Carter Summer Symposium: Hot Topics and Chill Skills for Students
High School Students Learn Valuable Skills at the Carter School’s Conflict Resolution Youth Summit
During July 17-20th, 36 passionate students could be found on George Mason University’s campus, facing some of today’s toughest challenges and buzzing with potential solutions. While the field of Conflict Resolution may not be known to all, these students took advantage of an opportunity to engage in discussions over topics like minority issues, climate change, guns in society, immigration, and discrimination.
Launched in 2017, the Conflict Resolution Youth Summit (CRYS) is a four-day learning experience for 10th, 11th, and 12th grade students on the George Mason campus in Fairfax, Virginia. This year, the 36 attendees represented 21 different high schools – most from northern Virginia – as well as students from Florida, Michigan, Nevada, Utah, and Kazakhstan.
Developed and run by the undergraduate program at The Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter School for Peace and Conflict Resolution at George Mason University, CRYS helps students explore topics related to global conflict, peacebuilding, and collaborative leadership through engaging activities, lectures, and team-building exercises. Many of the core conflict resolution skills taught to students are taken from the undergraduate curriculum. The theme for this year’s summit was “The Intersection between Technology and Conflict.”
As part of this year’s theme, attendees completed short video podcasts that facilitated group dialogues over current topics of importance to them, including minority issues, climate change, guns in society, immigration, and discrimination. Attendees also participated in discussions with Carter School faculty and other skill-building workshops.
One participant noted, “It was an amazing experience to learn about how people use conflict resolution to overcome challenges, especially how people within the field of peace use conflict resolution to de-escalate tension. I also enjoyed discussing and debating with other participants that have different worldviews and upbringings. This broadened my perception on global conflicts. My experience at the Conflict Resolution Summit was wonderful and inspired me to research more about Conflict Resolution.”
Alpaslan Ozerdem, Dean of the Carter School, proudly added, “The Carter School’s Youth Summit is all about conflict resolution skills which are universal and necessary in all aspects of life from family and the classroom to international relations. We believe that the unique nature of this program will also help attendees stand out in their college applications and shine like the North Star amongst their peers.”
Another student summed-up their CRYS experience by saying “The Conflict Resolution Youth Summit was so fun and a cool way to talk about the latest world problems.”
For more information about CRYS, please visit https://carterschool.gmu.edu/prospective-students/conflict-resolution-youth-summit
About the Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter School for Peace and Conflict Resolution:
George Mason University’s Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter School for Peace and Conflict Resolution is a community of faculty, students, staff, alumni, and partners with a fundamental commitment to building peace. Through the development of cutting-edge theory, research, education, and practical work, we seek to identify and address the underlying causes of conflict and provide tools for ethical and just peacebuilding on the local, national, and global stages. Learn more at https://carterschool.gmu.edu.