Social Justice is a Way of Living Your Life

Apr 23, 2018 10:30:00 AM / by Irene Kanthan

CAPA_Claire Shrader_Buenos Aires_Headshot.jpgClaire Shrader is an official CAPA blogger for spring 2018, sharing her story in weekly posts on CAPA World. A Pre-Occupational Therapy major at Mississippi College, she is studying abroad in Buenos Aires this semester.

In this week's post, Claire gets to know her favorite Buenos Aires professor Marlena Reimer better and details Marlena's impactful experiences and social justice work.


When I first “met” Marlena, it was through a video chat Spanish interview. I was kind of terrified because I wasn’t sure what exactly would happen if I did badly on my Spanish language interview, and it was just a few weeks after Christmas so I was seriously rusty.

CAPAStudyAbroad_Buenos Aires_Spring2018_From Claire Shrader - Together with RD Marlena ReimerMeeting Buenos Aires resident director Marlena Reimer in person!

At the end of the interview, she asked if I had any more questions. Soon after the interview, my brothers enlightened me that that question was about Argentina, CAPA, the study abroad experience that we had literally just been discussing. Did I ask any questions relating to these things? No. I asked her what brought her from her home state of California to Argentina. My brothers mercilessly made fun of me when I told them the details of my interview and my question at the end. But I recognized that her story was one I needed to know even just from that odd little interview, and so I’m so glad I got to sit down with her last week and ask her as many questions as I wanted!

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Posted in: Buenos Aires, Argentina, Human Rights, Civil Rights

Sounds familiar? Roma & Memory

Nov 24, 2016 1:30:00 PM / by Dr. Michael Woolf

Dr Michael Woolf CAPA International Education

Thoughts on Education Abroad” is a monthly column written by CAPA The Global Education Network's Deputy President and Chief Academic Officer Dr. Michael Woolf.

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"There are lies more believable than the truth."
"The caravan is our family, and the world is our family."
- Roma sayings

One of the standards by which we recognize a civil society is the degree to which minorities are respected and protected from persecution, both by custom and law. For that reason, we oppose discriminatory policies and reject hate speech. In short, the degree to which we condemn advocates of intolerance based on ethnicity, race, religion, sexual preference (and so on) is a measure of civilized values.

Those values are compromised in the case of the Roma: a people defined by those who mistrust, fear or hate them. The common name “gypsy” is, for example, based on the entirely mistaken notion that they originated from Egypt. The confusion of Romanians and Roma further demonstrates ill-informed perceptions. “Gypsy” denies the distinctive histories, customs and beliefs of communities spread throughout most parts of the world. In short, their history and identity has been distorted. Constructed identities, clustered around notions of rootlessness and clannish cohesion, create the necessary pre-condition for persecution: a reductive classification in which irrational fears of alien values can be located. This cluster of characteristics is also associated, in Nazi ideology, with Jews. Negative stereotypes reduce individuals to a simplified set of imagined behaviours. Primitive prejudices find points of focus and permit a perverse rationale for dehumanisation.

Image: Roma flag

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Posted in: International Education, Civil Rights

Lessons from CAPA's Civil Rights Conference

Nov 21, 2016 8:30:00 AM / by Stephanie Sadler

CAPAStudyAbroad_Florence_Fall2016_Spence_Hood_Square_Profile.jpgSpence Hood is an official CAPA blogger for fall 2016, sharing his story in weekly posts on CAPA World. A computer science major at the University of Colorado (Boulder), he is studying abroad in Florence this semester.

In this week's post, Spence talks about his experience attending CAPA's recent civil rights day conference, which took place in London, Florence and Dublin via global network technology. 


Last week, I was in the CAPA center with some of the other students eating pastries  that our program directors had so lovingly brought in, and into the room walks a gentleman I'd never seen before. He was a little older than the average student, greeting our director softly and politely - the sort of tentative politeness that queued me immediately to his unfamiliarity with the surroundings. He sat down with nothing to eat or drink and diligently refrained from disturbing anyone’s conversation.

CAPAStudyAbroad_Florence_Fall2016_From Spence Hood - center1.jpg

I sat next to the man, Chris, and learned that he was from Nigeria, here in Italy trying to get dealt a more promising hand of cards. We spoke of Nigerian food and our mutual struggles not to offend any Italian cultural norms, then huddled into the next room over for the beginning of CAPA’s 2016 Civil Rights Conference. This man was already a surface-level friend, having been invited to the conference on a whim that very morning, and I'm so happy he was there.

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Posted in: Official Bloggers and Vloggers, Florence, Italy, Civil Rights

Civil Rights: A CAPA Student Perspective

Nov 17, 2016 6:15:00 AM / by Stephanie Sadler

CAPA recently organzed a one day Civil Rights Conference. The event welcomed powerful speakers and a program of panel debates and student performance in an effort to share stories, enthusiasm and information around the umbrella topic of civil rights. CAPA students, staff and a few additional guests attended in London, Dublin, Florence and Boston through global network technology which allowed for participation and engagement across cities.

To prepare for the event, a handful of hard-working, creative and dedicated students volunteered to be involved in a number of ways, from editing footage to create videos, to registering guests, to setting up the room and a break area, to taking photographs and recording the day. Others attended simply out of interest and to take part in the activities of the day. 

Below, we've caught up with six students who were involved in the conference to find out more about their interest in civil rights and what this event meant for them both personally and professionally.

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INTERVIEW 1 - CR.jpgHunter Boshell is a business major from Rollins College. We spoke to bright and early before the sessions began.

CAPA WORLD: Why did you decide to attend the civil rights conference at CAPA today?
I came today because I think this is a once in a lifetime opportunity to meet like this while I’m studying abroad. I have two professors who are speaking today so I’m excited to hear what they have to say.

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Posted in: Civil Rights

50 Years of Campaigning for Civil & Human Rights

Nov 16, 2016 6:00:00 AM / by Stephanie Sadler

An Interview with Peter Tatchell of the Peter Tatchell Foundation

Peter Tatchell, the Director of the Peter Tatchell Foundation was one of the main speakers at CAPA's recent Civil Rights Conference.

The one day event welcomed powerful speakers and a program of panel debates and student performance in an effort to share stories, enthusiasm and information around the umbrella topic of civil rights. CAPA students, staff and a few additional guests attended in London, Dublin, Florence and Boston through global network technology which allowed for participation and engagement across cities.

logo for conf.jpg

Peter campaigns for human rights, democracy, civil liberties, LGBTI equality and social justice and was recently awarded the Gandhi Foundation International Peace Award 2016. His inspirations include Mahatma Gandhi, Sylvia Pankhurst and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. You can find out more about his foundation at

We caught up with him at the end of his keynote address to ask a few questions about his activism over the years, why working in the field of civil and human rights is important to him, and to share a bit of advice for students interested in getting involved.


CAPA WORLD: Tell us briefly what the Peter Tatchell Foundation is and your role within the foundation.
My name is Peter Tatchell. I’m the director of the Peter Tatchell Foundation which is a small human right NGO based in London. About 50% of our work is on LGBT issues and about 50% on other human rights issues. Also, about half of our work is based in the UK and about half is supporting human rights and other peace struggles in other countries.

The foundation is an independent body established by friends and supporters and trustees. It is a body that seeks to work with other human rights organizations as well as doing our own work.

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Posted in: Civil Rights

Civil Rights in Dublin: An Internship at the Peter McVerry Trust

Nov 8, 2016 8:30:00 AM / by Stephanie Sadler

CAPAStudyAbroad_Dublin_Fall2016_Katerina_Russo_Square_Profile.jpgKaterina Russo is an official CAPA blogger for fall 2016, sharing her story in weekly posts on CAPA World. A communications and political science major at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, she is studying abroad in Dublin this semester.

In this week's post, Katerina writes about civil rights in Dublin through the lens of her internship experience with the Peter McVerry Trust.


For the CAPA Civil Rights and Inequalities Day Conference being held right here in Dublin at Griffith College (and in London and Florence via the Globally Networked Learning system), I was given the opportunity to create a poster to represent my internship at the Peter McVerry Trust. The trust is committed to reducing homelessness, the harm caused by substance misuse and social disadvantage; it ultimately seeks an Ireland that supports all those on the margins and upholds their rights to full inclusion in society. In my role as an intern, I work across the fundraising and communication departments assisting in many different tasks as the busy Christmas season is quickly approaching.

CAPAStudyAbroad_Dublin_Fall2016_From Katerina Russo - Interning with Peter McVerry Trust - Civil Rights.jpg

There are a variety of services that the trust provides to its participants which include prevention services, housing services, housing first, homeless services, drug treatment services, and under 18s residential services. Through the housing first model, they aim to provide a range of benefits to clients in order to facilitate their journey into mainstream society, addressing their diverse range of needs along the way. They are also strong supporters of inter agency cooperation in order to benefit clients by enhancing service delivery, increasing cost efficiencies, reducing unnecessary duplication of services and further developing opportunities for progression. In the current economic climate, as homelessness begins to reach crisis levels, it demands more than ever that we explore opportunities for greater collaboration and shared service delivery across Ireland.

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Posted in: Dublin, Ireland, Official Bloggers and Vloggers, Internships Abroad, Civil Rights

Civil Rights Career Focus: On Researching the Roma

May 30, 2016 1:30:00 PM / by Stephanie Sadler

An interview with William New


For the past 15 years, William New from Beloit College has been researching a variety of topics centering on the Roma. If you're joining us at CAPA's Sixth Annual Symposium: Civil Rights and Inequalities (May 30, 2016, before the NAFSA opening reception in Denver, CO), William will be presenting 'How the Gypsies became pathological liars and thieves with bad teeth: A short historical tour of racism in Europe.' Below, he talks a bit about who the Roma are, some of the key issues they face and why an international perspective in education is important.

CAPAStudyAbroad_William New Interview

CAPA WORLD: Tell us a bit about yourself. 
WILLIAM NEW: I’ve been at Beloit College for almost twenty years, and am now (thankfully) beginning a sabbatical and stepping down from the position of Chair and Certifying Officer. At Beloit, I’m involved with our Youth and Society major, and with our teacher education programs. I teach educational psychology regularly, other courses focused on minority youth and educational issues, as well as courses for aspiring teachers. Lately, much of my focus has been on mindfulness (and compassion and empathy) in psychology and education.

One of my main hobbies is creative writing, and I’m hoping during this sabbatical to make progress on a work of speculative fiction that I’ve been working (and not working on) for three or four years. During this past year, I’ve taken up drumming, which brings together my mindfulness practice with my passion for the arts.

I began researching Roma education in the summer of 2001, when I needed a topic in order to be considered for a summer faculty workshop in Central Europe. During the last year and a half I’ve been focused on the Roma genocide, and on contemporary issues for Roma migrants in Berlin.

Photo: Khamoro festival, Prague, May, 2015

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Posted in: Civil Rights

From Civil Rights Activism to an International Development Career

Apr 4, 2016 1:30:00 PM / by Stephanie Sadler

An Interview with Julius Coles


Meet Julius Coles, former President of Africare and Director of Morehouse College's Andrew Young Center for International Affairs. For four decades, his career has been dedicated to international development work, a passion rooted in his own boyhood, growing up in a segregated American South before an opportunity to travel and study abroad gave him the confidence to pursue a career path that has meaning for him and the larger communities he has worked with over the years. Julius will be speaking at CAPA's Civil Rights reception at the Civil and Human Rights Museum in Atlanta on April 7th, 2016.


CAPA WORLD: Since your last interview with CAPA’s Anne McDonnell back in 2011, we wanted to catch up with you again because of your involvement in CAPA’s Civil Rights reception during the Forum conference this year. Tell us briefly about your background. 
JULIUS COLES: I was born in Atlanta, Georgia where I received all of my education. My father was a mail clerk and my mother was an elementary school teacher. I also have a brother who is three and a half years older than myself. The neighborhood that we were raised in was not too far from Morehouse College and we lived in a totally African American community and had very little contact with the white community. My brother and I spent our early childhood as newspaper carriers for the Atlanta Journal Constitution. We also worked at one of the white country clubs in Buckhead called the Cherokee Town and Country Club where I served as a pool porter and my brother was a short order cook. These were the best jobs that my brother and I could get during our early career in college.

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Posted in: Civil Rights


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