2019 - 2020 Community Diversity Education and Training Program
We believe that education, both of the children and of the adults in our community, is the key to fostering a more positive, peaceful, and prosperous community for all. Our action plan includes something for each age level, from young children to adult.
1. Young children (ages 6-8) – Two summers ago was the inaugural session for the new Peace Academy of the Sciences and Arts summer school. We continue to support their vision by providing scholarships for local Lucia Mar and San Luis Coastal students. Last year’s program included 9 languages and 7 ethnicities in its student body! Exposing the very young to this level of diversity, we believe, starts them off on the right path!
2. Elementary students - We believe that at this age the classroom environment promoted by the teacher is of utmost importance. We encouraged teachers to develop units of study encompassing human rights and engendering compassion for others through their attendance at the Human Rights Watch annual fundraiser in Santa Barbara. We hope that they share with their colleagues the insights and inspiration from that evening's program.
3. Middle and High School students - At this level, we support and supplement the current units of study already being taught by bringing speakers to the schools. These speakers, thus, are the culmination to rich, extensive units of study, thus, making the learning experience more meaningful and impactful to the students. This program operates as a coordination between the school districts, Human Rights Watch, and our diversity coalition.
4. Adults - Our quarterly Community Outreach meetings, always free to the public, provide interesting and informative speakers on subjects related to diversity.
Our speakers for the 2019 - 2020 school year are:
Oct. 2, 2019 - Fanshen Cox, award-winning playwright, actor, and activist, performed her one-woman play, One Drop of Love, for the senior high school students of San Luis Coastal school district. This play weaves information about the origins of the U.S. Census in with themes of diversity and racial identity.
Oct. 3, 2019 - Fanshen Cox performed One Drop of Love for the senior high school students of Lucia Mar, at the Clark Center.
Jan. 29 and 30, 2020 - Rita Lurie, Holocaust survivor, and her daughter, Leslie Gilbert-Lurie, authors of Bending Toward the Sun, will speak for the middle school students of Lucia Mar (Judkins, Paulding, and Mesa). The students will either read the book Diary of Anne Frank or engage in a series of lessons about the Steps That Lead to Genocide in preparation for their visit.
Jan. 29, 2020 - The Luries were our featured speakers at our Community Outreach meeting.
March 10, 2020 - Joseph Jok, Sudanese refugee and International Rescue Committee worker, will speak to the middle schools of Lucia Mar (Judkins, Paulding, and Mesa), in conjunction with a unit on the U.N. Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
March 11, 2020 - Joseph Jok will speak to the middle schools of San Luis Coastal school district.
May (exact date not yet set) - Karl - Emmanuel Nkezimana and Davy Nzigamasabo, refugees from Burundi, will speak to the World History students of Lucia Mar.
May 21, 2020 - Henry Ramos - activist and author of Overcoming Disparity:Latino Young Men and Boys; and Democracy and the Next American Economy; among others, will be the featured speaker, on "Humanizing the Other" at our Spring Community Outreach meeting.
Work in Progress - We're hoping to supplement the compelling story told by the Holocaust survivor speaker at the middle schools with the story of one among many families who did the right thing at great risk to themselves. Hendrika de Vries, whose mother worked for the Dutch Resistance during the occupation of Holland, has agreed to come and tell her story.