A Talent for Peacebuilding

If you’ve been following along on our journey though Peacebuilders Camp 2020, you know that some pretty amazing changemakers have been our guests so far. Attorneys, community organizers, teachers, lobbyists, and social justice advocates have shared with campers their passion for human rights work. Today was no exception, but our guest brought a different set of skills to the table. Artist Freedom Rodriguez joined us for our Right to Freedom of Expression focus, giving campers a fantastic example of how creative talents can be put to use to amplify the voices of people who may not feel heard otherwise.

Having watched a short documentary about Freedom’s work in Kenya, campers knew that by painting portraits of people impacted by HIV/AIDS, he created a platform for 100 different stories to be told. Campers also learned of Freedom’s current project, bringing art resources and education to indigenous communities in Ecuador. During his two hours with us this morning, Freedom’s passion for art, for teaching, and for connecting with youth shined through in powerful ways. He drew out creative talent in each of the campers, who used the covers of their camp journals to express themselves in their own styles and colors. Freedom also invited them to enter the art contests that his organization, ArtServe International, runs through its Gallery of Young Artists program. (Also, many thanks to Freedom and ArtServe for the art supply kits that each camper received as a gift!)

This evening, we had another chance to exercise the right to freedom of expression and to celebrate our campers’ creativity. In our first ever virtual talent show, all sorts of skills were showcased: art, music, comedy, and most of all, our campers’ amazing talent for encouraging, uplifting, and honoring one another. We couldn’t be more proud of this group of amazing, talented, creative, caring youth!

Serenity performs a song for her virtual audience
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