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Award-Winning Journalist to Record Podcast with Students

Award-winning journalist Julio Ricardo Varela will produce a “Latino Rebels Radio” podcast focused on neuro-inclusivity, belonging, and radical hospitality as a social justice movement in conversation with Mitchell College students on Fri., Sept. 22, 1–2:30 p.m. in the Weller Center at Mitchell College. The public is invited to attend.

Six Mitchell student guests will share personal stories of the joys and challenges they experience attending a college committed to embracing and celebrating difference. Representing many identities, the students include Tommy Simmons, David Arbuckle, Will Dreier, Olivia DeCicco, Alyssa Hovey, and Joseph “JuJu” Volkerts. The event is made possible through support from the Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut.

Inclusive experience extends to neuro-inclusivity
As the college population becomes increasingly diverse, institutions are grappling with how to create more welcoming, accessible living and learning environments. Mitchell College, whose mission is ‘developing and celebrating the power of unique minds,’ has long prided itself on offering students an inclusive experience that extends to neuro-inclusivity. Close to half of Mitchell College students are neurodivergent. At Mitchell, neurodivergent and neurotypical students take classes side by side, participate in campus activities together, and share the same residence halls and playing fields.

Dr. Tracy Y. Espy, president of Mitchell College, said, “Mitchell College is known for welcoming all students into a supportive, nurturing learning environment where it’s possible for them to take risks to find their true potential and discover what a meaningful life means to them. This kind of environment encourages growth and lays the foundation for personal and professional success after graduation. We are proud to be at the forefront of a contemporary social justice movement centering on beloved community, radical hospitality, and powerful individuality. And we are excited and grateful for the opportunity for our student voices to tell this story through the podcast with Julio Ricardo Varela and Latino Rebels Radio.”

Preceding the podcast, Varela will spend the morning meeting with faculty and students and will host a roundtable conversation with Mitchell’s First-Year Experience and college writing faculty to talk about using podcasts in the classroom. He will also discuss career opportunities with communication majors and Radio Mitchell club members.

About Julio Ricardo Varela
Julio Ricardo Varela is a seasoned, award-winning journalist and founder of Latino Rebels, one of the top U.S. Latino digital media sites in the world. He is currently an MSNBC opinion columnist and has worked in various leadership, operational and editorial roles over the course of his career with organizations including Pulitzer Prize-winning Futuro Media and Al Jazeera USA. He has contributed to The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, The Atlantic, The Guardian, ESPN, NBC News, Quartz, Le Monde, WGBH, WNYC, Face the Nation, Fusion, Univision, and Telemundo. In 2015 he was honored by the National Association of Hispanic Journalists with its inaugural DALE Award for going “above and beyond to ensure Latinos are fairly and accurately represented.”