ORDER COEXIST TODAY
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The Coexist Mission: Humanize
The mission of Coexist is to advance violence reduction and conflict transformation efforts and community health by providing tools that build social-emotional skills, promote reflection and discussion, teach deep listening, and foster positive action by youth in their communities.
Coexist also provides historical understanding, promotes reflection and discussion, teaches deep listening, and fosters positive action by youth in their relationships and communities. Through partner organizations we train student leaders to teach their peers about the possibilities of peaceful coexistence. Our ultimate goal is to create a new generation of leaders trained in bringing together their fellow citizens.
How Rwanda Can Help Your Community
Through the stories of women who survived unimaginable crimes, we engage students in conversations about how they can coexist with the “other”, prevent violence, and manage conflict. We strive to inspire children, young adults, and all people in the United States and the world to preserve partnerships and rebuild broken relationships in their communities.
In Coexist we share the experiences Rwandan genocide survivors and killers go through to try to rehumanize their former enemies. We explore why some begin to transform their relationships from adversarial to friendly, while others cannot. Students tell us it is powerful seeing compelling moments of how rehumanization can begin. Educational advisers believe that experience prompts emotional vulnerabilities which can be the impetus for personal reflection and assessment. Viewers in the United States often realize, “If they can do it, so can we.”
With the help of trained educator, Coexist Learning Director Dr. Mishy Lesser, this accounting can spark conversations which can encourage consideration of how to coexist with enemies, former enemies, or people who just don’t like each other.
Rwandan stories resonate in the U.S.
Learning about Rwanda’s bloody past is an important component to understanding just how difficult its citizens’ path to coexistence and reconciliation can be. Hundreds of thousands of people slaughtering their own families, friends, and neighbors is incomprehensible. Seeing survivors somehow find ways to coexist, and sometimes reconcile with those same killers and their families seems impossible. As we show in our documentary film, Coexist, Rwandans are coexisting peacefully in many cases. We also seek to draw lessons from the experiences of Rwandans who are unable or unwilling to live side by side with killers.
Lessons From Rwanda
The lessons of the Rwandan experience resonate around the world. In Coexist we explore the benefits and difficulties derived from engagement, conversation, and interaction with enemies or former enemies. Expert advisers believe these ideas have applicability to be implemented around the world in places in conflict including the Middle East, Central Asia, and Kashmir. There is relevance also in our hometowns of Atlanta, Los Angeles, Boston and across the United States. The possibility for a more peaceful coexistence in those places is dependent on neighborhoods, both local and regional, just as Rwanda’s future is interconnected with the Congo, Uganda and the Sudan.
Coexist in the Future
We will continue to work to broaden our impact, visiting classrooms and campuses, as we did during pre and post-production of the film from 2008-2010. Join the discussion now by visiting “Coexistence is…”