Professor Michelle Cromwell Continues Work with Multicultural Village

Michelle CromwellMichelle Cromwell, Assistant Professor of Social and Political Systems at Pine Manor, will be continuing her peace building work with Multicultural Village this summer in Trinidad and Costa Rica. This year a student, Sheila Martinez, from Cromwell's Peace and Conflict Resolution class will accompany her to work as a Village intern. She will teach a workshop which she created as well as assist with the creation of a documentary of the experience. She won a workshop creation competition which was part of the course requirement and will present that to the Villagers.

Multicultural Village is a simulated Village where a community of youth and adults or adults only from extremely diverse cultural, geographic, ethnic and social groups have the opportunity to engage in PEACE BUILDING by having meaningful contact.

During our Villages we partner youth with adults who are practitioners in the Peace and Conflict Resolution field so that they will live, learn, grow and experience new ways to address violence and be socially responsible. Youth are called Villagers and adults are called Village Elders to model a traditional Village setting where adults and youth experience mutual respect, cooperation, trust and positive interaction across multiple divides. We provide the opportunities where youth can discover that their strengths and courage go beyond national, cultural or global patterns and habits. The Village is a place where youth can take a chance to stretch their minds while making lifelong friends across racial and cultural divides, learn vital life skills, create a global impact and have tons of fun.

We also provide similar Villages for adult groups who want to experience new ways to address violence, resolve conflicts and learn to be socially responsible and culturally competent national and global citizens.

Summer 2008 TRINIDAD/ COSTA RICA August 1- 23

The Village experience is single session that lasts three weeks. The Summer of 2008 Village will be based in Cumaca, a small village in the Northern Range of Trinidad, West Indies. The community action project will be in San Jose Costa Rica. It will consist of 24 youth from two ethnic groups with historical animosities and 4 adults who are conflict resolution and peace practitioners. The three week program consists of:

Week 1 August 3-8: Conflict Resolution and Peace Building Workshops
Villagers will learn crucial life skills through interactive experiential workshops. They will have opportunities to do core workshops and also to choose from a buffet of workshops that are of interest to them.

Week 2- August 11- 17: Joint Venture Initiatives: Community Action
Villagers will travel together to another country to engage in a joint venture with an International NGO in Costa Rica with local schools working on Peace building with at risk students. It will enable them to explore a new culture and gain global insight while engaging in superordinate goals and creating a common identity.

Week 3 August 19- 23: Reflection through Facing History Facing Ourselves
On returning to home base in Cumaca the Villagers will use the tools they learned from the previous weeks to engage each other. Oral tradition and story telling are powerful tools which will be used to engage all Villagers in speaking the truth for reconciliation and healing. Exercises serve to break and point out stereotypes or erroneous assumptions we hold of others. It also addresses the Transgenerational Transmission of Trauma that has been passes on through family, community and national stories.

To learn more about Multicultural Village and to help fund the cause, please visit