images (left to right): (left) Roman Baca’s company, Exit 12, performing on the USS Intrepid; (middle) an image from an exhibition curated by Jill Strauss; (right) a student in Kigali, Rwanda taking class in the MindLeaps program, founded by Rebecca Davis

What role does creativity play in conflict resolution?

On January 13th, 2015, Fulbright’s New York Chapter and BMCC presented Creative Solutions in Conflict Zones, a panel discussion focused on how the arts can contribute to positive social change in communities struggling with the effects of poverty, violence, and social upheaval. The panel featured presentations from various artists and policy-makers living in and/or working with communities in distress, including our 2015 Fulbright NY Alumna-in-Residence, Rebecca Davis (Founder and Executive Director of MindLeaps), Roman Baca (Marine Iraq War Veteran and Exit12 Dance Co), Alison Gardy (Director of International Relations at 92Y), Jill Strauss (Assistant Professor at BMCC) and moderated by Josephine Dorado, Board President of the  New York Chapter. The event was open to the public.

Fulbright NY Panel: Creative Solutions in Conflict Zones
When: Tuesday, January 13th, 2015, 7-9pm
Where: BMCC, Fiterman Hall, Room 1304, 245 Greenwich Street (between Park Place & Barclay)

Roman Baca is a Marine Iraq War Veteran and Artistic Director of Exit12 Dance Co. After a career in dance, Mr. Baca served as a US Marine and was deployed to Fallujah, Iraq from ‘05-’06. Mr. Baca has choreographed several major works relating to the military and their families, writes and lectures about his experiences, and has also worked on two short films, A Marine’s Guide to Fishing and War Dancer. Exit12 Dance Company has been recognized by The National Endowment for the Arts Quarterly Magazing, Pointe Magazine, NPR’s All Things Considered, American Public Media and Reuters, and has performed recently at EKU’s Military Arts Symposium, at the James J. Peters VA Medical Center in New York City, and on the deck of the USS Intrepid in honor of Memorial Day.

Rebecca Davis, the 2015 Fulbright NY Alumna-in-Residence, is the Founder and Executive Director of MindLeaps (formerly known as RDDC). MindLeaps is a not-for-profit organization that creates dance and educational programs for street children and underserved youth in post-conflict and developing programs. Rebecca has led MindLeaps to standardize a dance curriculum that teaches street children cognitive skills to a level at which they are able to enter the formal education system and succeed in school. Originally from British Columbia, Rebecca has choreographed and taught in Canada, Russia, Ukraine, Rwanda, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Guinea and the United States. She was classically trained in the Russian Vaganova method of ballet while studying in Moscow, Saint Petersburg and Krasnoyarsk, Russia and received a degree in choreography from The Saint Petersburg Conservatory under the tutelage of Nikolai Boyarchikov (former Artistic Director, The Mussorgsky Ballet). She is a two-time Fulbright scholar and summa cum laude graduate of Temple University with a Bachelors of Business Administration in Entrepreneurship. She holds a Masters of International Relations with a concentration in Peacekeeping from American Military University. In 2013, CCTV made a documentary about her work in Rwanda. Rebecca has appeared on The Melissa-Harris Perry Show, given two TEDx talks, and been a guest speaker at several universities, including Brandeis, Brown, Princeton, and University of Michigan. In 2014, she spoke at the United Nations Association Film Festival and was featured in Project M magazine, Dance Teacher Magazine, Dance Magazine, The Good Service Magazine and on Voice of America radio.

Josephine Dorado (moderator) is a social entrepreneur, media studies professor, and artist whose work focuses on the convergence of physical+digital experiences and social practice arts. Her work has been awarded both a Fulbright Scholarship and a MacArthur Foundation Award in Digital Media & Learning. She is currently President of Fulbright Association’s NY Chapter and teaches at The New School. Josephine is also a trainer for the State Department’s TechCamps, an initiative to aid civil society organizations in developing countries by building their digital capacities, and has taught workshops in mobile storytelling and games in countries such as Ukraine, Palestine and Algeria. Previously, Josephine founded Kidz Connect, a virtual cultural exchange program that connects youth internationally through creative collaboration and performance in virtual worlds. Her speaking engagements include Talks @ Google, TEDxFulbright, SXSW, IgniteNYC and SIGGRAPH. Josephine’s next ventures include Some Collisions, an immersive theater and interactive performance installation that synthesizes stories of science and scars with media narratives, and reACTor, a mobile news game that encourages activism around news stories that people care about.

Alison Gardy has served as Director of International Relations at 92nd Street Y since 2001. Under Alison’s leadership, 92Y launched the Ford Motor Company International Fellowship of 92nd Street Y, which brings proven international community leaders from all over the world to 92Y for intensive management and leadership training. The fellowship, which has served 296 community leaders from 73 countries, has been recognized by the Chronicle of Philanthropy as one of the top management training programs in the U.S. Alison was also instrumental in creating 92Y’s Diplomatic Outreach Program, engaging diplomats from more than 70 countries in initiatives including educational forums, program collaborations, and off-the-record dialogues. Alison has served on the Fulbright Association Board of Directors, was President of the Greater New York Chapter of the Fulbright Association, and founded the Fulbright Youth Conference in 2001. In her 15 years as a journalist, she has written for The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, National Geographic Traveler and Associated Press, among other publications. Alison received a BA in Comparative Literature in Spanish and Russian from Yale University and a MFA in Literary Nonfiction from Columbia University School of the Arts. She lived in Mexico for several years on a Fulbright Fellowship to research social change in Mexico, and has traveled extensively in Latin America. Alison speaks Spanish, Portuguese, French and Russian, and limited Hebrew. She would love to take her family cycling around the world once they all graduate from training wheels.

Jill Strauss, PhD teaches Conflict Resolution and Communications in the Speech, Communications, and Theatre Arts Dept. at Borough of Manhattan Community College. Prior to this, she was an adjunct professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in the Dispute Resolution Program and Interdisciplinary Studies Program. Professor Strauss was the 2012-2013 Fulbright Research Chair in North American Society and Culture at Concordia University, Montreal. Professor Strauss completed her PhD from the University of Ulster in Northern Ireland in 2010, where she designed an innovative fieldwork project integrating storytelling and visual art for empathy and validation as one way to address a history of mutual humiliation and historical conflict with an intergenerational group of Catholics and Protestants.

The original event and ticketing page is here: