May is one of the busiest months for educators, a time when many are wrapping up the work of the school year. So too for us. As of this writing, the Center is in its final week with students at 21st Century Community Learning, an after-school program at Worcester’s Sullivan Middle School. Every Wednesday throughout the school year, we taught thirty energetic middle-schoolers how to assess their conflicts and transform them nonviolently. To liven up the afternoon, we included some theater games and profiles of real life peace-builders. Our time together culminated in the production of “Rewind the Conflict,” a short, original skit written and performed by the students for their families on May 27.
Our Sullivan students come from all over the world, and it has been a joy to be with them, to watch them evolve in their capacity to collaborate with one another. We expect more to come from these future peace-builders.
The Center’s work at Sullivan is not completely done. Healthy Power returns to the school, back by student demand. Last semester, the program, designed for middle school boys with a history of negative conflicts, provided students a safe place to increase their self-awareness and to learn conflict transformation skills and how to become leaders for the “good.” Some students initially participated begrudgingly, but by program’s end, these “leaders” wanted more.
While our facilitators worked in the classroom, staff and board members participated in numerous community forums, lending the Center’s voice of support for promoting restorative practices in our schools, reducing gun violence, and improving race relations.
It’s been a productive semester, despite our lean budget. We have done much with little, but know more is needed. So please help us to continue and grow. Schools desire our programs; we have had more requests than we can accommodate. Next school year, we would also like to provide more support for teachers eager to learn about education in nonviolence.
This is exciting work. Hope-building work. Come be a part of it. Our spring appeal is forthcoming. Your donations make it possible to provide peace education and practice to Worcester youth.
Board President Claire Schaeffer-Duffy and staff Jennifer Smead spent a pleasant afternoon engaging with students at Assumption College's Peace, Planet, and Positivity Rally on May 4th. The event was billed as a time for "students and community members to join together to recognize the interconnected human and moral necessity of ensuring social and economic justice, addressing climate change and environmental degradation, promoting sustainability, and demonstrating racial equality."
We celebrate the news of Raven Tukes, our inspiring Education Programs Intern for the past year...
Raven, a senior at College of the Holy Cross, will advance our collective commitment to peace education through her work as a Fulbright Scholar in Taiwan next year after teaching at the African Leadership Academy in South Africa this summer. When she returns, in Fall 2016, she will attend the highly selective International Education Policy Masters program at Harvard University. Raven has aspirations of establishing a non-profit that will provide social justice education to youth and resources situated in regions of conflict, including those in the United States. Undoubtedly her work will influence the trajectory of peace education in the U.S. and internationally. We are so grateful to know Raven, deeply appreciate all of her work for the Center, and certainly wish her all the best in her education and beyond! Congratulations!!
We appreciate YOU!
- Learn about our recent work in 2014 Highlights
- Thank you for the the financial support from many individuals, foundations, businesses, municipal and state funders who makes this work possible!
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If We Don't Teach Peace
“If We Don't Teach Peace” is a sixteen-minute documentary about the Center for Nonviolent Solutions work. Through interviews with members of the Center's Board, staff, colleagues, and participants, hear about the importance and efficacy of skills in assessing and transforming conflict toward a culture of peace. This film is dedicated to William P. Densmore, co-founder (along with Michael True) of the Center.