From March 27th to April 5th, 2015 a group of student ambassadors from metropolitan New York City met with students in Nagasaki & Hiroshima, Japan for a ten-day symposium.
The focus of the workshop was to create and expand awareness of the dangers of nuclear weapons, teach crucial empathy, compassion and communication skills between foreign cultures, and give the participants a chance to express their newfound connection and understanding through art.
Possessing a genuine desire to make exciting new connections with peers from a foreign country, the students engaged in an intensive workshop organized by top professionals in education, peace mediation and art, as well as lectures from a few of the last remaining survivors of the atomic attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945.
The students and faculty made the most of a once in a lifetime opportunity. But don’t take our word for it. Read on to see what last year’s participants are saying about the 2015 International Youth Leadership Workshop.
What some of our participants are saying:
"This is possibly one of the most inspirational project I have ever participated. Collaborating with Japanese students furthers my understanding of the Atomic bombing in WWII. Art brings everyone together where creativity has no boundaries regardless of language differences. At times, new culture sensation means we all need to get out of our comfort zone. We grow together and we learn together. We are touching on such horrifying intense subject, but ART translate our sadness into something profound and awesome!"
"Not that I had any expectations, but the program exceeded everything. The whole program was so thoughtful and beautiful."
"This was an intensive and powerful emotional experience. My experience in Japan required deep empathy for individuals across the world. From Japan to the United States, and all around the world, as the ramifications of the atomic bomb are felt worldwide. Getting to work with fellow Japanese artists and forming friendships across the sea made it a healing and growing experience towards a deeper understanding of our shared humanity."
"I would say that this workshop, all of the people who spoke to us, and all of the places we visited have increased my awareness by 500%"
"I am honestly not sure how to put into words my feelings about this life changing experience. I am beyond grateful and hope with all of my heart that this is not the last time that I will work with everyone."
"I plan to share the stories I made and my experiences. I will create new work from what I have done here and want to continue to spread the word."
"Definitely one of the best weeks of my life!"
"I loved being completely immersed in the information and the program events."
"It was an amazing experience and I would love for other people around the world to have the same experience."