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Michael A Ream
Mar 6, 2018

Global Peacebuilding Competition

Mar 6, 2018 by Michael A Ream

Do you want to make a difference in the world around you?

Do you want to join other students locally and globally  

To work for Peace and Justice?


Enter the “Global Peacebuilding Competition” (GPC) and you could win between $500 to $2000 to carry out your own “peace” plan.

Here are the details:

Appalachian’s Global Peacebuilding Committee has organized a student competition modeled on a worldwide United Nations youth competition.

Your task for the GPC is to develop your own idea for how to build peace with a small-scale project that you carry out by yourself, or with one or two other students.

We define peace broadly. Many students may develop projects to challenge toxic and unpeaceful social relations such as racism, sexism, homophobia, religious intolerance, transphobia, anti-immigrant prejudice, death penalty, school shooting, domestic violence, and more. You may also think of a project that will promote peace in your community, build bridges among community members, and promotes anti-militaristic and nonviolent values.

Write a proposal following the forms here. The deadline is April 9, 11:59 pm. The GPC Committee, comprised of staff, students, and faculty, will interview anyone who submits a proposal, in a friendly, short interview. Winners will be chosen before the semester ends and awarded up to $2000 to carry out proposals during summer or fall 2018. Award(s) will cover allowable expenses, such as, supplies, stipend, rental fees, and travel.

How to begin: Feel free to come to an information session with members of the GPC Committee—times are below. Then go here to submit your proposal. Don’t know what kind of proposal would work? No problem: We will help you. You can also see the links at the bottom for some ideas.

Information sessions--Just come at one of these times and places. No need to register.

March 20 12:30pm-1:30pm Tater Hill (PSU Room 155)

March 20 5:30pm-6:30pm New River Room (PSU Room 100)

March 21 12:30pm-1:30pm Linn Cove (PSU Room 413)

March 21 5:30pm-6:30pm Elk Knob (PSU Room 165)




What kind of project should I do?

The idea is to do a project that is local and small in scale but that will have significant effects. See examples below for some ideas.

What is the background of the GPC different from other social justice initiatives?

The GPC is a smaller version of the United Nations Diversity Contest, in which ten student winners, all non-professionals, were chosen from around the world and awarded prize money to carry out their ideas. The Project Manager for the 2015 UN Contest, Martin Schoenhals, now teaches at App.

These UN winners are already in touch with Appalachian faculty and students to share the lessons they learned from implementing their projects. We will invite them to join us here in person (or at least via Internet) for a student symposium to be held at App in Spring 2019. 

By taking part in the GPC, you will be joining an international movement for social justice, centered at Appalachian State University. You will meet an amazing group of social justice peers from Appalachian State University and from all over the world.

What did the UN winners do for their projects?

One woman from rural Pakistan wrote a curriculum for children to teach them that each of the religions in her village--Islam, Christianity, and Hinduism--urges peaceful coexistence, rather than violent confrontation, the rhetoric children hear today from religious extremists in their midst.

A Mexican student made three short films, each displaying a harassment scenario common in Mexico. She focused on treatment of women, indigenous peoples, and LGBT peoples. Films were shown to random people in public places throughout Mexico City in order to increase sensitivity to the plight of women and minorities in Mexico.

Another group, a team of Mexican students, recorded voices of immigrant women in the US and Mexico. Their goal was to humanize the issue of immigration and display women’s stories to policymakers and others whose minds could be changed by seeing individual humans and learning of the way immigration policies affect them and their families.

More resources available below:

The Barefoot Skateboarders | Unique Sports Stories from India:

This video shows how an intervention for youth in India changed gender and caste. (Caste is like race in America—a segregating social structure.)

These music videos address social justice issues.

The idea here is to change the groups that students usually spend time with, leading to better cross-race, cross-gender etc. mixing.

This site uses peer conflict mediation. It can be used to challenge any kind of prejudicial behavior displayed by kids.

Watch The Trans Panic Epidemic: The Daily Show at

Humor can be an effective tool. This video uses humor against transphobia.


Some other very useful sites:  GLSEN is a national organization working on LGBT issues. This site gives the voices of Muslim teens. American Muslim Teens Talk This site describes a bluegrass music festival integrating diversity issues with the music.  This is a film by an American teen on her experiences as a Muslim young woman.