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Atlas Week

Saint Louis University's Atlas Program brings together members of the SLU community to focus on the global challenges that confront us in the 21st century. The theme of 2023's Atlas Week is "Chasing the Echoes of Freedom: The Fight for Freedom in the 21st Century," and focuses on how freedom has been taken, given, or disrupted in recent years around the world.

Students interested in becoming involved with Atlas Week as an Atlas Ambassador should complete the Atlas Involvement interest form. For questions, contact Luella Loseille at

Launch Slideshow

About the Atlas Program

The Atlas Program launched in the spring of 2001 to recognize the international dimension of Saint Louis University's academic programs and to celebrate SLU's role in international education and service in light of our Jesuit tradition. The primary goal of the Atlas Program is to increase awareness of the global issues that confront us today in an effort not only to promote discussion but to inspire and inform action. It focuses on what we as global citizens can do to contribute to a better life for all people now and in the future.

About Atlas Week

The initiative was named Atlas Week for the same reasons travelers, leaders and historians have commonly used an atlas throughout the centuries. This instrument allows its users to discern where they have been, discover where they are and decide where they are headed. The Atlas logo features a compass point to emphasize the global vision of Saint Louis University.

Students holding a sign reading Sam and Marilyn Fox Atlas Program in front of a parade of flags
The 2023 Parade of Nations.

During Atlas Week, students, faculty and staff from across the University organize events highlighting their programs' international dimensions. The Parade of Nations kicks off the event, featuring live cultural music and dance, academic and informational booths, carnival games and international cuisine. The Signature Symposium, presented by internationally renowned speakers who have dedicated their lives to political and social justice issues, is traditionally held on Thursday of the week. The week-long celebration culminates on Friday with the Billiken World Festival.

The events held during Atlas Week are designed to achieve five main goals:

  • To educate our students and increase their awareness of issues of global injustice.
  • To inspire and inform student activism regarding issues of global injustice.
  • To build a community of scholars at SLU whose teaching and research focus on global challenges by forging interdisciplinary ties and collaboration across the University.
  • To foster faculty and student cooperation in the area of international service.
  • To promote cross-cultural understanding.

Past Atlas Week Events