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Read all about what the Rasin Center has been up to this spring!

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Global Programs
This spring we were excited to send two students on exchange to Downe House School for Girls in Thatcham, England. Check out their blogs here. Right after they returned, they helped to host their exchange partners here at Westover. They enjoyed time in both Boston and New York and explored the local area as well.

We accepted a record number of applicants to participate in a global exchange program starting this summer; we'll be sending a total of fourteen students to Australia, Spain, Jordan, South Africa, China, and England. We're also pleased to announce an inaugural exchange to the Senzoku Gakuen School in Kawasaki, Japan! Check out the details here.


Please follow us on social media to hear about our upcoming adventures in Rwanda and Kentucky this summer! Ten students will travel to Rwanda for 12 days in June to visit our sister school, The Maranyundo Girls School in Nyamata, for a summit focused on STEM education and the UN Sustainable Development goals, as well as a number of other sites whose work focuses on women and girls' education. In addition to a game drive and boat cruise, the group will visit with our alumnae community there and visit a bakery started by an alum: The Rwanda Women's Bakery. Ten other students will also participate in our annual service trip to Jackson County, Kentucky to run a summer camp and do clean-up work on the campus. See here for history of the trip as well as information and pictures from last year's trip.

Congratulations to Annie and Mickey, both sophomores from China, on their recent election as West and Over spirit heads!

Westover co-hosted a webinar broadcast internationally through our collaboration with News-Decoder titled "Women's Rights: A Global Reckoning." See here for more on this partnership and inspiring and educational webinar.
Diversity
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The Rasin Center for Global Justice is proud to have held the 2018 Diversity Day celebration, partly in connection to this year's theme, "The Power of Women." Events of the day included keynote addresses by: attorney and activist, Nichole Alcantara Beiner Powell-Newman; author, producer, musician and speaker, Brad Zervas; prominent activist, Justin Bautista-Jones; and Westover's very own Director of Financial Aid (and accomplished educator and ordained minister), Treda Collier.

The celebration of diversity also included a myriad of workshops, led by Westover faculty and students. The successful day exposed the community to a number of realms of diversity and inclusion, ranging from race and ethnicity to socioeconomic diversity to gender and sexual orientation. Students and faculty were given the opportunity to gain a greater perspective of and appreciation for those who may have different backgrounds and identities from their own.



Connecticut Diversity Conference

Eighteen students and three faculty members attended the annual Connecticut Student Diversity Leadership Conference on April 15 at Hotchkiss School. This year's theme was, "Breaking Boundaries: Identity and Intersectionality." The event was an opportunity for students and faculty from across the state to network and engage in important dialogue, facilitating "cross-cultural understanding and a call to action to improve our school communities and our world." The keynote speaker, scholar and activist, Dr. Courtney Marshall, spoke of her experiences as a woman of color and shared elements of her work surrounding black feminist cultures of wellness and the racialized history of physical fitness from enslavement to the present day. Our students and faculty left with useful knowledge and leadership tools to continue to promote diversity and inclusion on our campus.


Message from Eric Mathieu, Director of Diversity and Inclusion

As I say goodbye to Westover, I would like to thank this incredible community for welcoming me the way you have and for allowing me to be part of your academic and personal journeys. Thank you for your listening ears, your open minds and your kind hearts. Diversity and inclusion work never stops; that being said, I'm confident that this school is moving in a positive direction. This is truly a special place and I'm honored to be a member of the Westover family. Congratulations to the Class of 2018!
Community Service
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The community service team was hard at work this spring. We maintained our relationships with Brass City Charter School, the Boys and Girls Club, Little Britches Therapeutic Horse Riding, and Middlebury Convalescent Home, making weekly trips to each of these sites to volunteer with their wonderful programs. Our full team Wednesday outings were fruitful and fulfilling. Whether we were replacing trail tags on trees at Flander's, mulching gardens at the Abbey of Regina Laudis, or sorting food at the Wallingford Food Bank, the team remained mindful of their work and dedicated to the goal at hand.

Besides the community service team, students volunteered at some great events this spring. We had students raise money for CT Special Olympics and take the icy Penguin Plunge in Westport. Westover hosted a Blood Drive on campus in April. Students volunteered at a Fundraiser for a local non-profit Simply Smiles, aided participants at the Walk Against Hunger in New Haven, Walk MS in Torrington, March For Babies in Middlebury, and Great Strides walk for Cystic Fibrosis Foundation in Southbury. There was not a dull moment for volunteers this spring!
Environmental Sustainability
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Weekly Environmental Newsletters continue to be sent to the community to summarize current events in the realm of environmental sustainability and climate change. All newsletters are posted on the website here

The greenhouse is popping with seedlings, some of which have already found a home in the the community garden beds. It was a long winter which gave the garden a late start. The community service team helped plant kale, tomatoes, zucchini, cucumbers, peppers, radishes, herbs and more. We look forward to another bountiful season!

The week leading up to Earth Day, April 22nd, was Sustainability Week at Westover. The week included a clothes swap hosted by the EAC heads, two guest speakers, Alexis and Enya of Back 40 Farm, the Earth Day Chapel, all culminating with an Earth Day celebration on Sunday in Quad that included crafts, indigo tie dying, and a Yoga class.
 
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