Category Archives: Causes

TODAY: Protest Against Icy Paths


While we’re fully aware it’s much more important to protest prescient matters in our society, culture, and government, sometimes ya gotta fight for small-scale issues, too. Enter today’s “Protest Against Icy Paths.” Though it’s pretty funny to watch your peers completely wipe out on the terrifying ice rink that frequently covers the Middlebury campus, it ain’t so funny when it’s you. Rather than explain the protest ourselves, we’ll let the protest leaders speak for themselves. As the Facebook group, led by Winson Law ’16, explains:

Have you slipped on ice this J Term?
Does your butt have a bruise?
Are you physically scarred and mentally traumatized by a recent fall?

Today, stand and protest in solidarity against icy paths and treacherous conditions at Middlebury College.

Together, we can bring an end to this fractal menace.

Together, we will bring justice to bruised butts.

Together, we fight against the tyranny of ice.

To fight against the injustice of the cold, we will provide warm banana bread.

Date: Today 1/23
Time: 4-5pm
Place: Mead Memorial Chapel

USAID Food Security Investments in High Population Growth Countries

USAID LOGOThis Thursday there will be a lecture titled “USAID Food Security Investments in High Population Growth Countries” by Reid Hamel ’03, who directs research in food security and economic strengthening programs for Save the Children’s Department of Hunger and Livelihoods in Washington, DC. Reid Hamel is a PhD candidate in demography at the University of California, Berkeley, and is teaching the Winter Term course SOAN 1028 Global Population and Food Security.

When: Thursday, January 22 4:30-6:00
Where: RAJ conference room

MAlt Las Marias: 51 Main Entertainment Night

1506524_10152667656613358_4239853781455193081_nMAlt Plenitud Puerto Rico would like to invite you to a fun filled entertainment night at 51 Main from 4:00pm to 7:00pm on Friday January 23rd. Come to enjoy musical performances by our very own Middlebury Bands Ingoma, Zale the Whale and the Rest of Hadley 5 and many more! There will also be an open-mic opportunity and many more performances coming!

When: Friday, Jaunary 23, 4-7pm
Where: 51 Main Restaurant (Right across the bridge on College Street in town)
Cost: free!

TONIGHT: Resilience Project Talk



If you haven’t heard about the recent online project Resilience started this fall by Middlebury senior feb Emma Erwin ‘15.5, it’s definitely time you do. In a much-needed and highly respectable effort to fill a void at Middlebury College regarding open conversation about mental illness and personal struggles, Emma began Resilience, a website dedicated to exposing real accounts of students’ internal struggles – no matter what they may be – in an attempt to build solidarity and support. The website’s tagline is “What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever done?”, a question encouraging tremendous introspection and honesty, which Emma answered beautifully in the site’s first published story, “Therapy.” Emma shares the Resilience mission below:

So much goes on beneath the surface (especially at Middlebury) where the crazy tough times, traumatic events, and difficult experiences that people deal with often seem to be a taboo subject. Whether it involves mental health, mental or physical illness, family issues, the death of a loved one, relationship issues, sexuality, sexual assault, body image, or whatever else—there are so many tough things that almost everyone has had some serious struggles with at some point in time.

In the moment, it usually feels like you’re completely alone, like you’re in the worst place in the world and that no one understands. But that’s rarely the case: so many of our peers have experienced so much of life, and not all of it is rainbows and butterflies. In an effort to break this norm about hiding one’s struggles under he facade of having it all together, I thought it might be neat to shed some light into some of those darker moments, to share them. My hope is that by sharing our stories, we can both support each other in our struggles and celebrate our strength in the ways we manage to overcome them. 

Needless to say, the Resilience Project has seen tremendous success through numerous extremely insightful and touching written submissions. And, to celebrate this success, EmmaHannah Quinn ’16and Cooper Couch ’14 have organized an event TONIGHT in McCullough Social Space where many submissions will be read out loud. The Resilience FB event invites us to “Come eat cupcakes and join us in the social space to share and support stories of resilience. Submitted stories will be shared in spoken form either openly by the author, or anonymously by a volunteer. For details and/or to share your story:”

We can guarantee this will be a very powerful and worthwhile event, and hope to see you there. All are welcome!

Date: Tonight, 1/20
Time: 8-10pm
Place: McCullough Social Space
Cost: Free!

Social Entrepreneurship and the Future of Global Health

mitch-besser_webThis year the Center for Social Entrepreneurship will be hosting its fourth annual January Symposium which will take place on January 22-24, 2015. The symposium will challenge participants to think about how innovators have an impact in the field of public health. CSE Vision Award recipients Jennifer Staple-Clark, Founder of Unite for Sight, and Mitch Besser, Founder of Mothers2Mothers, will deliver insightful keynote addresses. In addition, the symposium will bring a variety of thought-provoking workshops, live Skype conferencing sessions as well as our first Hackathon with national and international innovators and Middlebury students on the future of global health.

One of the most anticipated events at the symposium is the public conversation on Thursday led by Staple-Clark titled “Responsible Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship,” with Assistant Professor of Sociology and Anthropology Svea Closser and two Middlebury students, Hannah Blackburn ’17 and Sayre White ’15. In 2000, Staple-Clark, then a sophomore at Yale University, founded Unite For Sight in her dorm room. Now the organization is a leader in global health education and in providing cost-effective care to some of the world’s poorest people. Its Global Impact Corps offers year-round healthcare delivery in three countries: Ghana, India, and Honduras. Volunteers for the organization–students and professionals–train with Unite for Sight’s doctors.

On Friday, January 23, at 7 p.m., Dr. Besser will participate in a keynote conversation,
“Communities Caring for Communities: A Vision for Better Health Care,” with Pam Berenbaum, coordinator of Global Health Programs at Middlebury. In 1999, Besser, a graduate of Harvard Medical School, joined the University of Cape Town’s Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, where he created mothers2mothers, in which mothers living with HIV are employed to work alongside doctors and nurses in understaffed health centers, educating and supporting pregnant women and new mothers with HIV. These Mentor Mothers, as they are called, reduce the workload of doctors and nurses and increase the effectiveness of interventions that protect babies from HIV infection and keep mothers healthy and alive. Two Mentor Mothers, Queen Mda and Nozandulela Samela, will serve as workshop leaders during the symposium. Mothers2mothers has reached more than 1.2 million HIV-positive mothers in nine countries in sub-Saharan Africa.

New this year as part of the symposium will be a hackathon, which will bring together students, faculty, staff, and community members to compete as teams to create a one-minute public service announcement regarding a public health issue. On January 23, teams will begin work on their announcements, which may take the form of a video, radio spot, dance, or another medium. Team members will present their announcements for judging at the close of the symposium on Saturday, January 24. Sayre White, Middlebury senior and Co-President of GlobeMed, encourages all students to get involved with this year’s symposium, “This symposium is a brilliant opportunity for anyone who is seeking a channel for their creative energy, and one that facilitates and encourages deep, critical attention to some of the most pressing global health issues of our time.”

For more information on the speakers, events, and the schedule, check out: 

Martin Luther King Jr. Oratorio: A Celebration in Song, Speech, and Dance


As you all know, today is Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service, and while we ought to celebrate the incredibly courageous lives of leaders such as Dr. King throughout the year, Middlebury is honoring Dr. King with distinct grace tonight. The annual Middlebury MLK Oratorio, a Celebration in Song, Speech, and Dance, has been organized by the Midd Oratory Society and will take place in Mead Chapel at 8pm, continuing a long-standing and widely-adored MLK Day tradition. While this year’s oratorio will not feature the beloved François Clemmonswe can guarantee his infectiously fabulous energy will be there in spirit.

This year’s new program of songs and speeches will feature pianist, singer and arranger Keith McCutchen. Director of the Hayes School of Music Gospel Choir and Jazz Vocal Ensemble, Mr. McCutchen will both perform and conduct a community choir open to students and townspeople. Members of the Oratory Society will deliver a selection of speeches by King, and others engaged in the Civil Rights movement, then and now. With choreography by Christal Brown.

The MLK Oratorio is always an incredibly fun time, and provides our entire community a welcoming environment to celebrate one of our nation’s most influential leaders. We hope to see you there!

Date: Monday, Tonight!
Time: 8-9pm
Place: Mead Chapel
Cost: Nothing!

UPDATE: MAlt El Paso Screening “Who is Dayani Cristal?”

Make sure to stop by Twilight hall tonight to catch MAlt El Paso’s screening of “Who is Dayani Cristal”, a critically-acclaimed film about tracing the life and death of a migrant crossing the Sonora Desert in order to find and identify his body. As the forensic investigation unfolds, Mexican actor and activist Gael Garcia Bernal retraces this man’s steps along the migrant trail in Central America. In an effort to understand what it must have felt like to make this final journey, he embeds himself among migrant travelers on their own mission to cross the border.

Tickets will be sold at the door on a sliding scale from $5-15 to support MAlt El Paso’s trip the the Mexican-American Border. If you can’t make the screening, any and all donations are welcome on the trip’s MiddStart page!

Date: Saturday, January 17th
6 – 7:30 pm
Twilight Hall Auditorium

Student Group Profile: Brother to Brother

Now that you have some extra time on your hands, you might be wondering how you can get more involved in the surrounding community. If that’s true, read on – Brother to Brother, a great new group on campus, is always looking for more members. We talked to Jeremy Stratton-Smith ’17 to get more info:

middbeat: So, what is Brother-to-Brother?
Brother to brother is a peer-mentorship group for male-identified people, with the main purpose being to explore positive masculinity with middle schoolers from Addison county. So yeah, saying that sounds intense, but the idea of positive masculinity is basically…deconstructing the idea of what it means to be masculine and just trying to be conscious of the way that our gender presentation influences how we interact with the world and trying to construct that in a more positive way. Most of it is just kind of hanging out with [the kids]. Like last month, Otter Nonsense came and did an improve workshop, and then we’re also trying to do some dinners with male-identified people. We talk about masculinity as college students and just kind of take that into the space with them.

That’s awesome! How did it get started? How did you get involved in all of this?
So, last J-term there was a pair of workshops called “The New Feminine Mystique” and “The Man Box” and there were a bunch of guys in the man box who stuck with it, who did it…and one of those guys, Prestige Shongwe ’16, and Karin Hanta, the director of Chellis house, decided to create this organization. I think a lot of people were excited about it because it is a unique group of people, with people who have a GSFS background, people who have no GSFS background, there were a number of athletes… it has been so awesome to have that diversity of perspectives. Everyone is just so engaged and so with it, which is really neat.

What are your meetings like? How often do you meet?
So there are weekly meetings Sundays, 2-3 in Chellis house [behind Proctor], and that’s where we do most of our planning. And every once in a while, we’ll have an article or video to read and talk about…where we’ll spend half the meeting think critically ourselves. We always have good discussions on a variety of stuff. For the events, themselves, Thursday, Friday, or Saturday nights from 6 to 8:30 pm. You get Grille food paid for! We’re also trying to do a dinner every other week in Chellis house also, for people who can’t commit to working with kids but still want a space to talk about things. We’ll have pretty approachable conversation topics, so hopefully that will kind of be an avenue for people to hear about us.

So what would you say to someone who’s thinking about joining but is maybe a bit tentative?
I think I would say that there definitely is a stereotype that would push people away from these kinds of things, but I also would say that we don’t really fall into that stereotype. We have such a diversity of perspectives, and everyone’s kind of bringing their own thing [to the table]. So if you want to talk about masculinity a lot, you can do that, and if not, we just do that a little bit. The group dynamic [that we have in Brother to Brother] I think is really neat – you get to work with another age group, and you get to kind of just be goofy! It’s very low-stress, and the middle-schoolers look up to us a huge amount…at our last event, we asked kids what they were excited about and probably half the kids said that coming to Brother to Brother was their favorite thing. So they are excited to be with us, and that’s pretty gratifying.


Alumni of Color Weekend


Middbeat is very excited to announce that, thanks to the sincere and tireless efforts of DMC (and many other organizations), the Middlebury Alumni of Color Weekend is back, and will be taking place over this weekend, which is also Martin Luther King Jr weekend! Middlebury DMC writes in to let us know about the packed weekend schedule, which will “include events such as discussions, tours, and yes of course…PARTIES!”

All students are welcome to participate in this weekend’s events, and the DMC wants to highlight that “One of the many special events actually requires some help from y’all! Saturday, January 17th at 8:00pm will be the Student Performance Showcase. We are extremely excited for this event because it is open to all students as well as alumni and we strongly encourage collaboration if any of you were looking to work with a peer or even an alumni! Please let us know ASAP if you are interested in participating in the showcase by emailing the DMC board ([email protected]) or letting a board member know in person. Don’t forget to tell your friends about performing if you know they got some talent!”

We hope everyone will check out at least one event, and for the full schedule, see below or check out the Alumni of Color Weekend Facebook page here:

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Midd VSO Invites You to Join for MLK Day Weekend Events


This Monday, January 19, is a national holiday, Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service, and Middlebury’s Volunteer Service Organization (VSO) is uniting with the extended local Vermont community to honor Dr. King. Julie Webster ‘17.5 of Midd VSO writes in, inviting us all to join:

This weekend, VSO will be participating in the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service. We have a worksite on Friday and a worksite on Saturday.


THIS Friday (January 16): Volunteer at Bridport Elementary School!
What: We will be doing MLK Jr. based activities with a six grade
class When: Meet at ADK at 8:45 am (Yes, a little early, but it will be so
fun!!) We will be back on campus by noon.

THIS Saturday (January 17)  Volunteer at the John Graham Emergency Shelter!
What: We will be doing MLK Jr. based arts and crafts with residents
When: There will be a reception at 9:00am in Carr Hall. We will depart from Carr Hall at 9:30. We will be back by 12:30!

Please join us for one or both events! You will receive an MLK Jr. Day of Service water bottle!

Lets make it a day on, not a day off!

Email [email protected] if you would like to participate!

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