Building Walls & Breaking Barriers

Michael and Cecilia collaborated to install a vertical vegetable garden, rainwater collection system, and compost bin for a school that serves children whose families survive by scavenging in a gigantic garbage dump.

Ending the Silence

The Khmer Rouge genocide is not included in the formal Cambodian education system. Leah initiated a series of workshops that provided a safe space for Cambodian students to confront their country’s history of violence, ask questions, and creatively express their reactions. more

Sierra Leone Muslim Brotherhood School

Zainab Mansaray ’09 & Arthur Sillah ’10 set out to rehabilitate the Sierra Leone Muslim Brotherhood Primary School and organize workshops that encouraged the students to unite in collective community service. The idea of collaborative service for the public good was a new concept for the children. more

Skate into the Sun

Kava Vasquez ’17 created Mozambique's first skateboarding club for girls. The club became a space for mentors to have difficult and necessary conversations about gender, poverty, sexism, family, education, happiness, and community.

Restoring Hope among Senegalese Talibés and Albino Children

Khadidja Ngom ‘19 developed a camp and curriculum for Senegalese children with albinism and children from poor economic backgrounds. The camp created an inclusive environment where children from these different walks of life could learn about each other’s stories in the hope of fighting prejudice and discrimination.

We Are Worthy

Gao Thor ‘18 launched "Peb Muaj Nuj Nqis" (We are Worthy), connecting Hmong women from Laos and Minnesota for self- and cultural empowerment.

Projects for Peace was created in 2007 through the generosity of Kathryn W. Davis, a lifelong internationalist and philanthropist who died in 2013 at 106 years of age. She is the mother of Shelby M.C. Davis who funds the Davis United World College Scholars Program currently involving 91 American colleges and universities. Mrs. Davis’ legacy lives on through the continuation of Projects for Peace in order to spark initiatives for building prospects for peace in the world. The Davis family and friends believe, like Mrs. Davis did, that today’s youth – tomorrow’s leaders – ought to be challenged to formulate and test their own ideas.

What does “projects for peace” hope to accomplish?

We hope to encourage student initiative, innovation and entrepreneurship focusing on conflict prevention, resolution or reconciliation. Some of the most compelling projects to date have reflected one or more of the following characteristics: contributing to conflict prevention; ameliorating conditions leading to violence/conflict; looking for and building on shared attributes among differing peoples, races, ethnicities, tribes, clans, etc.; fostering diplomacy or otherwise contribute to advancing peace processes underway; promoting economic opportunity and entrepreneurship among those in post-conflict areas; finding creative ways to bring people on opposite sides of issues together, such as through art, sports, music or other techniques to promote a common humanity; developing leadership and mediation skills training for those in conflict or post-conflict societies; starting or leveraging initiatives, organizations (e.g. education, health) or infrastructure projects to build/rebuild community. In general, projects should be building blocks for a sustainable peace. The overall program is intended to be worldwide in scope and impact, but specific projects may be undertaken anywhere, including in the U.S.

Who is eligible to design a “project for peace”?

All current Macalester students (including seniors who would complete their projects after graduation) are eligible. All students, not just Davis UWC Scholars at those schools, are eligible. Groups of students (all from Macalester), as well as individual students, may submit proposals.

How does the funding for these projects work?

While Davis funding per project is limited to $10,000, projects with larger budgets are welcome and co-funding from other sources – such as other philanthropists, a college or university, foundation, NGO/PVO or students’ own fundraising – is encouraged.