Thursday, March 7, 2024

[Peace education-Atlanta USA] Students, Good influence to community after peace education

[Peace education-Atlanta USA] Students, Good influence to community after peace education

Due to the historical background of the United States, which is made up of various races, there is a natural awareness that people must be armed to protect themselves. As a result, racial discrimination and gun issues are emerging as serious problems in schools and society. This is the reason why HWPL peace education is in the spotlight. 

Atlanta of Georgia state is a city that symbolizes peace as the main stage of Martin Luther King's nonviolent peace movement.

Ruth Perez, a counselor who worked at Sunrise Middle School in Atlanta, was interested in nurturing future generations of peace messengers through peace education, and wanted to combine peace education with the counseling curriculum. Thanks to his active participation, peace education was able to be implemented for the first time in Atlanta at Sunrise School in 2022. 

As of February this year, the HWPL Peace Education Department signed MOUs with three education organizations in Atlanta and is spreading the culture of peace as peace education. The organizations are DaVinci International Elementary School, Atlanta Youth Choir, and Alequest Collaboration for Education. There are a total of 7 peace teachers active in Atlanta. 


◆Peace Education‧Peace Camp in Atlanta

Peace education of HWPL began to receive attention in Atlanta when peace education was broadcast on Radio on June 20, 2021. At that time, the radio broadcast recorded peace education lessons 1 to 12 in the form of interviews and comic talks, and broadcast them one after another. About 200 listeners consistently listened to each episode.

Afterwards, on October 24, 2022, peace education was held at Sunrise Middle School with 30 middle school students in attendance. On this day, peace education was conducted under the theme of textbook lesson 2, the reason why all things in heaven and earth are harmonious, and the class was held for two days. Students wrote diagrams to explore their values and formed teams to create collages.

On October 8 last year, peace education began for 100 Black Men of Dekalb County with about 100 middle and high school students in attendance. This education is conducted every other Saturday and students of middle school and high school are divided into two groups. Members of the branch are conducting classes by linking their stories with the value of peace. Most of the students who attended this peace education are devising activities that can actually spread peace to civil society through volunteer work after the education.

A peace camp was also held. On August 14, 2022, a peace camp was held with the attendance of 10 students aged 18 to 22 from the Atlanta Youth Choir. The students received an education on sacrifice and forgiveness for three days, and based on what they learned, they wrote and composed a song about peace. Afterwards, they produced a music video and uploaded it on YouTube. Also they performed in volunteer work and outdoor activities.

A peace camp was held once last year as well. On July 28th last year, eight students aged 13 to 19 from the Alequest Collaboration for Education attended. They were educated about the influence, value and importance of heritage. On this day, students participated in the activity of engraving messages of peace on iron plates that they would like to pass on to future generations. Andrea Miller, head of the organization, said, “This peace camp introduced students to the concept of peace, sparked their interest, and provided an inspirational time to help realize the value of peace.”

◆Students who realize peace‧forgiveness and avoid hatred

Both teachers who conducted peace education and students expressed satisfaction. Ruth Perez, a teacher at Sunrise Middle School, said, “If we provide peace education like this, the students will become true messengers of peace. The seeds of peace may not be planted in all students, but the seeds of peace will be deeply planted in some students and they will grow into a tree of peace.”.

Scott Hughes, who participated in peace education of 100 Black Men of Dekalb County as a mentor, said, “I am grateful that the students are preparing classes together and creating useful classes for peace so that they make a useful class. If education continues like this, the power will increase. It is worthwhile to try this.”.

The students' response was also good. A student who participated in the peace education program of 100 Black Men of Dekalb County said after receiving education on ‘forgiveness’, “Forgiveness is for ourselves, not for others. When people ask about the reason, I’d say because we try to forgive.” 


Another student said, “If you hit or bully someone, other people can understand that this can happen to them too. The best way is to apologize no matter who hit you first.”

A student who attended the Atlanta Youth Choir Peace Camp said, “When I thought before attending the peace camp, I thought forgiveness was something that people who were too weak accept a situation. (After receiving education), forgiveness is now possible.” I learned that it was the key to building a relationship with myself. Hate corrupts the soul into darkness and misery.”.


Another student who participated in this camp said, “It made me think about whether I had biased thoughts. This is to truly deal with my emotions and trauma. First, I have to think about the situation, think about the emotions involved, have the mindset of wanting to move forward, and try to forgive myself for hurting my feelings.”.


One student who participated in the Alequest Collaborative Peace Camp for Education said, “It was really inspiring to see and hear young people who are interested in the concept of peace and who want to share the concept of peace, discussing their thoughts, ideas, and perspectives.” Another student said “Considering that heritage is different from person to person, culture to culture, and different parts of the world, heritage is made up of many things such as physical objects, things, statues, monuments, etc., but it also has the value of what we leave behind. We have forgotten this.”.


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