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The Kroc IPJ Launches the Second Season of the Social Fabric Initiative

Monday, June 17, 2019

The Kroc School's Institute for Peace and Justice (Kroc IPJ) has just launched its second season of the Social Fabric Initiative (SFI), a peacebuilding program in San Diego and Tijuana that connects small and diverse teams of local high school students (Youth Peace Leaders), a university intern, and a field-based mentor. We call these teams "Threads". Together, they utilize the summer to design, monitor, and implement a community change project of their choosing.

Meet the Interns:

To kick off Season 2 of SFI, the interns attended a two-week training session to get to know one another and prepare for their leadership roles. With nine interns total, two specialize in the behind-the-scenes work of SFI: Giselle Rohane is the Events Lead and has been working countless hours planning events, and Maggie Godfrey is the Marketing Lead, in charge of managing the SFI website and all of its social media platforms. The remaining seven interns are Thread Leads, whose role is to guide the Youth Peace Leaders in their community change project.

Back row (left to right): Kunal Patel, Julia Sands, JakeBryan Bonifacio, Halima Ling
Front row (left to right): Ellie Gamble, Laura Rivera, Maggie Godfrey, Jessica Blandón, Giselle Rohane


Throughout the training period, interns went to on-site visits to the different organizations that SFI is partnering with. They also learned about their roles as leaders and facilitators for the program, and lastly, they worked hard to create the Threads based on their own passions along with the preferences of the Youth Peace Leaders.


Before creating Threads, SFI held a Pre-Launch event to introduce the Youth Peace Leaders to the different organizations that they could potentially be working with. This gave the Youth Peace Leaders, interns and mentors a chance to meet one another through rounds of “speed dating.” Before leaving, Youth Peace Leaders chose their top three organizations, and the interns then placed them into Threads.


To prepare the interns and Youth Peace Leaders for problem-solving and team collaboration, they all attended a workshop at the Center for Creative Leadership. There, they were given a scenario in which they had to work together in groups to effectively come up with a solution. This workshop gave the Interns and Youth Peace Leaders essential tools that they can use if they come across any obstacles throughout their project.

What’s Next:

Now that SFI Season 2 has officially launched, the Threads will meet twice per week over the course of the summer to design and implement their project. The Threads will be showcasing their project on August 21, 2019 during the Summit Event, and each participant’s exit ticket out of the program is writing a case study in which they discuss their project.


Adrian Velázquez
(619) 260-7873

Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies


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