Valencia College Awarded U.S. Institute of Peace Public Education for Peacebuilding Support Award

Valencia College’s Peace and Justice Initiative recently received a U.S. Institute of Peace Public Education  for Peacebuilding Support award.   The award will enable the Orlando, FL community college to offer its “Encountering the ‘Other’ through International Peacebuilding” program to be held in the fall 2013.

The program will be held the week of the International Day of Peace (September 21, 2013) and will include a Global Peace Film Festival, reading circles, workshops, and a guest speaker.  The week’s events will include presentations over two days by Carl Wilkens, humanitarian aid worker, author  and founder of the nonprofit organization, World Outside My Shoes.   He will conduct focused workshops for students across multiple disciplines as well as hold a public forum.   He will speak about his experiences as the only American in Rwanda during the 1994 genocide.

The Peace and Justice Initiative (PJI) promotes peace and justice for all. The program’s aim is to nurture an inclusive, caring and respectful environment on campus and within our community–one where conflict leads to growth and transformation, rather than violence or aggression.  The PJI is involved in a number of efforts including:

  • Teach a Peace and Justice Studies curriculum at Valencia. This is unique for a community college, since peace studies are typically taught at the Ph.D. level.
  • Work with Associate in Science (A.S.) programs at Valencia, including criminal justice and nursing, to integrate peace studies into their curriculum, ultimately affecting the way people in these industries will handle conflict in their work.
  • Promote peace and justice events and activities through sponsorships and collaborations with community and student groups.
  • Facilitate conversations about peace, conflict resolution, human rights and tolerance for others.
  • Host nationally known experts in peace and justice studies as speakers and scholars in residence.
  • Provide community service and outreach.
  • Provide students with hands-on experiences such as internships and service-learning opportunities to give practical meaning to the theories of peace building.

If you interested in the PJI and its fall programming featuring Carl Wilkens, contact Rachel Allen at

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