To adapt our Global Education programming to the virtual environment, the leadership of Via International has been involved in a participatory process of program development with our university and prep school partners.
What has emerged from these conversations is a flagship virtual program called “Grassroots Practice of Engaged Justice.” This experience will equip students with tools to go beyond nominal solidarity for the people and the issues they care about. Through this experience they will learn to identify the values that prompt their own life choices for social justice action, and will experiment with practices that can put these values into action. We envision this virtual offering as a kind of “field school” for personal formation, community development and social justice action.
As we prepare we continue to be guided by these key principles:
- Mutual learning process – Meeting the educational institutions’ objectives
- Creating relationships – For participants to meet and learn from local wisdom keepers
- Demonstrate clear impact – For participants to feel they have supported something unique and that they come away with tools to support community work, either with Via or at home.
Leading this process have been Gabriel Reed (formerly Via’s Director of Education), Rigoberto Reyes (Sr. Program Director), Elisa Sabatini (President/CEO) and John Fanestil (Executive Director). Faculty we are engaging for the experience include: Isaias Crow (individual formation workshop), Irene Castruita (nutrition education), Kenton Hundley (self-expression workshops), Victor Ochoa (muralist, art, park tours) and Lucas Cruz (community historian/gentrification) and Alexis Dixon (conflict resolution/trust building). Also supporting the overall framework are Derick Abrigu (now residing in Montreal), Alberto Pulido (USD) and Harry Simon Salazar (https://www.qvole.org/wp/).
Via International is pleased to announce that we will be piloting this new virtual offering – “Grassroots Practice of Engaged Justice” – with Villanova University in October, 2020. We look forward to similar engagements moving forward with our other educational partners.