Saint Louis University's Atlas Program brings together members of the University community to focus on the global challenges that confront us in the 21st century.
That Atlas Program launched in Spring of 2001 as a way 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.
The initiative was named Atlas Week for the same reasons that travelers, leaders and historians throughout the centuries have commonly used an atlas. 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.
During Atlas Week, students, faculty and staff from across the University organize events which highlight the international dimensions of their programs.The Parade of Nations kicks off the event, which also features 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 issues of political and social justice, is traditionally held on the Thursday of the week. The weeklong celebration culminates on Friday with the Billiken World Festival.
The events held during 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 focuses 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