On June 25, 2010 after months of careful preparation MCF welcomed five Guyanese social service professionals to Cambridge where they attended Lesley University’s Peaceable Schools & Communities Institute. Each had been selected by Guyana’s Ministry of Human Services and Social Security and the Guyanese NGO Help & Shelter staff. Faculty at Lesley, Peaceable Schools & Communities, and Springfield College of Human Services provided learning opportunities for this honored group of dedicated community leaders from Guyana. Professors Gene Diaz, Linda Brion-Meisels, Ulric Johnson, and Alan O’Hare were among those who worked with the group to explore strategies to prevent, intervene, and heal the challenges of domestic and gender-related violence in communities. At the close of the institute, Lauren Stevenson facilitated a debriefing session for MCF to document the Guyanese participants’ experiences, learning and insights related to the major themes of Peaceable Schools—the roots of violence and peace, cultural awareness, and the connections between interpersonal and institutional change.
At the conclusion of the Peaceable Schools & Communities Institute, Lesley University hosted a reception to honor the guests from Guyana and the faculty and staff of the institute, and to thank them for their contribution to the program.