On Wednesday, October 12, Furlow Charter School and Georgia Southwestern State University presented the 4th annual Jubilee Symposium, “Colors of Peace”. This free event featured a distinct panel of guest speakers who shared expertise about education, global initiatives, and diversity. Other supporters of the event were the Georgia Department of Education, the Mattie Stepanek Peace Foundation, Youth Peace Action (powered by NEWGEN Peacebuilders), and Chattahoochee-Flint RESA.
Morning speakers included Kim Fuller, Executive Director of the Friends of the Jimmy Carter National Historic Site; Andrew Greer, Singer, Songwriter, Podcaster and Documentarian of “Plainspoken”; and Patricia Schafer, Global Peace Ambassador with Rotary Strategic Partner Institute for Economics & Peace.
Attendees were delightfully entertained by 5th grade scholars from Furlow Charter School performing several peace-themed songs under the direction of Mrs. Judy Parks. 10th grade scholar Savannah Doble shared her beautiful painting of former First Lady Rosalynn Carter. The piece is a visual representation for the song that Andrew Greer and Cindy Morgan wrote for Mrs. Carter’s 95th birthday in August.
A powerful keynote presentation was given by Sanah Jivani, Founder & CEO of the Love Your Natural Self Foundation. She talked candidly about the bullying and self-hate she experienced in her youth after losing her hair to alopecia, and how an educator at her school helped her to realize her worth and purpose. Sanah tours the country to encourage self-love and empowers people to celebrate who they are by promoting positive internal dialogue, mental wellness, and self-care.
Topics from the afternoon breakout sessions included innovative curricular trends, programs that promote career pathways in our global society and peace education initiatives with community partnerships. GSW’s College of Education and Chattahoochee-Flint RESA provided many of the sessions, and students from both Furlow Charter School and GSW participated in all of the day’s events.
JoAnna Arnold, Service Learning Coordinator and World Languages Advisor at Furlow Charter School, began this annual event in 2019 with the vision of bringing community members, educators and students together to learn from each other how to best foster citizenship and peace initiatives. Reflecting upon this year’s Symposium, she said, “I am incredibly grateful for the inspiring collaboration that makes it possible to continue these important conversations.”