Northeastern Illinois University hosted a Symposium on Peace Education Strategies and Initiatives in Colombia and Chicago on June 10 in the Angelina Pedroso Center for Diversity and Intercultural Affairs. The symposium was a collaboration between students and faculty members from Northeastern, Universidad del Atlántico and Universidad Simón Bolivar in Colombia.
Maria De La Torre, acting chair of the Department of Justice Studies, and Maria Alejandra Prieto Mendoza, academic skills specialist for the McNair Scholars Program, co-coordinated this project as part of a 100,000 Strong in the Americas 2018-2019 grant. The grant’s purpose is to increase student mobility for U.S. and Colombian students and expand pedagogical innovation (through online exchanges, distance learning and face-to-face interaction) to underrepresented students. It also aims to facilitate exchange experiences, learning and promotion of peace education and strategies to address violence in both Chicago and Barranquilla, Colombia.
“Throughout this year of collaboration, Colombian and NEIU students participated in distance learning, online exchanges (using Skype, WhatsApp, email), and also face-to-face interactions when NEIU students travelled to Barranquilla in May and now that Colombian students came to Chicago,” De La Torre said. “They all benefited from these friendly and academic exchanges as they shared their ideas and learned from each other’s work and experiences on peace education in their communities and on strategies to address violence. By presenting their work at NEIU, the Colombian students further disseminated their work on peace education and also were able to strengthen their professional and academic English language skills in an international setting.”
Colombian students and staff were the main presenters at the symposium. Presentations included topics such as the role of malnutrition and lack of education as obstacles to creating non-violent communities, and creating service opportunities and spiritual intelligence to aid turbulent family and social environments.
Top Photo: Peace Symposium attendees including students and faculty members from Northeastern, Universidad del Atlántico and Universidad Simón Bolivar in Colombia at the Pedroso Center.