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March 13 - Education for Displaced Individuals

Page history last edited by Emily Chudy 11 years, 5 months ago


Bonner Congress Weekly March 9-14th, 2009: Education for Vulnerable Individuals: Women and Children
1. A Note from Wayne
2. Facts about Education for Vulnerable Individuals
3. National Organization
4. Bonner Connection
5. Video Hotspots
6. Bonner Announcements
7. International Perspective
8. Internships, Jobs, and More
[1] Note from Wayne
First of all I want to thank the entire Bonner community for the outpouring of love and support that you have shown my family and me over these past two weeks.  Sharing my dad’s life and story with our work at Bonner has been one of the great joys of my time at the Bonner Foundation.  It was my dad who first encouraged Mr. Bonner to reach out to me during the launch of the Foundation.  Throughout the past twenty years, my dad was a top advisor, counselor, troubleshooter and resource to me.  He was also a regular companion on campus visits.  But he didn’t just come along to watch me work.  He engaged  in our visits and over the years preached on your campuses, delivered baccalaureates, spoke at Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebrations and at Charter Days. He helped plan and participated in both Mr. and Mrs. Bonner’s funeral services, gave the prayer of dedication of our building at 10 Mercer Street and even narrated the first Bonner documentary. In addition, he enjoyed personal friendships with many of my colleagues here at the office, not least of all Bobby and Ari, and the many students, directors and college presidents who he encountered along the way. 

Perhaps the most meaningful moment where the Bonner Foundation and my dad intersected was on the streets of Selma, Alabama.  Four years ago, the Morehouse community invited my dad to be a part of their trip to the 40th anniversary of Dr. King's crossing of the Edmond Pettis Bridge, knowing that my father had marched with Dr. King at that historic moment in American history. I will never forget the image of my father describing to a group of Morehouse students and my own boys (who I brought along) his recollection of the events that day.  What amazed me was not only the detail in which he remembered the experience, but also the bond that I could feel between all of us there.   

On March 21, 2009, at 2:00 PM, there will be a memorial service for my dad at Nassau Presbyterian Church in Princeton, New Jersey.  Many people have asked for information regarding this event.  Please know that anyone is welcome to join us, and I appreciate that some have already made plans to attend.  Having said this, I hope that people will not go out of their way to make a long journey to Princeton.  There are other ways to support me and affirm my dad, including spending time with your family, working together on your community placement or by breaking together in fellowship and friendship. Other ways you might honor my dad are by reading Dr. King's Letter from the Birmingham Jail, anything by C.S Lewis, or any of the Psalms.  I am grateful for all that people have already done.  So many people have sent cards and emails, and even flowers.  After all that, if you still feel like you would like to do something, go plant a tree or till your garden or plant some sunflowers and tomatoes and be inspired by the promise of spring and take delight in the fruit of the spirit.

And if you are still thinking of coming, please let us know your plans so that we can make sure that we can make plans to be together. Please communicate with my assistant, Miriam.
I will leave you with the words that I shared just before I gave the benediction at my dad’s memorial service in Minneapolis.

"May the sound of Dad's laughter bring joy to your ears.

May the boldness of Dad’s vision for community continue to bring us together, again and again.

And may the warmth of Mom and Dad's friendship inspire us to love ourselves, to love each other and to love God.”

A copy of the obituary from the Minneapolis Star Tribune can be found online: http://www.startribune.com/obituaries/40484292.html?page=1&c=y.


Facts: Education for Vulnerable Individuals: Women and Children:

Why do we care?
-Education is a human right that every child, girl and boy should be entitled to.  
-Education is essential to the development of not only countries, but the people themselves.
According to the World Bank, education of women reduces "child mortality and malnutrition; improves family health; delays the age of first marriage; lowers fertility rates; enhances women's domestic role and their political participation in society; improves their functioning in the wage labor force; strengthens a family's survival strategies; and probably most intriguing to governments, increases economic growth."
The Gap!
There is still an achievement gap within our American society and throughout the world in which more boys are moving onto education than girls. According to UNICEF, "approximately 101 million children of primary school age were not in school in 2007. Of these children, there were 53 million girls and 48 million boys.  In 2007 in the United States, about 892,000 girls between the ages of 6-11 were not in school."
Additionally, according to the Women's Environment and Development Organization, more than 80 percent of the world's 40 million refugees and internationally displaced people are women and children.  Of immigrants living in the United States, women and children make up about two-thirds of this population.
According to The Women's Refugee Commission :
-Four out of five of the world’s 42 million refugees are women, children and young people
-Children and young people make up approximately 50 percent of all refugees.
-Women and adolescent girls in refugee settings are especially vulnerable to exploitation, rape and abuse.
-Children and young people often miss out on years of education. They are the targets of abuse, military recruitment and abduction.
-Women, children and young people who flee persecution and human rights abuses by seeking asylum in the U.S. are often imprisoned, subjected to inhumane conditions and denied access to legal representation.
Education allows for people to become empowered and advocate for themselves and their conditions.
Email Gretchen at gmielke@bonner.org
2. National Organizations: 
Girl Scouts of America
This week of March 9-13 is Girl Scout week; a week to celebrate the growth, impact and achievements of this worldwide organization for all girls, everywhere. Girl Scouts of America has over 3.7 million members throughout the United States, including U.S. territories, and in more than 90 countries through USA Girl Scouts Overseas.  This organization is dedicated to the development, success and achievement of ALL girls.  Through mentoring, partnership, and team work, girls build self-esteem and character, leadership skills, a social conscience and conviction about their own potential and self-worth.  You can get involved within Girl Scouts of American through mentoring young girls and volunteering within local Girl Scout troops.  Go to this link to learn more about how you can get involved and make a difference in the lives of young girls: http://www.girlscouts.org/
The United States Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI) has acted to address the needs and rights of persons in forced or voluntary migration worldwide by advancing fair and humane public policy, facilitating and providing direct professional services, and promoting the full participation of migrants in community life for over 100 years.  You can get involved and join this organization through using its resources to stay informed and knowledgeable about the state of refugees and immigrants within the United States, tell others what you are learning, speak out and become an advocate to ensure that refugees are receiving adequate attention and aid, as well as receiving fair treatment, and volunteer!  Tutor adults with their ESL, mentor and tutor refugee children, and become involved with helping immigrants adjust to life in the U.S. by taking the time to get to know them!  Click on the link to learn more about the USCRI and how you can get involved in a town near you: http://www.refugees.org/article.aspx?id=1093
The Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization works to promote the integration of refugees, immigrants, and the community at large into a self-sufficient, healthy, and inclusive multiethnic society.  There are various programs, events, and resources available to find ways to become involved within your community with the refugee and immigrant community.  Employment and volunteer opportunities are offered through this organization.Go to http://www.refugees.org/article.aspx?id=1093 to learn more.
3. Bonner Connection: Featuring Juliet Carrington (Guilford College)
This week's guest writer is Juliet Carrington from Guilford College!! She has come to the Foundation to spend her spring break with us and reach out to you! GIVE HER A SHOUT OUT at carringtonjc@guilford.edu! 
    My name is Juliet Carrington and I am a sophomore at Guilford College.  I am a Bonner Scholar, a Bonner Congress Representative, and my school's Serve 2.0 Lead Student Coordinator. This past weekend I attended the IMPACT Conference and left feeling inspired, motivated and determined to bring back various events and organizations on my campus to educate, enlighten and inspire students. Rather than go visit friends or go back to Maine where I live, I wanted to do something meaningful and impacting. What better place to go than the Bonner Foundation itself?  Doing service and being civicly engaged is extremely important to me for I recognize the importance of being an active member within one's communities.  I can also relate to those who are underrepresented or currently struggling because of my own experiences growing up in a dysfunctional family and living in poverty.  It is our obligation to support those who are underprivileged.  Despite our backgrounds or differences, we are all connected to one another; and what is a problem to one person or a group of people, is our problem, too.     
           This week at the Bonner Foundation, I have been learning more about the Serve 2.0 initiative and the importance of cultivating technology to create awareness and gain support for various issues that are affecting our communities.  I have done and learned so much in terms of working with my Campus Issue Profile and the National Issue Profile of Immigration and Refugees.  This is an area that I am extremely passionate about because the children that I tutor and mentor at the Glenhaven Multicultural After School Tutorial are both refugees and immigrants. I call them my babies because they are my kids, my babies, and they mean the world to me.  We have around 40-50 children that come in and out of the center every day and I have made it a point to learn all of their names. I work four days a week so all of the children know me.  The relationships and bonds that I have formed, the trust that they have invested in me, and the changes that I have seen in their self-esteem in regards to their school work and within themselves is so moving and amazing to me.
      Greensboro, NC, where Guilford College is located, is a very diverse, multicultural population having a large immigrant and refugee population with people from all over Latin America, Mexico, Vietnam, Ghana, Sudan, Liberia and many other countries within Africa.  The Glenhaven Center resides within an apartment complex composed of primarily Liberian and some Sudanese African refugees, and Montagnyard (the indigenous peoples of Vietnam) refugees.  These children have been forced to flee from their countries due to fear for their safety, war and violence; they live in poverty and have not only emotional and psychological scars, but physical ones as well.  At the center, we help them with their ESL skills, tutoring them with their homework, and acting as a mentor and a figure of support, comfort, and compassion.  Many have learned very quickly and continue to with their ESL and learning comprehension in general; however, there are many children that are slipping through the cracks from not receiving the attention they need and deserve from their teachers for various reasons.  For children who have not been able to learn as quickly, they have been deemed lazy by their teachers for their inability to complete all their work successfully.  The issues that these children are up against are great: many do not receive the attention that they want and need from their families and other various familial dysfunction, emotional trauma from living within the refugee camps and the violence and chaos of their environments. What's more is that they continue to deal with racism within their schools and peers, and the constant pressure of having to assimilate.  There are many issues that affect these children in terms of their social, economic, cultural and racial backgrounds.  
    The fact that these children being left behind is unnacceptable.  It is something that we should be outraged about.  In Kenya and Northern Tanzania, there is a tribe of people called the Maasai.  They are an indigenous and nomadic tribe.  The way that they greet each other is not by asking, "How are you?" but rather, "How are the children?"  They recognize the importance of children and feature them as a foundation of their society.  If there is a child that is in need, then it is the responsibility of the tribe to make sure that the child is being nurtured, comforted, and receiving the adequate attention and care they deserve.  If we were to ask that question to one another in our society, the answer would not be "the children are well."  We are building more and more juvenile delinquent centers and prisons, the achievement gap of girls and non-white students is still present; the educational system is severely inadequate and unattentive to the different needs of all children, and over 47 million Americans remain uninsured and without health care (In 2007 over 8.1 million children went without health care).  Racism, classism and sexism continue to inhibit a child's chances of success.  With this knowledge, we need to NOT ASK for changes within these institutions that are continuing to neglect and deny resources and support to women and children, BUT DEMAND changes.  
So ask yourselves, your friends, your teachers, your peers: "How are the children?"  Think about it.



4. Video Hot Spots: 
"A Powerful Noise:" A documentary about women changing the world.  Their stories will inspire you to join them. 
This impacting and moving documentary, A Powerful Noise, was released in over 450 theaters across the nation to commemorate and celebrate International Women's Rights Day, to rally women to join the movement to to improve the quality of life for women all throughout the world. A Powerful Noise takes you inside the lives of three women: Hanh is an HIV-positive widow in Vietnam, Nada is a survivor of the Bosnian war, and Jacqueline works the slums of Bamako, Mali.  All three women come from different parts of the globe and are afflicted with different struggles but they have one thing in common: Power.  These women have overcome and are overcoming gender barriers to speak up and speak out within their communities, reclaiming their voice to give voices back to those who have been silenced for too long.  Through fighting AIDS, working to rebuild communities ravished by war and violence, and educating girls these women are figures of great inspiration to look up to and aspire to.  Hanh, Nada, and Jacqueline are just ordinary citizens, but they are extraordinary women doing incredible acts for their communities.
5. Bonner Announcements:
Impact Conference 2009: 200 Bonners Together
The Impact Conference was held this past weekend at the University of Maryland, University College. Over 630 passionate individuals from around the country participated in workshops, training, an opportunities fair, a hunger banquet and more. It was incredible to get to know so many interesting people; people with varying stories of what inspired them to get involved and make an impact.
On Saturday night, over 200 Bonners gathered together to eat pizza and talk about issue awareness. Bonners got in groups and discussed their involvement in the issue, what they could do at Impact to create awareness and what they could do on their respective campuses in their issue area. Then the NOISE BATTLE began!! We had some excellent groups share their ideas, the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting shared their ideas for engaging on a global level and then we all got excited about the Bonner Video Project!!
Want to get involved in an issue area of your passion?
We have created a Bonner Forum on Ning to continue dialogue on issues and projects from around the network. 
Next week, we will invite you to join the issue forum of your passion. So get ready....
6. International Perspective:
We have some partners who can help you connect globally with your passion for education.
The Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting: International Resources and a Call for National Video Contributions
"Imagine working for $50 a year as an indentured servant in Nepal, as a woman threatened with sexual assault amid continuing ethnic violence in the eastern Democratic of Congo, as a family fleeing war-torn Iraq as refugees, or confronting the spread of HIV in the Caribbean. The Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting has resources available on these issues of women and children in crisis and many more under-reported international stories. Check out all they have to offer - to heighten your international awareness and to engage peers on your college campus." For more information, please see documents attached, visit pulitzercenter.org or contact Janeen Heath at jheath@pulitzercenter.org

"And share your views now on the Pulitzer Gateway! Upload your short video clips to this web portal to join others around the world -- including Bonners! -- who are contributing to a global conversation aimed at reinvigorating not just journalism but debate on issues crucial to the maintenance of America’s core democratic values. Grab a cell phone or your flip cam and video a friend reflecting on why they think it's important to be internationally informed and how it influences their work in their communities. Upload it to YouTube and copy the code here at the Pulitzer Gateway (if you were involved in the filming at the Impact Conference, tune in for your videos here as well!!) (http://pulitzergateway.org/?page_id=8511

ProWorld Service Corps: Education Interns

“While in Belize, I had the opportunity to work at a small village school.  It was very reminiscent of a one-room school house.  Not only did I get to teach, but was also a witness to quality teaching.  I was always told that a good teacher could teach with a stick in the dirt.  I came to believe that while in Belize. The experience really opened my eyes to the disparity in education in other countries. 


Of course, it wasn't all work!  On the weekends, I enjoyed the many beautiful beaches and Mayan ruins.  It was an awesome experience for me!”

Deb Combs was a ProWorld education intern in summer 2008.  ProWorld offers students and recent graduates the opportunity to provide much needed education to our host communiites in Peru, Belize, Mexico, India, Thailand, Brazil and Ghana.  Want to learn more about how you can get involved?  Visit www.myproworld.org or contact Erin McIntee at erin@myproworld.org



7. Internships, Jobs, and More
Greensboro, NC Glenhaven Summer Camp
In Greensboro, North Carolina, one of Guilford College's committed service sites is the Glenhaven Multicultural After School Tutorial, a homework haven for refugee children primarily from Liberia and Montagnyards, the indigenous people of Vietnam.  Every summer, Guilford Bonners run and coordinate a summer day camp for the children at the center, acting as counselors, creating an agenda of field trips, fun games, and other engaging activities for the children.  We are looking for Bonners interested in being camp counselors and coordinators for this summer.  It is a volunteer position and room and board are not included.  If children are your passion, than this is the opportunity for you!  Learn about other cultures and build amazing relationships with these wonderful children!  If interested, contact Juliet Carrington at carringtonjc@guilford.edu.

Student Leadership Institute

The Student Coalition for Action in Literacy Education (SCALE) will host a virtual Student Leadership Institute for college students volunteering (or working) in campus-based literacy programs.  The conference will take place on April 4, 2009 from noon until 5pm. Registration is underway and space is limited.

The goal for the virtual conference is to promote and support youth leadership and to provide the tools necessary for successful literacy outreach.

We will offer the following workshops addressing issues that student organizations face:

  • Models in Leadership  
  • Effective Program Management for Young Leaders (Part I)
  • Effective Program Management for Young Leaders (Part II)
  • Leadership Transition

Please click on the following link to register for the Student Leadership Conference. The last day of registration is March 13th. Spaces fill up quickly-register today!





CARE National Conference and Celebration: May 5 & 6, 2009 Washington D.C.


Demand a world without poverty.

The CARE National Conference & Celebration will take place in Washington, D.C. on May 5-6, 2009. You will be inspired by speakers including Wolf Blitzer, Gwen Ifill and Richard Gere. You'll be empowered by learning more about issues affecting global development and how you can make a difference. And you'll be in the forefront of policymaking when you help educate your elected official about CARE’s poverty fighting programs and initiatives and how we can all make a difference.

This two-day event is a unique opportunity for you help keep American policymakers focused on issues of poverty, women’s empowerment, equity and social justice.

The CARE National Conference & Celebration is a collective of many voices coming together to form a movement that’s bringing hope to millions of poor women, families and communities around the world.

Click on the following link to learn more about this conference, ways that you can get involved, and how to register.  The early registration discount price goes until March 20th, and afterwards there is an additional fee for late registration. http://www.careconference.org/index.asp


Play On Conference 2009

The Sports4Kids’ debut Play On 2009 Conference is a high-energy, hands-on debut focusing on issues and implementation strategies around bringing play to schools and communities.
The two-day event is designed to provide groups and individuals who advocate or provide play and physical activity to their schools or community with smart, thoughtful strategies and approaches to supporting a successful program. Breakout sessions include information on play for physically challenged children, promoting physical activity to girls, violence prevention, music as play, hands-on games and strategies to engage children on the playground and many other sessions.
This action-packed conference will take place May 19 and 20, and will feature powerful, inspirational keynote speakers, informative hands-on breakout sessions, and lots of great games and strategies that attendees can take back to their communities and use in their day-to-day roles.
Sports4Kids expects more than 250 attendees for the event, representing organizations that fund, advocate, implement and design play and physical activity programs in their community.
The conference will be kicked of Tuesday morning, by keynote speaker Kevin Carroll, author of Rules of the Red Rubber Ball: Find and Sustain Your Life’s Work. David Bornstein, renowned social entrepreneur and author of How to Save the World is the dinner speaker. Breakout presenters include the Positive Coaching Alliance, America Scores, Team Up for Youth, Bay Area Women’s Sports Initiative and many others.
Cost for the two-day conference is $250 and includes luncheons, keynotes and dinner. To learn more about the Play On conference, check out the web site at www.sports4kids.org.




Pulitzer's Spring Global Gateway


Check out this great opportunity to dig into issues of women and children in crisis/conflict from around the world with three Pulitzer Center journalists.

    (1) Meredith May, the veteran feature writer for the San Francisco Chronicle (and a professor at Mills College/Oakland) who reported this winter on child indentured servants in western Nepal;

    (2) Alaa Majeed, Iraqi former McClatchy Baghdad bureau reporter, winner of the 2007 Courage in Journalism award, and collaborator with her husband, journalist  David Enders and with filmmaker Rick Rowley on their many documentaries on Iraq. She is just back from a month in Iraq, successful after three years in trying to get her two sons, 7 and 10, out of the country;

    (3) Michael Kavanagh will be just off his third month-long trip to eastern Congo for the Pulitzer Center. Michael is primarily a radio journalist, and his reporting has been broadcast on NPR and PRI/The World. He has ventured into the television broadcast world with WorldFocus (WNET’s new weeknightly foreign affairs news program). His strongest recent radio and video documentary work is on rape as an instrument of war.

We expect the interactive web portal complementing this trio of reporting to launch around April 7. The journalists are set to connect with students and faculty in Missouri and Illinois the week of April 20 (SIU Carbondale, Washington University and metropolitan St. Louis middle and high schools.)

Pulitzer is eager for these journalists to visit nearby Bonner schools. Current dates of availability are generally late March through April (though excluding April 20-22 or possibly 23 when they are in Carbondale and St. Louis).

Please contact Ann Peters, apeters@pulitzercenter.org if you are interested in this opportunity. www.pulitzercenter.org


Have a wonderful weekend!!!
Juliet and Gretchen

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