Buchtel Community Learning Center will premiere its History and English students’ community engagement event, called “The Dreams for Darfur Project,” Thursday, May 24, 6 p.m., at the Buchtel CLC auditorium,
The event will feature keynote speaker El Fadel Arbab, a Darfur genocide survivor. This event is free to all and will feature displays and artwork by the students involved in the project.
“Dreams for Darfur” has an international scope, and one fundamental theme is the value and significance of getting involved, to understand that everybody can do something and we are all capable of extending a helping hand for the betterment of others. With the slogan “Don’t stand to the side, help stop the genocide,” the students and teachers are seeking to fill the void between Akron students and the community, and those people who have suffered the grueling terrors of genocide in Darfur.
The project is led by Kristy Nelson and Logan Mullet, with the help of Cindy Memmen, Principal Steve White, Principal Byron Hopkins and curriculum specialist Adam Motter, along with the support of Buchtel staff.
Nelson, Memmen, Mullet and White are English and history teachers at Buchtel CLC, and they co-plan their classes with the goal of engaging their students with the community at-large as they take what they have learned and create community-based projects. The Buchtel PTA is a sponsor of this event, along with Global Ties Akron.
After the keynote speaker, attendees are invited to the cafeteria to look at student displays. “[The students’] displays will spread awareness and activism; there will also be a donation jar,” said Nelson. “Our goal is to raise $1,000 for the Darfur Women Action Group. We want to give Darfuris promise for the future by supporting the Darfur Women Action Group; donations will be accepted.”
She said of her students,” I am trying to get them to understand the connection of history and the present, and empower them to make a difference.”
Global Ties is assisting in publicity and providing resources such as connections to other community organizations. Global Ties also assisted in finding a host for Arbab: the Casey family in Akron is volunteering their hospitality by providing him a place to stay during his visit to Akron. The teachers are looking for other community volunteers and organizations who can help support the Buchtel High students and teachers and sustain the “The Dreams for Darfur Project.”
For a community not well educated about the Darfur genocide, this project will offer a unique perspective, say the teachers hosting the event.
Buchtel CLC is located at 1040 Copley Road in Akron.