Interested in Unteaching Stereotypes in Middletown Schools?

juliasstarJulia’s Star is a children’s book written by Johanna Justin-Jinich. It tells a story about the injurious effects of intolerance, and how curiosity, friendship, knowledge and trust can overcome prejudice. Every spring, several Wesleyan students use this story to start a discussion about difference and how to understand/appreciate diversity of others with elementary schoolers around Middletown.
This project is about talking to children in an honest and real way about prejudice and stereotyping. Diversity training is not part of Connecticut state curriculum, but we feel it is essential for students to grow up with the vocabulary to talk about prejudice, to know how to ask each other questions, and to learn to embrace and enjoy difference. This is a special project that encourages important conversation about difference while honoring the memory of Johanna Justin-Jinich by sharing the magic of her book.
We are growing each year with the help of OCS and we would love you to be involved! Students will need to attend a training and commit to a few hours a week in April-May leading sessions in the schools. If you think you may be interested in the project or in providing diversity training, please email us at to get involved.


Jennifer Roach is the Civic Engagement Fellow in Allbritton for the academic year 2015-2016. She is a recent Wesleyan alumni, class of 2014. Since graduating, she has moved to Hartford to continue developing Summer of Solutions Hartford, an urban farming internship program she worked on during her time at Wesleyan.