17th World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates
Posted on November 14, 2019 by Brian Poole
The University of South Alabama was represented by a delegation of honors students, led by Dr. Kathy Cooke and Dr. Doug Marshall, at The 17th World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates in Merida, Yucatan, Mexico. The summit took place this past September 17th-19th, 2019. While there the students got to meet and work with students from other institutions, including Yale University, Dartmouth University, Quinnipiac University and other notable Institutions from across the globe.
The experience had a profound effect on the students like Liv George who upon returning made it clear that, “The Nobel Summit was hands-down the best experience of my life. The perspective and mind-shift I underwent while abroad was something that changed my life. I will forever remember the Nobel Summit and the friends I made there.”
The World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates, founded in 1999, is a yearly gathering with the goal of providing a platform from which Nobel Peace Laureates can promote their messages of peace around the world. The youth program, Leading by Example, runs parallel to the summit with the aim to give participants the opportunity to learn from and interact with the Laureates and peers from around the world. For more information about this fantastic gathering please visit their official website.
When asked about her experience traveling with the Honors College to Merida, Clorissa Morgan reported, “The Nobel Peace Summit of laureates was a fantastic experience. I helped to write the Youth Declaration on the Indigenous people topic. Learning from others from Mexico, South Africa, and Brazil on the same topic gave me a new wholistic perspective of that topic. I was able to learn so much more about something I thought I already understood.”
Fellow student Gnyata Patel upon return recounted her experience, “By attending the Nobel Peace Conference in Mexico, I have become more aware of the ongoing issues around the world. It was an empowering experience that made me realize that small changes around our community can have a huge impact. The conference allowed me to meet students from all across the world. I was amazed at how diverse we were in terms of culture, heritage, and views; however, at the end of the day we all wanted the same things: peace, human rights, freedom, and opportunities for growth and success. No matter where we come from or who we are, there are some basic things that we all need and should fight for.”
While attending the summit, the students and faculty alike were given the opportunity to experience the culture, the natural beauty, and ancient wonders of Yucatan, Mexico. The students experienced the ruins at Uxmal, one of the best preserved Mayan cities. The group got to see and swim in naturally formed cenotes. Cenotes are caves with fresh water pools that were formed when limestone bedrock collapsed exposing the ground water pools. The result is a stunning clear pool of fresh water revealing amazing landscapes underneath.
Student Ebonie Williams when asked about her experience stated, “The Conflict Resolution towards Culture and Peace Education by Universidad de Anahuac México workshop of the youth leader program of the Nobel Peace Summit was very enlightening as it provides useful information about conflict resolution, which is a necessary tool for various fields of occupation. It was also very important to be able to experience some of the culture when there was opportunity which included the beautiful and historic Uxmal ruins as well as the cenotes. The culture made for a truly memorable and life changing experience.”
Student Marianna Oditt expressed gratitude to the honors college when asked about her experience, “I’m so grateful to Honors for allowing me to experience the wonders of attending the Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Summit in Merida, Mexico. The meshing of the culture, food, and Mayan history can’t be found anywhere else in the world. It was a truly unique experience filled with amazing food, fun with friends, and a deepening of my passion of learning about other cultures and what I can do to help make the world a better place.”
The group of Jaguars return to South Alabama enthusiastic about the experience and ready to share everything they learned with fellow students and colleagues. Overall the trip shows the Honors Colleges ongoing commitment to providing students with opportunities to experience and learn from other cultures as they seek to contribute to the culture around them here at The University of South Alabama and beyond.