WIRC Initiatives

Initiatives and Events listed below are the result of combined WIRC-member efforts. This programming is designed with a global reach, encompassing a broad representation of as many regions as possible.

Climate Optimism: Finding Creative Solutions and Making Positive Impacts, June 28, 2024

This K-12 workshop is designed to provide educators with new ideas and approaches to teaching topics around climate change, enabling more optimistic approaches in the classroom. Featured speakers bring international, regional, and local expertise to our exchange, with the goal of providing attendees with practical classroom activities, tangible examples of success, ideas to expand your toolkit for climate-based activities, ideas for community efforts and building local networks, and suggestions for incorporating climate optimism outside of the science classroom. Registration and workshop details available here.


The Good Life: Global Perspectives on Wellbeing and Happiness, July 24, 2023

Thank you to those who joined us for this virtual workshop on July 24th, 2023. The workshop’s theme was “the good life” and explored related concepts from around the world. Visit our original event page to access the recorded sessions. These resources demonstrate how different cultures define concepts such as “the good life,” wellbeing, or happiness, and how world events, appropriation, and the passage of time have shaped these shared definitions and practices. This workshop was designed for community college educators, and open to the public.


Empowering Educators to Teach on Genocide, January 15-16, 2022

This virtual event will empower Wisconsin’s K-12 educators to teach on genocide and fulfill the mandates of Act 30, the new law passed by the Wisconsin legislature and Governor Evers in April 2021. It will offer participants the chance to hear presentations by top experts and acquire free book sets and other practical materials for teaching on the subject of genocide and five specific cases: the Holocaust, Cambodia, Rwanda, Argentina, and the Uyghurs in China. For more information on the speakers, program, and educator resources, click here.

Global Learning Summit: Engaged Learning to Lead for Change
Saturday, April 13, 2024
9 am – 3:30 pm CDT

Virtual event

The global learning summit event registration is now live! Click here to register.


Global Learning Summit 2022: Global Learning Inside-Out
April 9, 2022 (Virtual Event)

Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction & UW-Madison Institute for Regional and International Studies

THEMES: Global Competence and Global Learning for Global Action

Registration Closes March 18, 2022

  • 9:00 – 11:45   Workshop and resources for secondary-level teachers with Becoming a Globally Competent Teacher author, Ariel Tichnor-Wagner
  • 11:45 – 3:30   Keynote, workshop and focus sessions for high school students with their teachers. Featuring global educator, Jill Woerner

World Cinema Day, a collaboration between UW-Madison’s IRIS and the Wisconsin Film Festival that began in 2004, brings school children and teachers to Madison for the screening of a high-quality, international film with an introduction and post-film discussion led by a member of the UW faculty or staff.

This event is free to school students attending with their teachers.

Past Films: Here is the list of films we have shown at World Cinema Day since this event’s inception:

  • 2024 – Totem, Senegal, 2022
  • 2023 – Rickshaw Girl, Bangladesh 2021
  • 2022 – Mission Ulja Funk, Poland, German, Luxembourg 2021
  • 2020 – Zu Weit Weg (Too Far Away), Germany 2019–for middle schoolers; المرشح المثالي (The Perfect Candidate), Saudi Arabia 2019–for high schoolers
  • 2019 – Tito and the Birds (Brazil)–for middle schoolers; Midnight Traveler (Canada, Qatar, UK, USA)–for high schoolers
  • 2018 – The Taste of Rice Flower (China)
  • 2017 – Parting (Afghanistan, Iran)
  • 2016 – Celestial Camel (Republic of Kalmykia)
  • 2015 – Girlhood (France)
  • 2014 – Village at the End of the World (Greenland)
  • 2013 – The Painting (France)
  • 2012 – Monsieur Lazhar (Canada)
  • 2011 – The Colors of the Mountain (Colombia)
  • 2010 – Masquerades (Algeria)
  • 2009 – Football Under Cover (Germany)
  • 2008 – Fermat’s Room (Spain)
  • 2007 – Of Love and Eggs (Indonesia)
  • 2006 – Stolen Life (China)
  • 2005 – Daughter of Keltoum (Tunisia)
  • 2004 – Ticket to Jerusalem (Israel)

WCD was coordinated by UW-Madison’s Language Institute through 2009. Many of the films listed above were presented in collaboration with the Global Film Initiative. We thank them for their support and assistance over the years.

International Children’s Literature Celebration: Folk and Fairytales
Saturday, December 2, 2023 from 9 am-4 pm
Madison Concourse Hotel

This was a workshop for preservice and current educators, librarians, and children’s literature enthusiasts. The daylong event featured an expert from UW-Madison and three award-winning children’s literature or YA authors. Authors gave presentations on their work, engaged in a roundtable discussion, and signed copies of their books for attendees. Lunch and refreshments were provided. Click here for more information.