Valencia Peace and Justice Initiative Awarded Grant

A message from Paul Chapman, Professor of Humanities and Peace Studies

pji-logo-border-270wI am happy to announce that the Public Education for Peacebuilding Support (PEPS) have awarded Valencia’s Peace and Justice Initiative a grant through the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) in conjunction with the Institute for International Education (IIE) for the fall 2013 semester. We are also pleased to announce that the grant has been matched by our generous, local partner Shuffield Lowman, Attorneys and Advisors.

This grant is being used to bring Carl Wilkens, author of “I’m Not Leaving”, to Valencia for a series of workshops and public presentations. Wilkens was the Country Director of ADRA – Adventist Development and Relief Agency – in Rwanda from 1990 to 1994 and the only American citizen to remain in Kigali, the capitol city of Rwanda, during the three month genocide of 1994.

Last October I heard Carl’s remarkable story at the Ethel LeFrak Conference on Holocaust Education at Seton Hill University. In the presentation, he described how he was able to save the lives of hundreds of children and adults who were marked for death by using peaceful practices. To do this, he broke down stereotypes and built relationships over several years with government officials, neighbors and friends. Carl built a reputation as someone who could be respected and trusted. This allowed him to peacefully confront the perpetrators of the genocide, thereby saving the lives of innocent people.

If you would like to learn more about Carl and his organization you may visit his website, World Outside My Shoes.

For more information or questions about Valencia’s Peace and Justice Initiative, please contact Rachel Allen at rallen39@valenciacollege.edu or at extension 2709.

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