Week Two PCGL On-campus High School Summer Program – Gender, Economic and Racial Inequality

Sunday, July 17, 2022

Hi, our names are Angelina and Inaya, and we are campers at Porter’s Center for Global Leadership. Today was our first day at camp; however, we already feel so accustomed to our surroundings and to the other members. Everyone, from the campers to the teacher assistants, has been super friendly and charismatic!

During orientation, we went on a tour around the campus in order to familiarize ourselves with our “home away from home” for the next week. This campus illustrates a fascinating history behind such a monumental landmark that commemorates very intelligent, remarkable women. Because of this, we were welcomed with open arms and have access to a myriad of resources.

Regarding today’s activities, we played many introduction games, which allowed us to learn more about each other. It was a super insightful experience to find similarities between ourselves to bond with. Not only were our conversations fruitful but also meaningful as we all discussed our group agreements where we became a true community that set the boundaries for the week to come. Overall, today set the tone for an interactive and fun-filled week, and we’re excited to see how the rest of the week plays out!

– Angelina and Inaya

Monday, July 18, 2022 

Hi! We’re Ava, Cali, and Uche, and today we had the opportunity to speak with Connecticut State Representative Robyn Porter. In our discussion, we spoke about mass incarceration and racial and gender inequality, as well as how her upbringing brought her to where she is today. She gave meaningful advice on how to use our voices and power to empower others.

After we concluded our discussion with Representative Porter, we began talking about our trip to the UN in New York tomorrow. We went more in-depth about what the UN was by watching an informational video explaining its importance. Once we understood more about the UN’s purpose, we transitioned into the protocols for our trip. Following that, we were given topics from the UN Secretary General’s Common Goals agenda, which we further researched and then presented our takeaways.

The last lesson of the day was all about six important identifiers: race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability/ability, and class. In this discussion everyone was very engaged and we got to hear different perspectives from our peers. At the end of the day, we were introduced to our week-long project and began to  brainstorm topics to present in your chosen format. By the end of the week we should all have completed this project to present not only to our peers but to anyone who is interested in listening this Saturday, including our parents.

We are excited to go to the United Nations Headquarters in NYC tomorrow!

– Ava, Cali and Uche

Tuesday, July 19, 2022

Hi! We are Tabitha and Elle! Today, we went to New York City to visit one of the United Nations’ headquarters. We left Miss Porters at 7:15 a.m. to embark on our 2-hour and 30-minute bus ride, looking forward to our adventure ahead. 

Once we got to the United Nations, we went through security and started our tour! During our tour, we saw a bunch of cool conference rooms and many amazing pieces of artwork. We met the Chief of UN Photo, Mr. Mark Garten, and asked him questions about what the UN photographers photograph around the world and what they do with the pictures. We ate lunch in the cafe and were given special access by the UN Secretary-General’s Spokesperson, Stephane Tremblay, into the staff-only part of the Secretariat building. Ms. Tremblay took us to the Press Briefing room and we were able to stand at the podium where the Spokesperson, Heads of State, and the Secretary-General speak to the press. Ms. Tremblay and Ms. Michele Griffin, Special Advisor to the Secretary-General on Peace and Conflict and the Director of the Common Goals Team, Executive Office of the SG, spoke to us about the important work the UN does and why there hasn’t been a female SG yet but there needs to be!  

Once we finished at the headquarters, we went to Grand Central Station to the food court and got dinner. Once we got on the bus it was about 5 and we got stuck on a bridge for a good hour and a half. By 6:00  or 7:00, we finally left this street in the Bronx and were on our way back to the dorms! We finished our day at the dorm at 9:30 p.m. with pizza! It was a long but amazing day!

– Tabitha and Elle

Wednesday, July 20, 2022

Good morning, it’s Miezka, Shaina and Ananya. Today was a packed day. We woke up at our normal time, which is around 8:00 a.m., and then arrived at breakfast in the dining hall at around 8:30 a.m. After breakfast, we had our first guest speaker of the day Maddie Granato. She spoke to us about the non-profit organizations she’s a part of, the Connecticut Women’s Education and Legal Fund, and how they’ve worked with Representative Porter, our speaker on Monday, on the bills they’ve passed together to help women gain equal rights, pay, and work benefits.

After our speaker, we took some time to go over the Hands on Hartford organization as well, since we are going there tomorrow to do some community service and learn more about their mission and love for what they do. After that, we worked a bit on our Challenge by Choice project and headed to lunch.

After lunch ended, we had our second group of speakers from the ACLU, who talked to us about getting back on their feet after being in prison and how difficult it was. Therefore, they were asked to join the ACLU, to help educate and fight for others in those same positions they used to be in. After we finished that up, we went down to the iLab, to work on changing and coming up with solutions to unfair problems women have to face that men don’t, such as bathroom lines and not having a place to attach a theater microphone on since they come with belt clips, (which, if you’re a women wearing a dress, is quite an inconvenience), and how cars are built to to fit a man’s body instead of a woman’s body proportion.

After that, a few of us ran down to Starbucks and to the gym before heading to the bowling alley. Unfortunately, when we got to the bowling alley, they were all filled up, so we played mini golf and went to Dairy Queen. Then we returned to campus and got ready for bed since we have a long day ahead of us tomorrow. Bye :).

-Miezka, Shaina and Ananya

Thursday, July 21, 2022

Today we went to Hands on Hartford, where we did volunteer work while learning about the community services and support they provide. The first thing we did was clean up the garden by getting rid of the weeds and trash; doing that was very therapeutic. After that, since it was really hot outside, we went inside and HOH gave us a presentation about what they do and the services they provide for people in need. One thing we found most interesting was Gather 55, their onsite cafe because people were encouraged to pay, but if they were unable to, they had the option to pay as they could, which helps people in need get quality, fresh food without wasting essential money. After that, we heard from Pamela, a formerly homeless person, and she talked about her story and experience being homeless. Overall today was very engaging and thought-provoking.

-Tenley and Keisa

Friday, July 22, 2022

Hi! We worked on our Challenge by Choice projects, talked about our different experiences at Hands on Hartford, and worked on our talent show for tonight. Many people finished their projects sometime that afternoon, and they all seemed to have turned out really well. Later, at the talent show, our entire dorm sang the Sofia the First theme song, and a few people sang or danced. Overall, the actual show was really fun and exciting. After the talent show, our dorm went into another building and had a self-care and movie night. We did face masks and ate late-night snacks while watching the movie Frozen 2.

-McKenna and Sawako

Saturday, July 23, 2022

This evening Emily and I took the students out to dinner for Thai food and to pick out some of their favorite foods from home at Adong (an Asian market) and Whole Foods to share with each other. It was a lovely evening of sharing our cultures and backgrounds through food. Everyone had a great time!

-Nancy Zhou MPS ‘18, PCGL Teaching Assistant and Residential Life Advisor

More to explore

What Skills Make a Great Leader?

Leadership skills are crucial for success in today’s world. Girls who develop these skills are better equipped to make positive changes in

two teenage girls engaging in advocacy research

How do advocacy and action drive change?

Advocacy and action are the driving forces behind meaningful change in the world and this post explores what makes good advocacy and the types of action that can help facilitate change.