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Celebrate SLU's Global Community Virtually


As it celebrates its 20th anniversary, Saint Louis University’s Sam and Marilyn Fox Atlas Week is going virtual to help Billikens dispersed by the current 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic to celebrate the ties that bind the SLU family across countries and continents.

A student sways as SLU celebrates at the Billiken World Festival at a past Atlas Week.

The SLU community has celebrated its global relationships and members for 20 years as part of Sam and Marilyn Fox Atlas Week. This year, it will do so online due to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. SLU file photo by Amelia Flood

“Atlas Week: Abridged,” will begin with online events on Monday, April 27, and will run through Friday, May 1. The week is a series of virtual Atlas Week presentations and discussions that foster the Atlas Week mission and spirit.

“The mission of the Atlas Program is to bring together members of the University community to focus on the global challenges that confront us in the 21st century,” Luella Loiselle, Atlas Week coordinator, said. “With COVID-19, we are witnessing a global challenge that will forever alter how we as a global society move forward in life. COVID-19 has brought disruption to life as we know it. We see how the ramifications of disparities within health care and social systems have high impact on the most vulnerable populations and how the actions of others will have impact and action on your own life even if you are halfway across the world.”

The week’s eight events cover a wide spectrum of topics, including the current pandemic and its impacts on vulnerable groups.

“COVID-19 has shown us that the world we live in is truly an interconnected one and thus we need to work together to rise above the challenge,” Loiselle continued. “Now, more than ever, is the time to focus on what we as global citizens can do to contribute to a better life for all people now and in future. By hosting Atlas Week: Abridged, the Atlas Program hopes to send this message. We also hope to be a constant in these times of uncertainty for our students as they did not get have the opportunity to complete the academic year.”

A schedule of events can be found on all Atlas Week social media accounts (@slu_atlas) and on the Atlas Week homepage. Organizers are in the process of creating a virtual Parade of Nations and a “Let's Eat” segment that showcases different cultural dishes prepared by members of the SLU community. More details will be forthcoming.

2020 'Atlas Week: Abridged' Events Schedule

Monday, April 27
11 a.m. to noon
  • “ICN Disaster Nursing Competencies: What All Nurses in the World Need to Know”
  • Zoom link:
  • Sponsored by the International Council of Nurses, this event is a presentation on Disaster Nursing Competencies for new nurses and seasoned nurses who practice nursing globally.
3 to 4 p.m.
  • “Greece Refugee Crisis: Reflection and Action Amidst COVID-19 “
  • Since 2015, Greece has received 65,000+ asylum seekers and refugees from Syria, Afghanistan and other Middle East/African Nations. The massive influx led the UN Refugee Agency to declare an emergency inside the European Union, leading the EU to deploy the most expensive humanitarian response in history.
  • This Atlas Week event will show the documentary 4.1 Miles, which captures the situation from the perspective of the Greek Coast Guard as they deal with the constant flow of rescues to save refugees attempting to cross from Turkey to Europe.
  • The viewing will be followed up with a discussion on how to help fill a void for health care services in refugee camps, particularly amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Lastly, participants will be called to action by writing postcards to Congress about the status of refugees.
Tuesday, April 28
2 to 3 p.m.
  • “Global Billikens: The Fulbright U.S. Student Program”
  • This session will offer an overview of the Fulbright U.S. Student Program, the flagship international exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government. Topics will cover the breadth of opportunities offered through Fulbright, the lifelong benefits of participating in the program, details about the application process, and advice on how to craft a competitive application.
  • Past Fulbright grantees and current applicants will provide their perspective on the experience.
5 to 6 p.m.
  • “Exploring Difficult Dialogue in Education and the Workplace”
  • The featured topic will center upon overcoming difficult dialogue in educational settings and the workplace when working towards social justice and equality. It will be presented by guest speaker, Genita Williams-Simpson, Ed.D.
Wednesday, April 29
11 a.m. to noon
  • “International Refugee Care - Displaced but Not Forgotten”
  • International refugee care remains a pressing global issue. Today’s world has more refugees seeking asylum than at any time since the end of WWII. 86% of refugees are hosted in developing countries, severely straining existing social infrastructures.
  • This presentation will introduce the principles of international refugee care, including the four recognized phases: Pre-Emergency/Mitigation Phase, Emergency Phase, Post-Emergency/Maintenance Phase, and Repatriation Phase. Throughout these phases, refugee leaders must attend to concern over security, location of settlements, mental stress, dependency and health needs.
Thursday, April 30
3 to 4 p.m.
  • “Fighting Poverty in Bangladesh”
  • Learn how a small nonprofit in St. Louis is fighting extreme poverty in Bangladesh through their sister organization there. Poverty is being eliminated through the support of this nonprofit and many others helping families work toward self-sufficiency and experience the pride of caring for their family.
Friday, May 1
5 to 6 p.m.
  • “Isang Pilipinas”
  • The Filipino Student Association will be discussing how COVID-19 is affecting the Philippines. They will share what the Philippines has been doing to reduce COVID-19 and how the citizens of the Philippines are uniting together to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
  • The event is called “Isang Pilipinas” which means “Philippines As One” to show the unity in the Philippines as they go through this crisis.
7 to 8 p.m.
  • “Open Strings: A Silk Road Lute Concert”
  • Local Musician Chris Stephens performs traditional music from the Middle East, India and China with historic stringed instruments of the lute family.