Students wanting to create peace for all, especially in the Dayton area, took part and were recognized for their peace plans as part of an initiative inspired by the Dayton Peace Festival.
Chris Borland, a Dayton-area native, started the Dayton Peace Festival in response to the Oregon District shooting in August. Along with activities to bring self-peace and community-peace, he encouraged students to propose peace plans and peace poems. CJ students participated in this contest, with a Senior Capstone group being recognized as the winner.
Human-to-Human, the Senior Capstone group created by Madison Meixner (Montessori School of Dayton), Kaitlin Stewart (St. Peter/Riverside), and Mia Tillar (St. Albert the Great/Kettering) aims to focus on racial stereotypes and try to erase them through educating people and start conversations about race.
“Conversation is important because it allows people to share their opinions and thoughts on certain issues, topics, and interests,” the seniors said. “When people converse, they are often opened to different perspectives, opportunities, and communities. Through conversing, it allows people from various backgrounds, whether it’s religious, ethnic, racial, or sexual to really understand one another in how they are similar and diverse.
“With this peace plan, our goal is to push the boundaries of talking about race and open conversation up to the CJ and Dayton communities. In the past, race has been a big issue and something sensitive, but we want to show that when you have conversations, it can be something so special and insightful. We want to be models for our school and the Dayton community by starting good dialogue about race, people’s experiences, and how we can impact those around us. This project can make an impact on this issue because it will help make connections and break down barriers to allow all people to be treated with dignity and come together as a community of diversity.”
Also recognized for a peace plan was Lyndsey Carter ‘20 (St. Albert the Great).
“I developed a plan to help with the mental health epidemic in the Dayton community to help foster a more peaceful and safe environment,” Carter said. “This plan will offer more accessible mental health resources so that a tragedy like the shooting in the Oregon District could be prevented in the future.”
Cyrus Good ‘21 (St. Anthony) was also recognized for submitting a peace plan.
“I wrote about a plan for better transportation in Old North Dayton,” Good shared. “Overall, writing it was thrilling because it caused me to formulate a plan for the betterment of other people, and it got me thinking about how I could make Dayton a better place. It has reminded me to be creative in coming up with solutions to problems I can see in my community.”
For the group Human-to-Human, they predict they’ll be putting their plan into action sooner than later.
“We plan on creating a podcast and releasing our first one in November,” the seniors said. “We are discussing how we want to create conversation by inviting people from the CJ community and Dayton area to come onto our podcast and have a conversation with some guided questions about race and how they’ve dealt with discrimination. We also hope to dabble in a couple other topics such as mental health, religion, sexuality, etc. Some of these topics can be hard to talk about, but they are important to talk about.
“Taking these first steps with our podcast will open the doors to creating good connections and maybe changing opinions.”
Posted October 31, 2019