Alumnae Bulletin May 2008

From the Editor

The two feature articles in this issue—although set in different continents and cultures, South Africa and Bryn Mawr College—describe efforts to build multi-dimensional communities based on democratic values. Bryn Mawr's Teaching and Learning Initiative (TLI) brings together staff, faculty, and students to create reciprocal teaching and learning opportunities. Its goals are to support the development of excellence in classroom teaching at Bryn Mawr and a wide variety of learning experiences for all members of the college community.

Writer Dorothy Lehman Hoerr explains that "TLI was founded on the idea that when we get to know each other as individuals we are freed from the limitations of our prescribed roles and empowered not only to fulfill those roles but also to transcend them. The result is a community in which everyone is a teacher as well as a learner." The illustration for this article, by New Zealand artist Esther Bunning, depicts TLI partners within a jigsaw puzzle; the overall picture seems to shift as knowledge and power are distributed back and forth.

Bryn Mawr alumnae who traveled to South Africa last October as part of the Among Women: An International Dialogue program were struck by the openness of the people and their optimism about building a common future. South Africa's Constitutional Court, whose lobby is shown below, is a mosaic of old and new materials, designed to embody history, solidarity and transparency. The court's emblem is "justice under a tree," representing the old African custom of settling matters and disputes under the protection of an important tree. Built on the site of a notorious prison in Johannesberg where hundreds of thousands of people—including Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela—were jailed, the lobby incorporates old bricks from the prison.