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SU London announces ‘Journey of Understanding’ participants
Four SU London students have been selected to take part in the Encompass Trust “Journey of Understanding” in which they will join young people from the United Kingdom, Israel, the Palestinian Territories and Indonesia on a nine-day, cross-cultural retreat in Aberdovey, Wales, Dec. 9-17.
The SU participants are Carolyn Burke, a senior drama major in the College of Visual and Performing Arts; Allison Labanoski, a junior television, radio and film major in the Newhouse School; Nana Ntsakey, a senior philosophy, African American studies, and English and textual studies major in The College of Arts and Sciences; and Joel Patterson, a senior in the School of Architecture.
Encompass Trust was started in memory of Daniel Braden, who was killed in the Bali terrorist bombings of 2002. The charity believes that bringing young people together from around the world and putting them in challenging and exciting environments is an effective way to promote peaceful co-existence between people of different backgrounds, cultures and faiths. The “Journey of Understanding” program combines outdoor activities such as rock climbing, kayaking and hill walking with group discussions. The former help break down initial barriers and develop trust; the latter deal with some of the most basic issues challenging humanity today, such as stereotypes, identity, cultural heritage and ethnic conflict.
Jeremiah Deibler, a senior political science major in The College of Arts and Sciences, took part in the program last February. “What ensued over the week in Wales was a series of dialogues and relationship-building activities that broke barriers across ideological differences,” he says. “This program not only gave me the opportunity to meet people from these regions for the first time ever, it really caused me to question my beliefs on the role of the United States in the world.”
“Encompass Trust is a great example of what cross-cultural education should strive to achieve: deeply engaging programming that is accessible to students from a wide range of backgrounds and disciplines,” says SU London Director Peter Leuner. “I’m delighted that this stellar example of Scholarship in Action and community engagement has been fostered through the collaborative efforts of Encompass, SU London and the Syracuse home campus. Students on our SU London Program now have a significant new opportunity to engage with the world through a structured personal journey, and I look forward to hearing their reports on the positive results of this partnership.”
For more information on Encompass Trust, visit http://www.encompasstrust.org.