The Power of We

In partnership with Urban Bush Women, Junebug Productions, and The People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond, Wesleyan University’s Embodying Antiracism Initiative is honored to host the Summer Leadership Institute in Middletown, Connecticut from Monday, June 5 through Sunday, June 11, 2023.

Click here to view all Summer Leadership Institute events that are open to the general public.

Developed out of Urban Bush Women’s long history of art making, this participatory program forges an “artist as activist” methodology through a complex set of techniques that “use movement to build a movement.” Over seven days, participants will sweat, clap, and create together—harnessing the joy and unifying power of rhythm and movement to build respectful physical and verbal dialogue.

Fortifying our communities is crucial, now more than ever. We must continue to build a “we” capable of unlearning and healing the structures of harm that persist in isolating us from one another. This year’s Summer Leadership Institute explores “the power of we,” using place-based cultural strategies to collectively organize and build a more equitable Middletown. Join us as we consider what role artists and organizers can play in the work ahead of us—work that adrienne maree brown describes as to “[b]e accountable and go heal, simultaneously, continuously. It’s never too late.”


Summer Leadership Institute Application

Applications are due on Monday, April 3, 2023.

Open to Wesleyan University students, faculty, staff, alumni, and their families, as well as anyone who lives and/or works in Middletown and others who have had an affiliation with Wesleyan. Applicants do not need to have prior dance experience. Participants must be 18+ years old and are required to participate for the full seven days. Please be prepared to commit to remaining engaged in the Summer Leadership Institute from approximately 9:30am to 6:30pm during these seven days, with the exception of special events and the final sharing day.

With generous support from the Mellon Foundation, the Embodying Antiracism Initiative is pleased to offer this year’s Summer Leadership Institute tuition-free. In addition, all accepted applicants will have the option of free housing in Clark Hall at Wesleyan University and lunch will be provided. Applicants will be responsible for the cost of travel, breakfast, and dinner on most nights. Upon acceptance, participants will be asked to submit a $75 holding fee to guarantee committed and full attendance. Scholarships will be available for applicants for whom the holding fee would provide an obstruction to participation. Click here to apply.

Zoom information session on Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Do you have questions about the Summer Leadership Institute? There was a Zoom information session to discuss with Nicole Stanton, Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, and Professor of Dance, Environmental Studies, and African American Studies, and Stephanie McKee-Anderson, Executive Artistic Director of partnering organization Junebug Productions, who shared more details about the theme “The Power of We” on Tuesday, March 28, 2023 at 9:30am. Watch a recording of the Zoom information session on Vimeo.

“The Power of We:” Q&A on the Summer Leadership Institute from Wesleyan Center for the Arts on Vimeo.

Photo by Nathea Lee.