Coexist is a documentary and educational outreach project in use by more than 3,000 schools and community organizations in 50 states and more than a dozen countries. Our project includes a 40-minute film and a four-lesson Teacher's Guide, which can be used in the classroom and in support of positive school climate campaigns.
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Devastating news about massacres, rape, and forced conscription is not making headlines today. But it is happening right now in East Africa.
Today we learn from a new report that dozens of civilians have been murdered, women and girls as young as 8-years-old raped, and boys are being forced to fight or die. The army on this campaign of atrocities in the Democratic Republic of Congo is M23, one that Human Rights Watch reports is supported by Rwanda and its ruling party, the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF). In Coexist Dr. Tim Longman says “The RPF carried out war crimes and human rights abuses and they've had no accountability for that whatsoever.” The stories continues.
This news is disturbing any day of the year, as it is on this September 11th when we reflect on these wrongdoings as well the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon and the deaths of thousands of people. The Coexist team also remembers the lesser known coup d'etat on this same date in 1973, when the U.S. helped overthrow the democratically elected government of President Salvador Allende. Tyranny reigned for 17 years, people disappeared, families we're destroyed. The wounds remain today.
May this day of reflection be an opportunity to discuss the roles of individuals and governments in accounting for wrongdoing, and for all of humanity to explore avenues for healing and reconciliation and justice.
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How Coexist is working in Schools
Here's a link to one example of what happens in classrooms where we teach Coexist. That school now plans to broaden and deepen the conversation about violence prevention.
Read what people are saying about Coexist here.
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