This week, we were glad to welcome our old friend, Michael Nairn from the University of Pennsylvania’s Urban Studies Program to join us for a session on the racial, economic, and educational issues that affect life here in the City of Philadelphia. These are serious topics but Michael keeps it light while keeping you on your toes. This session was extra special because Michael brought a whole class of Penn undergrads with him. Here’s a picture of the 60 of us getting down to serious business:
Michael put us into small groups and had us discuss everything from James Baldwin quotes to school closings.
Then we had to color maps red, yellow, and green based on where we felt safe in the City.
As you can see, there was a lot of red on our maps. Unfortunately, many of us don’t feel as safe as we need to. Mostly, though, there was a lot of white space on our maps. Vast areas of the City that we don’t know at all. Sometimes our ignorance of an area and the people in it is what makes us the most afraid. After that, we all had to come up to the big map and put a post-it note on our neighborhood. Guess what? A lot of us live in the red and white areas. It turns out we know more people in more parts of the City than we think. That’s a good thing.
Today, we feel like we laid the first moorings of a bridge that might one day help connect the divides in this City. At the very least, we learned a lot. Much thanks to Michael and his students for spending the afternoon with us.
So what happens when you ask twenty-two 10th graders to do yoga for the first time? Well, there are some giggles. And a few complaints. And maybe a few of them are wearing jeans because they forgot their workout clothes. And some don’t want to take their shoes off in front of the others. But you know what else? There are moments of bliss between the giggles.
In those moments of quiet between the twisted legs and outstretched arms, we choose to believe there was some contemplation going on.
And even if they were just humoring us, it’s our hope that someday a few of the students will explore these techniques on their own. Only good can come of that. Much thanks to College Librarian and Yoga Instructor, Annie Brogan, for her marvelous instruction and patience.
The sculptures are being loaded in. The lighting is evocative. The music is ethereal. The College is being transformed. For the first time EVER we are hosting an evening of modern dance here at the College of Physicians and Mütter Museum. The fantastic Jae Hoon Lim from the Temple University Boyer College of Music and Dance will present Life Between on Thursday, February 20th and Friday, February 21st at 7:30pm (come at 6.30pm if you want to visit the Museum, as well). Get tickets here.
And check out a video interview with Jae Hoon below:
That’s a good question. And one that we’re exploring this semester with our Karabots Junior Fellows. What affects our health more: our environment? Our genetics? The medical care we do or don’t receive? Or our behavior? And if it’s our behavior, how many of the diseases we get are preventable? As it turns out, a lot of diseases are preventable. Luckily, we had a public health expert come and talk to us about all this and more. Her name is Mahak Nayyar and she works with the US Department of Health and Human Services as the Deputy Regional Health Administrator for the Philadelphia region. She was amazing.
We learned about programs that can help us get moving, eat better, and get health insurance if we need it. We’re going to do our part. We promise. We even got a lot of leadership advice from Mahak. You can never get enough of that when you’re educating the next generation of leaders. Coming up this week? A yoga class! Om shanti!
CEPI is all about creating spaces where young people can take advantage of the resources of The College of Physicians, Mütter Museum, Historical Medical Library, and the people connected to them. Out4STEM, our series for LGBTQ college-bound youth and allies, is the latest of our efforts to include more young people in this community.
Next Thursday, February 20th at 5pm, Out4STEM (STEM stands for science, technology, engineering, and math) will be hosting a panel of LGBTQ professionals STEM-related fields. A doctor, a nurse, a social worker, an engineer, and a chemist will be sharing stories about how they’ve navigated issues related to gender and sexuality while pursuing successful careers in these fields.
We hope this event will demonstrate how we can fully be ourselves while pursuing meaningful and successful careers, and that these stories will make some of the LGBTQ role models in our community more visible to young people. We invite you to come meet them! Food and tokens will be available.
Contact us or RSVP to learn more!