A Residential Summer Institute for K-12 Educators

Journeys of Nonviolence: Gandhi and Mandela

California State Polytechnic University, Pomona (Cal Poly Pomona)
July 13-27, 2015


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Application Deadline: April 16, 2015

Ahimsa Center in the College of Letters, Arts and Social Sciences at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona (in suburban Los Angeles) invites applications for the 2015 residential summer institute for K-12 educators. This institute, sixth in a series on Education about Nonviolence, will focus on two major proponents of nonviolent action for social change: Mohandas K. Gandhi (1869-1948) and Nelson Mandela (1918-2013). Although South Africa played a key role in shaping Gandhi and Mandela, their journeys to nonviolence were quite different, as were their movements in terms of the scope, scale, and impact. Both dedicated their lives to combating racism, oppression, injustice, violence, and poverty. Although they belonged to different times, they arrived at their convictions through their inward journeys in the face of violence, humiliation, and imprisonments. In their shared worldview, moral and spiritual growth of human civilization was as important as its material advancement. Both were fearless, ethical, and highly influential in shaping the politics of the day.

Purpose and Format

This institute is aimed at an in-depth study of their journeys on the path of nonviolence in the pursuit of a more just, peaceful, and sustainable social order. It will focus on a critical assessment of Gandhi and Mandela and their contributions to human history. The Institute will provide an extraordinary opportunity to a select group of teachers for educational leadership and facilitate the development of innovative lessons based on a balanced understanding of Gandhi and Mandela, their respective journeys in seeking freedom and social justice.

Participants will work with expert faculty and scholars to learn, reflect, and critically assess the significance of Gandhi and Mandela in their own times and their continuing relevance in our times. Based on their learning experience and in-depth analysis of primary and secondary sources they will develop well-researched lessons for their own students.

The format of the Institute will draw upon an interdisciplinary approach and include a combination of lectures and seminars, group discussions and curriculum development workshops, documentary and film discussions, and an optional hands-on experience in creating digital stories.

Fellowship and Benefits

  • Residential Fellowship. Successful applicants will be awarded fellowships covering the costs of instruction plus room and board for two weeks, books and materials, and the use of Cal Poly Pomona Library .
  • Course Credit, Professional Development and Career Advancement. The Fellowship award will also cover the cost of 6 units of graduate credits. These credits may be used toward a Master’s degree and/or salary advancement .
  • Curricular Innovation. Opportunity to develop standards-based, interdisciplinary lesson plans for the enrichment of students’ knowledge and a deeper understanding of Institute theme and topics.
  • Conference Presentation. Participants will have the option to submit their curricular projects for presentation at the Ahimsa Center’s future international conferences to be held on Cal Poly Pomona campus.
  • Professional Recognition and Visibility. Completed curriculum projects from the Institute will be published on Ahimsa Center’s web site providing professional recognition and visibility to participants' work.

    For Curriculum developed by ahimsa fellows in previous institutes click here.
    For a sampling of their experience in the institutes
    , click here.

Selection Criteria

The Institute is open to all K-12 educators throughout the United States. 35 participants will be selected to receive residential fellowship based on the evidence in the application materials of their commitment to:

  • Actively participate in all segments of the Institute program . Fellowship recipients will need to arrive on campus latest by 3:00 p.m. on Monday, July 13. The Institute will conclude Monday afternoon, July 27 .
  • Develop innovative and standards-based curriculum pertaining to Institute’s theme and topics.
  • Implement in their classes the curriculum developed during the Institute.
  • Disseminate their learning by sharing their lessons with others and by leading at least one in-service workshop in her/his school district during the year following the Institute.
In addition, the selection committee will consider the level of support from applicant’s institution for the implementation and dissemination of Institute outcomes. This should be communicated in a letter of support from the school principal or superintendant.

Application Procedure

Complete application package must include the following items (as per page limit):

  • Two-page Resume providing the applicant’s home and school addresses, phone number(s) and emails, current position, subject(s) and grade levels being taught, primary responsibilities during the year, academic training and degrees earned to date, teaching experience and employment record, professional activities including curriculum development experience, awards and honors, and any leadership roles or service relevant to the application.
  • Statement of Purpose describing in two typewritten (double-spaced) pages: a) applicant’s interest in participating in this program, b) how participation will contribute to applicant’s professional development, enrich applicant’s course content and pedagogies to provide better education to her/his students, and c) applicant’s plans for sharing the learning experience and Institute outcomes with colleagues in her/his school and school district.
  • Letter of support from school principal expressing a commitment to facilitating the dissemination of applicant’s learning and the implementation of lesson plans in her/his teaching assignments.

To submit your Complete Application Package Online, Click Here.

Early Application is strongly advised. Applications will be reviewed as they come in. Successful applicants will be notified by Monday, May 4, 2015.

For more information or questions, contact: Dr. Tara Sethia, Director of Ahimsa Center
(909) 869-3868; tsethia@cpp.edu