March 18th, 2014

Waltham, MA. ― College students across the country have once again been challenged to design and undertake Projects for Peace.  A total of 127 winning projects have been selected and are being awarded $10,000 each for implementation during the summer of 2014. Projects for Peace was the vision of philanthropist Kathryn W. Davis beginning in 2007 on the occasion of Mrs. Davis’ 100th birthday. Until her death at 106 in 2013, Mrs. Davis was intent on advancing the cause of peace and sought to motivate tomorrow’s promising leaders by challenging them to find ways to “prepare for peace”.

The Davis family has chosen to honor her legacy by continuing to fund Projects for Peace and is heartened by the quality and inventiveness of the projects to be undertaken in 2014.  Projects that address conflict resolution and reconciliation, foster understanding, provide opportunity, and community building are among the many winning proposals submitted by motivated students this year.

Projects for Peace invites all undergraduates at the 91 American colleges and universities which are partners in the Davis United World College Scholars Program (see www.davisuwcscholars.org) to compete for these grants. Other participating institutions include International Houses Worldwide, the Graduate Institute in Geneva, Future Generations Graduate School, and the University of Maine.

“Competition is keen and we congratulate those students whose projects have been selected for funding in 2014,” said Philip O. Geier, Executive Director of the Davis United World College Scholars Program which administers Projects for Peace. “We are pleased to once again help young people launch some initiatives that will bring new energy and ideas to improving the prospects for peace in the world.”

Two projects have been selected from Brandeis University. Abie Troen and Andrea Verdeja will be traveling to India to work on their project, “A Call for Dignity: Ending Manual Scavenging” in Dewas, Madhya Pradesh, India”.  Abie and Andrea hope to make a documentary promoting the rights and empowerment of Hindu and Muslim Dalit (Untouchable) women in their ongoing struggle to eliminate the caste based practice of cleaning the toilets of upper caste people by hand and transporting the waste in buckets carried by hand for miles to disposal places.  The film Troen and Verdeja will make will become part of a larger movement to end the caste-based scavenging process as it has continued to this time.

Catriona Stewart & Eli Philip will be traveling to Israel to work on their project, “Brandeis University – Al Quds University Student Dialogue Initiative”.  Catriona and Eli plan to visit Al Quds and work with students to create a framework for long-term student dialogue between Brandeis University and Al Quds University.
For more information on Projects for Peace, see www.davisprojectsforpeace.org.
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