Three Princetonians win Davis Projects for Peace

Two Princeton University students and a recent alumnus are spending the summer in Nicaragua and Brazil pursuing new and creative ideas for promoting peace through grants from the Davis Projects for Peace. The program awarded more than $1 million to students from universities across the country to pursue international endeavors during summer 2012.

Luciana Chamorro, a recent graduate of the Class of 2012 and a native of Nicaragua, received a $10,000 grant to help members of the community of Matagalpa tell their stories of the 1980s civil war through the project “Stories of the Civil War: Empowering a Generation Through Community Filmmaking.” High school and college students, video artists, scholars and the broader population will collaborate in a workshop to produce a video documentary, Chamorro said.

“The personal narratives of the war will collectively provide a view of the recent local history of Matagalpa, with the premise that understanding the past is empowering and gives a community the tools to think about their present and reimagine their future,” Chamorro said. She hopes that such a project will help “recognize in the past the seeds of our current political and social issues, and use this understanding to build a more just and peaceful future for Nicaragua.”

The team of Courtney Crumpler and Sarah Simon, both members of the Class of 2013, were awarded $10,000 to confront issues of health, nutrition and violence by mobilizing an underprivileged community, known as a favela, in Rio de Janeiro to build sustainable rooftop gardens. Their project, “Cultivating Restorative Spaces: Improving Health and Reducing Violence Through Urban Gardens,” aims to bring youth and their families together while learning about food through sustainable gardening.

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