Nelson Freire (class of 2010) and Alexander Frye (class of 2011) conduct workshops for peace in Colombia with Joanna Rudge Long ’56 Awards

Nelson Freire (’10) and Alexander Frye (’11) were each awarded the Joanna Rudge Long ’56 Award in Conflict Resolution that is administered by the Peace and Conflict Studies program. Taller de Paz (Workshop for Peace) is currently featured on the front page of the college’s website.

fs_workshop_maintitle1Approximately 4.6 million civilians have been internally displaced by the civil war in Colombia. At all levels of the Colombian government, there has been systematic failure to adequately address the needs of the internally displaced population. Bogota, the country’s capital, is home to 17 percent of the internally displaced. Forty to 50 families arrive there daily and typically face very limited access to housing, food, jobs, education, and safety. Most families end up living in neighborhoods where violence and drugs are commonplace.

Launched last summer, Taller de Paz (Workshop for Peace) is a project we created working in conjunction with Conciencia Social (Social Conscience), a student group at the Colombian university La Javeriana. Our project received support from the College, La Javeriana, the Bogota local district government of Suba, several private businesses, grassroots organizations, and individual donors.

Our goals were to work with children ages 8-14 of displaced families living in the Suba district of Bogota, implementing a curriculum focused on developing leadership skills and self-expression, as well as encouraging peaceful resolution to conflict. This curriculum was composed of four talleres or workshops: art, technology/photography, social justice, and English/theater, each facilitated by a Swarthmore and Javeriana student pair. Each workshop was aimed at teaching some technical aspects of their subject which were then used as tools in order to actively engage the students in innovative projects designed to provoke reflection and critical thinking.

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Nick Martin (Swarthmore class of 2004) UPEACE/US Executive Director Selected as International Youth Foundation Global Fellow

Friday, 14 August 2009 08:13


Nick Martin '04UPEACE/US Executive Director and Peace Education ’04 Alum, Nick Martin was recently selected as a 2009 Global Fellow by the International Youth Foundation for his role in founding the DCPEACE program and his track record as a young social entrepreneur. Nick joins 19 other international fellows aged 18-29 who were chosen from a pool over 500 applicants and is one 3 fellows to have been selected from the United States.

The International Youth Foundation builds and maintains a worldwide community of businesses, governments, and civil society organizations committed to empowering youth to be healthy, productive, and engaged citizens. Read the Press Release here.

In the spring of 2008, UPEACE/US launched DCPEACE, an initiative to empower teachers, youth, and families with the skills and knowledge necessary to effectively serve as peacebuilders in their communities, as well as PeaceRooms, a program that connects classrooms of middle school students from Costa Rica and Washington D.C. through the use of innovative virtual networking technology and for the purpose of developing core concepts of global citizenship and conflict transformation, and peace education. Both programs leverage the skills, resources, ideals, and networks of the wider UPEACE system in order to transform the way that students and communities deal with conflict. Read More.

Nick said of his experience in creating the programs: “The UPEACE Peace Education MA Programme and the Centre for Executive Education were absolutely instrumental in helping me to build skills related to nonprofit management, social entrepreneurship, and peace education content and pedagogy.”

The programs have been met with tremendous success and UPEACE/US is currently working with the Omar Dengo Foundation in Costa Rica to pilot a four-school version of the Peace Rooms Program.

For more information about the fellowship and to read about the other fellows visit YouthActionNet.

Peace and Conflict Studies instructor arrested in nonviolent anti-casino action

George Lakey at Sugarhouse casino site protest 9-29-09

George Lakey, who served as the college’s Lang Professor of Civic and Social Responsibility, from 2006 – 2009, and who now teaches a Peace and Conflict Studies research seminar titled “Strategy and Nonviolent Struggle,” was arrested on Tuesaday (September 29) at the Sugarhouse casino site. Part of a Casino-Free-Philadelphia action, Lakey and thirteen others, including Rev. Robin Hynicka, the pastor of Arch Street United Methodist Church, were willingly arrested after blocking the construction entrance to the site.

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