change, Department of Global Health and Social Medicine, Harvard Medical School
  • “Global Mental Health and Development,” Chris Underhill, Founder, BasicNeeds
  • More speakers TBA

Other Non-Communicable Diseases Speakers

  • David Bouslough, MD, MPH, FACEP, Assistant Clinical Professor, Director, Division of International Emergency Medicine, Department of Emergency Medicine, Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University; Director of Life Support Education, Clinical Advisor for Emergency Medicine, Emergency Preparedness, and Palliative Care, LBJ Tropical Medical Center, American Samoa
  • Gene Kwan, MD, Clinical Fellow, Boston Medical Center and Partners In Health
  • “Income Inequality: It’s More Than Just Annoying,” Nader Moinfar, MD, MPH, Diplomate, American Board of Ophthalmology; Fellow, American Society of Retina Specialists; Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology, University of Central Florida School of Medicine; Diseases and Surgery of the Retina, Vitreous and Macula, Magruder Eye Institute
  • Mark Roithmayr, Chief Development Officer, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
  • More speakers TBA

Patient-Centered Initiatives Speakers

  • Peter Doshi, Assistant Professor of Pharmaceutical Health Services Research, University of Maryland School of Pharmacology; Associate Editor, The BMJ
  • Richard Siegrist, Director of Innovation and Entrepreneurship; Associate Academic Director, MHCM Program; Adjunct Lecturer on Health Care Management, Harvard School of Public Health
  • “How to Restore Trust and Social Responsibility in Medicine,” Leana Wen, MD, MSc, Director, Patient-Centered Care Research, Department of Emergency Medicine, The George Washington University
  • More speakers TBA

Research, Monitoring, and Evaluation Speakers

  • Thomas Chupein, Policy Manager, Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab           
  • Jennifer Galvin, Assistant Professor, Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Science; Director, Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus, Yale School of Medicine
  • “Equitable Research in Global Health Equity: Increasing Technical Capacity and Ownership of Research in Rural Rwanda,” Bethany Hedt-Gauthier, Instructor, Department of Global Health and Social Medicine, Harvard Medical School
  • Peter Speyer, Chief Data & Technology Officer, Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation
  • James Tsai, MD, Robert R. Young Professor and Chairman, Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, Yale University School of Medicine; Chief of Ophthalmology, Yale-New Haven Hospital
  • Daniel Zoughbie, Founder and CEO, Microclinic International; Visiting Scholar, Center on Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law
  • More speakers TBA

Philanthropy and Investment Speakers

  • Diana Ayton-Shenker, Founder & CEO, Global Momenta           
  • David Barash, Executive Director, Global Health Portfolio and Chief Medical Officer, GE Foundation
  • Shubha Kumar, MPH, PhD, Assistant Professor & Director of Programs, University of Southern California (USC)
  • Angela Lee, Founder, 37 Angels; Executive Director of Teaching Excellence and Adunct, Columbia Business School
  • Jennifer Mccrea, Senior Research Fellow, Hauser Institute for Civil Society, Harvard Kennedy School
  • More speakers TBA

Social Enterprise Speakers

  • Molly Christiansen, Director of Research & Partner Development, LivingGoods
  • Dean Cycon, Founder and CEO, Dean’s Beans Organic Coffee Co.
  • “Unreasonable Capital // Investing at the Nexus of Explosive Growth & Impact” Daniel Epstein, Founder & CEO, Unreasonable Institute
  • Tyler Gage, Co-Founder and President, Runa
  • Peter Johnson, Partner, Developing World Markets
  • “Rising Expectations Lift All People,” Rodney North, The Answer Man – Information for the Public and Media, Equal Exchange Coop
  • Rashmi Pillai, Director, Strategic Partnerships & Advisory, Living Goods
  • Joe Whinney, Founder and CEO, Theo Chocolate, Inc.
  • More speakers TBA

Social Entrepreneurship Speakers

  • Ron Bills, Chairman and CEO, Envirofit International
  • “Keeping the Wheels Turning: A Practical Approach to Delivering Health Care to the Hard to Reach,” Andrea Coleman, Co-founder and CEO, Riders for Health
  • Al Hammond, Senior Entrepreneur, Ashoka’s Full Economic Citizenship Program
  • Brian Julius, Owner, Books of Hope LLC
  • “Social Impact Measurement and the Pretense of Knowledge,” Rich Leimsider, Vice President of Fellowship Programs, Echoing Green
  • Matt Nash, CASE Managing Director, Fuqua School of Business, Duke University
  • More speakers TBA

Social Media & Marketing Speakers

  • Charlotte Cole, Blue Butterfly Collaborative
  • “Indiegogo: Crowdfunding for Impact,” Alisa Cordesius, Cause Vertical Manager, Indiegogo
  • “Energy & Impact: Creating Compelling Social Change Campaigns,” Dave DeLuca, Head of Campaigns, Do Something
  • Mehret Mandefro, President and Producer, Truth Aid
  • More speakers TBA

Surgery & Global Health Speakers

  • Scott Corlew, CMO/VP of Medical Affairs, St. Thomas Rutherford Hospital
  • Kathleen Casey
  • Robert Riviello, Instructor, Harvard Medical School
  • “Gratifactions and Hazards of Volunteer Service Abroad,” Aron Rose, MD, Associate Clinical Professor, Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, Yale University School of Medicine; Associate Clinical Professor, Graduate Entry Prespecialty in Nursing, Yale University School of Nursing
  • More speakers TBA

Technology in Global Health Speakers

  • Bobby Jefferson, Director Informatics, Futures Group
  • Shainoor Khoja, Consultant/Previously Managing Director, Roshan Community
  • Kenneth Paik, MD, MBA, Director of Operations, Sana
  • Amish Parashar, Director of Innovation, Triple Ring Technologies
  • Carter Powers, COO, Dimagi, Inc.
  • More speakers TBA

Water and Sanitation Speakers

  • Zafar Adeel, Director, United Nations University, Institute for Water, Environment and Health
  • Ned Breslin, Chief Executive Officer, Water For People
  • Christoph Gorder, Chief Global Water Officer, Charity:Water
  • More speakers TBA

Interactive Workshops

  • Jane Aronson, MD, CEO, Founder, Worldwide Orphans Foundation; Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Cornell Weill Medical College and Columbia University
  • Cal Bruns, CEO/Chief Creative Incubationist, Matchboxology
  • Dean Cycon, Founder and CEO, Dean’s Beans Organic Coffee Co.
  • Perry Dougherty, Director of Institute for Spiritual Formation & Society, Still Harbor
  • “Bioethical Challenges Practicing Medicine in the Developing World,” Aron Rose, MD, Associate Clinical Professor, Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, Yale University School of Medicine; Associate Clinical Professor, Graduate Entry Prespecialty in Nursing, Yale University School of Nursing
  • More speakers TBA

Complete conference details can be seen on the 2015 Global Health & Innovation Conference website.

Wesleyan’s Patricelli Center for Social Entrepreneurship will be appointing our 2014/2015 Peer Advisors in the coming weeks. If you’d like to be considered, please send a brief email expressing your interest to Makaela Kingsley ’98, Director of the Patricelli Center, by Wednesday, September 3. If you’ve had limited or no interaction with the PCSE in the past, include a summary of your social impact or entrepreneurship experience that would qualify you to be a Peer Advisor.

Who are the PCSE Peer Advisors?
PCSE Peer Advisors are undergrad volunteers who have proven experience and interest in social change and/or entrepreneurship. They have a demonstrated commitment to supporting other students and building the culture of social entrepreneurship at Wesleyan. Profiles of last year’s Peer Advisors are here and here.

What do they do?
Peer Advisors are required to attend a 2-hour training at the start of each semester, hold a weekly drop-in hour (day/time TBD; each advisor attends 1-3/semester), and review PCSE Enrichment Grant applications. Additionally, Peer Advisors may volunteer to coordinate or assist with PCSE workshops, launch new programs or initiatives to support Wesleyan social entrepreneurs, or take on projects for the Patricelli Center. All Peer Advisors receive preference for select PCSE resources and a useful addition to their resume, and most find that they improve their own social impact skills while supporting their peers.

If I’m interested but I’m going abroad in the fall or spring, what should I do?
Email Makaela by September 3, and note which semester you’ll be away. Some Peer Advisors may participate remotely, and others may volunteer for only one semester.

Who can I talk to if I have questions?
Contact PCSE Director Makaela Kingsley ’98, Civic Engagement Fellow Rosy Capron ’14, or last year’s Peer Advisors (fall and spring).

Have you ever wondered what happens to all the food we toss after meals at Usdan and Summerfields? Do you know what’s so special about the blue buckets and Earth Tubs around campus and wish everyone else knew, too? This internship with the Sustainability Office presents a unique opportunity to assist with composting on Wesleyan’s campus and to develop innovative ways to expand and advertise the program.

Learn more about the position here. The internship requires 5 hours per week of work for 15-16 weeks per semester. This is a year-long position open to students regardless of their work-study eligibility. Students must be at least 20 years old and have at least three years of driving experience and a clean driving record. Applicants can submit a resume and statement of interest to wesleyancompost@gmail.com.


Hopscotch is an award-winning and immensely fun iPad app that uses a visual programming language to teach kids (or anyone, really) to code. Liza Conrad ’11 reached out to the PCSE about two very exciting positions at the startup, and recent grads in New York with an interest in technology education should certainly take a look:

1. Full-time intern(s) to help support both product and non-product teams. This position will receive a stipend but is unpaid.

2. Part-time operations assistant to support office operations, scheduling, and communications. This is a part-time paid position (20 hours/week at $15/hour).

Both positions offer huge potential for growth and making a tangible impact on Hopscotch’s work. These are extraordinary opportunities to be part of small, talented team in a dynamic startup that describes itself as “smart, ambitious, and a little weird.” Sounds like Wes grads will feel right at home! Check out the descriptions, qualifications, and instructions below.

Continue Reading »

The Patricelli Center for Social Entrepreneurship presents


Tuesday, October 14
6-8 p.m.
Allbritton 311

Register HERE by October 13

Entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs, and changemakers of all kinds must learn to speak the language of finance in order to clearly communicate their vision and plans. This session will explain essential ideas related to for-profits, non-profits, finance, and accounting, so you can articulate ideas in a format — with precise terminology — that will be compelling to colleagues, funders, and other stakeholders. In addition to terminology, this session will cover the process of developing financial plans and documents that make your vision credible to those who have the resources needed to enable your work.

Carl Byers 150x150Carl Byers ’93 is an Adjunct Lecturer in Public Policy at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. His class there on entrepreneurial finance helps aspiring entrepreneurs gain facility with the tools and concepts needed to launch ventures. Byers is a Venture Partner at Fidelity Biosciences, a venture capital firm based in Boston. He also serves on the boards of several for-profit and not-for-profit organizations, including the MINDS Foundation. He was on the founding team at Athenahealth, a start-up aimed at helping physicians with the business side of medicine, which went public in 2007. He served as Chief Financial Officer there from the company’s founding in 1997 until early 2010. He is a member of the advisory board at Wesleyan’s Patricelli Center for Social Entrepreneurship.


The Patricelli Center for Social Entrepreneurship presents


September 17, 2014
12-1 p.m.
Usdan 108
Lunch will be served for those who register by September 15 HERE 

Heather Corcoran ’92 will discuss how visual design can transform data. She will contrast projects which make health data more accessible for the public with self-generated projects which explore finding a visual poetics of information. Heather got her start in design in the printshop at Wesleyan University and has built a practice which merges language, numbers, and pictures into digital tools and gallery installations.

Heather CorcoranHeather Corcoran is a graphic designer, writer, and letterpress printer. She is director of the College and Graduate School of Art and professor of Design at Washington University’s Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts. Her exhibition Reading Time: Visual Timelines, Texts, and Canons opens at Northeastern University’s Gallery 360, Boston, in September. You can visit her blog at corcoranfordesign.com


This lecture is co-sponsored by the Center for the Arts (CFA) and Creative Campus Initiative, Quantitative Analysis Center, and Green Street Arts Center.


An example of Heather Corcoran's data visualization work

An example of Heather Corcoran’s data visualization work



For both newcomers and ENGAGE blog regulars, I am probably an unfamiliar face, so I’d like to take a moment to introduce myself as Wesleyan’s Civic Engagement Fellow for 2014-2015.

My name is Rosy Capron and I graduated in May with a degree in the College of Social Studies. While at Wesleyan, I was involved in a wide array of activities (perhaps spreading myself a bit thin at some points), and on any given day I could be found pulling weeds for WILD Wes, tutoring at Woodrow Wilson Middle School, holding debates on feminist activism with Rho Epsilon Pi, or working with students as a Writing Mentor. It was only last fall in Donald Moon’s course on the Foundations of Civic Engagement, however, that I came to understand the role that these extracurricular commitments had played in my education and in the Wesleyan community. Several authors we read argued that democratic citizenship requires skills that must be learned through repeated and painstaking practice, through attempts to work together and to make decisions, and this was certainly true of my Wesleyan experience. Civic engagement molded me into a better community member and leader, and I had loads of fun in the process. What brings me to the Civic Engagement Fellowship this year is a desire to help students find similarly enriching and enjoyable experiences that enhance their own education while also contributing to the communities around them.

My personal interests lie at the intersection of civic engagement and urbanism, particularly in the areas of participatory planning and alternatives to gentrification. But my chief passion is to help others find their own passions, so feel free to contact me by email or to stop by my office in Allbritton 307 to discuss how and why to become more engaged.

Kate Weiner ’15 was selected to receive an Enrichment Grant from the Patricelli Center for Social Entrepreneurship. Kate leveraged this grant to enrich not only her own work with an innovative social enterprise – the Urban Farms Collaborative – but also to provide enriching hands-on experience for two other Wesleyan students, Sarah Dash and Rachie Weisberg. You can read Kate’s story below, and visit the PCSE website to learn more about our grant programs.


by Kate Weiner

East New York Farms

East New York Farms

Urban Farms Collaborative is a project designed to link students to internship opportunities on urban farms. The idea to develop the initiative stemmed from my experiences last summer photographing, interviewing, and volunteering with female urban farmers across the East Coast. The female farmers I met with were enormously generous with both their time and support. I wanted to find a way to maintain reciprocal relationships with these women: to give back in energy and effort what they had so graciously given to me. For some of the farms I visited, help with grant writing was most needed: for others, a reliable network of volunteers was in short supply. Deborah Greig, the Farm Manager of East New York Farms, suggested I create an internship program to help with farm operations when ENYF’s Youth Internship Program was not on site.

With the support of the College of the Environment and the Patricelli Center for Social Entrepreneurship, Urban Farms Collaborative was able to connect two students—the incredible Sarah Dash and Rachie Weisberg—with internships at East New York Farms. I am conducting my thesis research at East New York Farms this summer as well, and am perpetually thankful for the opportunity to learn from Sarah, Rachie, Deborah, and Shella, the Assistant Farm Manager. These women are just a few of the many passionate individuals who are part of the ENYF ecosystem.

Urban agriculture exists at the intersection of many paradoxes. As nourishing as this experience has been in more ways than one (I often get to go home with a bundle of rainbow chard), it has also raised a number of questions. Urban farms can simultaneously serve as a catalyst for positive social change and a trigger for gentrification; an exploration in horizontal leadership practices and an exercise in paternalism. I feel fortunate that I haven’t encountered this kind of attitude at ENYF—it is truly a community-based organization—but I do recognize that the farm faces its own challenges, particularly, encouraging more and more people to participate in its biweekly farmer markets.

Here is Rachie’s account of her experience as part of the Urban Farms Collaborative. It’s a beautiful summation of learning about urban agriculture through active participation.

My experience this summer interning at East New York Farms has been nothing short of amazing, inspiring and slightly dehydrating. That being said, it feels oddly satisfying to leave work feeling tired, because I know I have accomplished, to put it colloquially, a ‘good day’s work’. I feel like I am able to simultaneously be more focused at my other internship because I am not spending all my work time starting at a computer screen. Before ENYF, despite being involved with various issues of food sustainability, I had never actually worked on a farm. Now being a part of actual food production has provided me with a larger appreciation for farmers and the hard labor that they endure to produce organic vegetables.

On a separate note, two weeks ago, I was buying groceries at a coop I am a part of in Bushwick, Brooklyn. As I was buying some swiss chard, I mentioned to the cashier how working at East New York Farms had increased my appreciation for chard and its beautiful stem. She looked at me blankly for a second and then asked, “do you feel safe there?” It took me a second to process what she was asking before I said, “well, yeah, I do” and awkwardly left the shop. Afterward, I kept thinking about how simultaneously frustrating and yet understandable  I found the cashiers question to be. After a while, I realized how powerful it was that the farm had allowed me to feel comfortable in this neighborhood that many deem as ‘unsafe’.

Ultimately, my experience at the farm has been powerful in so many ways that I could not have even previously imagined. I am honestly sad that the summer is going to end soon but am excited to visit the farm every time I return to NYC.

The Urban Farms Collaborative is entirely possible because of the support of the COE, PCSE, and ENYF. I am especially grateful for the guidance of Deborah and Shella. I’m not certain that I am always of use on the farm (I’ve definitely messed up a few trellises), but I’m sure thankful that they let me try anyway. Ideally, Urban Farms Collaborative will continue next summer, providing students the opportunity to learn more about the joys and trials and small surprises intertwined in the act of urban farming.

Here at Wesleyan’s Patricelli Center for Social Entrepreneurship, we follow and support the work of students and alumni invested and investing in social change. One of those people is David Lubell ’98, Executive Director of the non-profit Welcoming America, “a national, grassroots-driven collaborative that promotes mutual respect and cooperation between foreign-born and U.S.-born Americans.” You can read Welcoming America’s latest newsletter (below), and learn more at http://www.welcomingamerica.org/.


Welcoming America newsletter header

Welcoming America is Supporting the Growing Number of Communities that are Welcoming Unaccompanied Children

Dear Colleagues,

We stand at a historic moment for our country.  Unaccompanied children fleeing violence in Central America are being re-settled across the U.S., and regardless of what happens in Washington, it is local communities who must act as the moral compass of our nation.

Now, more than ever, it is important to remember what our local partners witness daily:welcoming communities are more prosperous, dynamic, and united than those that aren’t intentionally inclusive. We are deeply inspired by the growing number of leaders and everyday Americans uniting to make their communities welcoming ones for unaccompanied children. For some inspiring examples of communities stepping up, click here.

From changing the tenor of the conversation, to engaging residents with fears and misperceptions about local impact, to offering support to unaccompanied children, there is much that communities can and should do to step up and help.

In the coming weeks, Welcoming America will do our part to support our rapidly growing national network of local organizations and municipal governments, as well as any community wanting to become more welcoming during this important time.

Our goals are two-fold:

1) To lift up the voices of local leaders across the country who are taking a stand to welcome and humanely care for the children.

Much of the media coverage has been primarily negative and portrays local communities as overwhelmingly against humane and welcoming treatment of the children. This depiction runs counter to public opinion polling and the experience of our local partners.

Over the coming weeks, we will spotlight the welcoming responses taking place around the country. Although details are still being finalized, actions will include:

  • Supporting and publicizing a welcoming sign-on letter for local leaders to demonstrate the depth and breadth of support for the children.
  • Changing the narrative by lifting up the numerous stories of local communities welcoming unaccompanied children and providing messaging and communications support to communities that are seeking to change the local narrative.
  • Creating space for immigrants and receiving community members to come together in service for the children during National Welcoming Week, taking place September 13-21.
  • Working with national partners like the National Partnership for New Americans to connect those ready to welcome children and to share their stories as widely as possible.  If you or your organization would like to partner in lifting up local voices of welcoming, please contact us.

2) To ensure local governments and community organizations have the tools required to marshal welcoming efforts in their communities.  Over the coming weeks, we will:

  • Launch a webinar series with our partners to provide you with facts and background on unaccompanied children and local communities, as well as messaging and actions you can take to promote welcoming the children.
  • Collect and share strategies and narratives that are working for community leaders and organizations across the country.  Please share with us what you are doing or send us your ideas so we can help others learn from them too.
  • Offering our many years of expertise in engaging receiving communities to groups and local governments wanting to promote greater dialogue and communication among local residents to ensure positive community outcomes.

There is an alternative to the divisive rhetoric we have all been hearing. In communities from Tampa to Denver to Syracuse, local leaders are expressing their support for unaccompanied children and emphasizing that the values of those they represent require children be cared for and welcomed.  These statements, some of which are captured here, are a reminder that everyday Americans can change the course of history.

Please do not hesitate to share your thoughts and ideas and to let us know how we can support you in your efforts to create more welcoming communities for all.

David Lubell
Executive Director
Welcoming America

Copyright © 2014 Welcoming America, All rights reserved. 

Attention students and young alumni: We received this email at the Patricelli Center for Social Entrepreneurship (PCSE) and wanted to pass it along to those of you who might be interested in working with this organization, LEAP Skills Academy, for a year or semester. We’re not aware of any Wesleyan-LEAP connections so unfortunately we can’t offer any first-hand advice on the quality of the experience, but it looks like a good opportunity for those interested in international education and social enterprise.

To read about other Fellowships and experiential learning opportunities, visit the PCSE Resource Center’s “Get Experience” section here.


From: William Cao [mailto:bill@leapskills.in]
Sent: Friday, August 01, 2014 6:48 AM
To: Kingsley, Makaela
Subject: Social Impact Fellowship

Dear Patricelli Center for Social Entreprenuership,

I am emailing on behalf of LEAP Skills Academy, an educational social enterprise based in New Delhi India that aims to help motivated students in non-metro towns in India achieve their career aspirations and improve their quality of life. We provide high-quality training and job opportunities for students in areas where there is a severe lack of access to information and effective higher education institutions.

We are currently looking for students taking a gap year/semester or recent graduates interested in the education, social impact, or business sectors to join our 6-month expense-funded fellowship program as a member of the leadership team. Students will have the opportunity to work with business operations and expansion of a rapidly growing social enterprise, personally engage with creating solutions to problems that affect education, and be immersed in the vibrant and diverse culture of India.

Seeing that you are an organization supporting social entrepreneurship, I believe that this would be a great opportunity for your members to gain hands-on experience in developing a scalable business solution to a problem that plagues so many people. Fellows will be mentored by experienced staff who have worked in diverse fields such as investment banking, educational research, small business development, and marketing. They will be challenged but will undoubtedly learn something new every day.

It would be great if you could forward this email to your listserv so that more students can learn about this exciting opportunity. For more information about the fellowship or to talk to someone from LEAP, please visit our website at http://leapskills.strikingly.com or email ankit@leapskills.in This fellowship is life-changing opportunity and will help launch students into careers in education, management, research, public policy, international development, HR, and social work.

Thank you so much for your time.


Bill Cao


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