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The 6th Annual Global Citizenship Institute a Success

The 6th Annual Global Citizenship Institute a Success
Mallory Munro

Over seven days in July, as many as 40 participants took part in the 6th Annual Global Citizenship Institute (GCI) at St. Mark's. A collaboration between St. Mark's School and Austria's Salzburg Global Seminar, the Global Citizenship Institute's mission is to educate and support faculty and students from public, private and international secondary schools as they learn ways to become engaged global citizens, actively working to solve problems of global and local significance.

Students and faculty from the Church Farm School (Exton, Pennsylvania), Kipp University Prep High School (San Antonio, Texas), Taft School,Mystic Valley Regional Charter School, Algonquin Regional High School, Natick High School, Walnut Hill, Brimmer and May, as well as St. Mark's participated.

Dr. Laura Appell-Warren, director of both the Global Citizenship Institute and the Global Citizenship Program at St. Mark's, led a team of four St. Mark's faculty facilitating the Institute. Annabelle Le Jeune, an environmental and cultural writer currently serving with AmeriCorps in Hawaii and both a Salzbjurg Fellow and a veteran of the 2015 and 2016 GCI programs at St. Mark's, served as assistant director. St. Mark's faculty involved included Dr. Warren, veteran math teacher Karen Bryant, Dean of Academics Nathaniel Waters, Head Chaplain Barbara Talcott, and Classics Department Chair Jeanna Cook.

Guest lecturers during the week included Dr. Sue Stafford, Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at Boston's Simmons College; Thomas Ragle, former President of Marlboro College, past Director of the Salzburg Global Seminar in Austria, and a Special Consultant to the United Nations Development Program, Beijing, China; cultural anthropologist Dr. Eric Silverman; and Robert Warfel of the Church Farm School.

As he has for previous GCIs, Bruce Wilson (SM Class of 1954) was on hand throughout the week as a program observer. A St. Mark's trustee, Wilson first attended the Salzburg Global Seminar in 1965 and has attended its June Board Meeting annually since 2007. He has chaired the Global Citizenship Committee of the St. Mark's Board and played an essential role in the creation of the Global Citizenship Institute.

Throughout the week-long GCI, students explored, in large and small settings, global citizenship issues. Faculty worked to develop strategies and lesson plans to infuse global citizenship education into their curriculum. In addition, students and faculty from each school came together to create and present a global citizenship action plan to be implemented in their home school during the 2019-2020 academic year.

Participants engaged in reflective journaling, and there were insightful explorations of topics such as "What is Global Citizenship?"and "Perspective and Ethnocentrism Through Maps." Participants were engaged by a variety of global themes: "Equality to Extinction," "Divergent Global Perspectives Toward LGBTQ Citizens," "Understanding Religious Diversity," and "The Human Cost of Globalization." There were also films, Fab Lab exercises, and more.

On Wednesday, everyone took part in a field trip into Boston. Back on campus, students and faculty worked on the action plans they will be taking back to their respective schools. It was a week filled with fun and camaraderie, as well as insightful and empowering presentations, conversations and collaborative endeavors.

"Our sixth Global Citizenship Institute was excellent," said Dr. Warren. "The group of students were eager to engage deeply in the topics that were addressed and could be found discussing issues of global significance throughout the day and night! A real highlight for me as director was working with the extraordinarily strong group of counselors, including St .Mark's alumni Reed Andary '17 and Lauren Menjivar '18." Dr. Warren also recognized the contributions of the faculty, guest presenters, and interns, as well as the administrative support of Lori Karlsson and MaryAnn Ciampa at St. Mark's as instrumental in this year's GCI success. Dr. Warren continues to be "thrilled that we are partnered with the Salzburg Global Seminar, as they are leaders in the field of Global Citizenship education." Founded in 1947, the purpose of the Salzburg Global Seminar is to challenge present and future leaders to solve issues of global concern. To do this, participants are brought together from different cultures and institutions, problem-focused initiatives are organized, and leadership development is supported.

In the rapidly changing 21st century world there is a need for individuals who can skillfully and ethically navigate our increasingly complex and interconnected planet. As technology, economics, environmental issues and political events intersect, boundaries blur and engaged citizens must work together without national bias with colleagues from a variety of backgrounds, nationalities, and experiences.

Now fully established, the Global Citizenship Program was created one of the three central initiatives of the St. Mark's School 2020 strategic plan.

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