Today’s critical global issues require diverse perspectives and tangible solutions that help us better understand what is needed to build a better future. From climate change and gun violence to the war in Ukraine and Indigenous protests in Ecuador, extraordinary alumni and faculty from School for International Training (SIT) have worked to foster new understanding of global issues.
Many SIT students and alumni are leading the charge to combat one of the most critical global issues facing our world today: climate change. SIT Climate Change & Global Sustainability alumna Stephanie Clement channeled the urgency of this issue as she wrote the Human Health chapter of the Vermont Climate Assessment. By spelling out in frank terms what Vermonters can expect from a warming climate, her work broadens our understanding of climate change while challenging complacency.
The humanitarian crisis sparked by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine earlier this year led some of SIT’s experts in the fields of conflict, peace, and diplomacy to convene and offer their thoughts on the situation’s multiple angles and implications. During a virtual panel on March 23 moderated by SIT Dean of Faculty Dr. Said Graiouid, “Ukraine and Beyond: Reflections and Implications” provided diverse perspectives on what the future holds for a peaceful and just conclusion to the devastating conflict.
During Women’s History Month, SIT spotlighted extraordinary faculty, staff, and alumni around the globe, like anti-oppression trainer Hadiel Mohamed. Through her studies of racism and oppression as a graduate of SIT master’s degree in Intercultural Service, Leadership, and Management, she now turns theory into practice as she works with individuals and organizations to expand minds and create meaningful, lasting change. Hadiel tells us: “I’m still holding on to the way the professors moved through the class, brought this radical imagination, and implanted it within us.”
This year, protests erupted in Ecuador with Indigenous groups calling for their collective rights and access to health, education, and employment. To help more people understand the root of these protests, we turned to Fabián Espinosa, academic director of SIT Ecuador: Development, Politics, and Languages, who put the protests into a historical context. “This current struggle has deep historical roots, since the past was never forgotten, and oppression has never ceased.”
For SIT alum José Alfaro, the issue of gun violence is one of social justice. As a graduate of the MA in Intercultural Service, Leadership, and Management, he developed this social justice lens and has since applied it to his work as founding director of Latinx Leadership and Community Engagement at Everytown for Gun Safety. He sheds light on the community-based approach to his work as he educates and advocates on the uphill battle to confront gun violence.