For the past 32 years, the Rotary Club of Shepherdstown and the Rotary Club of Martinsburg, West Virginia have convened an annual World Affairs Seminar for students from area high schools to engage in dialogue on a topic of both local and global relevance.
Because of on-going COVID conditions and the uncertainties of holding an in-person event at Shepherd University, the World Affairs Seminar for 2021 will be held virtually, similar to the seminar for 2020-21 in 4 phases. The participants are students from the seven high schools in the Eastern Panhandle (covering Berkeley, Jefferson & Morgan Counties). The topic selected for 2021 was based on two guiding principles: relevance and alignment with the Rotary Youth Peace Action Initiative. Special thanks to our presenters, faculty advisors, and to Chazz Printz, representing The Rotary Club of Martinsburg for over 25 years as co-coordinator in Berkeley County, along with Richard Anson and Bill Howard, co-coordinators for the Rotary Club of Shepherdstown.
Video Welcome & Introduction: Dr. Richard Anson
for the Rotary Clubs of Shepherdstown and Martinsburg
SUB-TOPICS & PANEL
Seminar Agenda and Follow-Up
Brief Video Presentations by Our Panel Members (15 minutes each)
By November 15, 2021, for each of the 3 sub-topics, our 4 panel members will address 4 guide questions, based on individual zoom recording. Each of the presentations will be available here by video link by November 19, 2021. The 4 guide questions are:
- What is the relevance of the “eight pillars of positive peace” and the core values of peace for our schools and communities?
- What are the “systemic” causes of the two challenges and “conflicts” presented?
- What are emerging lessons learned, good practices and skills for enhanced peacebuilding and conflict resolution?
- How can these lessons and practices be applied to peacebuilding and conflict resolution in our families, schools, communities?
Breakout Discussion Groups
By December 10, 2021 (at a date and time convenient for each school), faculty advisor(s) will convene the participating students to view the video recordings of the panel members and facilitate a discussion session by the students guided by 2 questions:
- What are key points made by the 4 panel members?
- What are possible specific initiatives to promote enhanced peacebuilding in our schools and communities?
Collective Sharing (1.5 hours)
*Youth Peace in Action Overview:
- 8-minute YPA Overview video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sASoORLDzq8&t=18s
- 3-minute YPA Overview video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sASoORLDzq8
- YPA Content Overview Brochure
- Link to YPA website: www.youthpeaceaction.org
Follow-up Action and Engagement
From January, 2022 to end of May, 2022 (and hopefully beyond), the students from each participating high school will be encouraged to engage in follow-up initiative(s) in their school and community, using the lessons and collected resources found through the seminar, with support from faculty advisors and community volunteers including Rotarians and Shepherd University student mentors. Each high school is encouraged to participate in the Rotary YPA initiative, becoming certified peacebuilders, and carrying out peacebuilding initiatives in your school and community.