Kelsey is a stellar example of how this class changes lives. I’d like to share with you a bit of what she says about this class experience.
“In terms of how the class has affected my choice of study and career hopes, I think it really instilled in me a passion for social justice. Working with the residents showed me how so often it isn't a failure of the individual person, but a failure of the systems around them that led to them being incarcerated. Therefore, I chose to pursue an MSW degree as it uniquely prepares me to work with people who are incarcerated and advocate for social justice by training me to think systemically and to work within these systems while also working to change them. My experience working with the residents showed me how resilient they are and how much they have to offer the world, which is often overlooked by society. As a society, we label people who are incarcerated as "criminals" and relegate them to the margins of society where they are dehumanized and not given the opportunity to develop an identity that is separate from their crime. Getting to know the residents for the people they are, and not the crimes they committed, showed me how important it is to treat people who are incarcerated with the human dignity they deserve and allow them the opportunity to define their own identity. This drove me to want to be able to do this as a career, and help people who are incarcerated realize what they're capable of and re-author their life stories into a more preferred identity other than criminal. And ultimately, I would love to take on a leadership position within the criminal justice system, where I could work to institute changes that would make it more just.”
And the effect that this class has had on Kelsey, along with on so many other students both from U.Va. and the correctional center, is why we need to continue to work to share this film to inspire replication in other communities. That is the mission of this film.
The work of sharing John Hunter’s World Peace Game, the subject of our past film World Peace and other 4th-Grade Achievements, continues to resonate widely, and provides an inspiring model for the replication mission of Seats at the Table. Through John’s Master Classes, he has now taught teachers from around the world how to conduct the World Peace Game in their own classrooms. And at each of these Master Classes, the film has been shown to all of the teacher/attendees along with their wider community. The Game itself has now been taught in schools in over 35 countries, with the ultimate mission of teaching children the “work of peace”. And we are so happy to share some recent outstanding news: The U.S. State Department is providing funding and logistical support for John and his World Peace Game Foundation to visit Australia this coming September to conduct a series of Master Classes there.
To find out more information about the World Peace Game Foundation, please visit http://worldpeacegame.org/.