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Atlas Week Inspires Actions for Global Change

As part of the ninth annual Atlas Week, SLU-Madrid organized dozens of events on campus addressing the theme “Migrants and Migration: the people behind the numbers.” Faculty, staff and students organized panel discussions, debates, poster displays, guest lectures and workshops to raise awareness about current events and humanitarian issues on a global scale, while also celebrating SLU-Madrid's international identity and commitment to bringing about positive change in the world.

International Party

At the International Food Festival and Party, representatives from various countries shared local delicacies. Carlos Villar and César Rioja of Student Life offer gazpacho, tortilla de patata, jamón, queso manchego and empanada at the Spain booth.

The rich and varied program this year included a multilingual poetry reading, a cross-disciplinary roundtable on migration, a migration stories panel and lectures on topics ranging from overpopulation to indigenous communities in Brazil.

An annual Atlas Week tradition, the International Food Festival and Party proved a highlight for many. Members of the campus community from different corners of the globe prepared and shared native delicacies, including muhamara from Jordan, bolo de cenoura from Brazil, bourbon balls from Kentucky, mint tea and pastries from Algeria and grenat biscuits from Libya, among others. The event culminated in a live flamenco music and dance performance by Rocío Leal and La cuadra punta a punta. The evening came to a close as students from the Spanish dance class showcased their abilities in an impromptu flamenco performance.

"Sampling foods from other countries taught me a little about their cultures and served as a great conversation starter between people from different cultures,” said Rileigh Cassimatis, a sophomore from the St. Louis campus.

In addition to celebrating the community's international identity, Atlas Week events at SLU-Madrid focused on how, as global citizens, we can contribute to a better life for all. The migration stories panel explored such themes, including testimony by Mariela Pérez Rolón, a Paraguayan immigrant who came to Madrid to work as a live-in home assistant. A major goal of Atlas Week is to not only increase awareness of  global issues in an effort to promote dialogue but also to inspire and encourage action.