Initiating Peace Projects – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Initiating Peace Projects

Since its inception in 2003, the Colleges’ rowing teams’ “Row for Community” event has raised more than $33,000 for a variety of organizations in Geneva. The team distributes the money in small grants of up to $150 and large grants of up to $1,500. This year, one of the grant recipients was DeSales High School, to fund the establishment of the DeSales Institute for Peace and Justice. An article in the Finger Lakes Times quotes DeSales Principal Gerald Macaluso:

“The overall effect of funding will be to supplement peace and tolerance initiatives that Hobart and William Smith Colleges are implementing. The intention is to partner with the Colleges in the effort to bring social justice programming, not only to the student population of the two schools, but jointly, to the community at large.”

The article also quotes women’s rowing coach Sandra Chu speaking about the selection committee’s choice of DeSales this year, “They felt it would have a great impact, with one student, Emily Sheldon, saying she experienced a similar program in high school and it changed her life.”

The full article follows.


Finger Lakes Times
Grant to fund peace, justice institute

David L. Shaw • October 30, 2010

GENEVA — Aided by a $1,500 grant from Hobart and William Smith Colleges’ rowing teams, DeSales High School will establish the DeSales Institute for Peace & Justice.

The proposed institute will provide educational experiences with a focus on human rights, reduction of prejudice and encouragement of tolerance.

The program will be offered first to the immediate faculty and student body at DeSales.

After that, the program will move into the community through Institute-sponsored activities, such as the screening of subject-intensive films with panel discussions that include HWS faculty.

The Institute will eventually develop training workshops for area Catholic educators on how to host such community-based events, and to provide faculty training in the area of Holocaust studies.

DeSales Principal Gerald Macaluso said the grant will provide initial funding for a part-time educator to schedule and coordinate meetings that help spread Holocaust/human rights-oriented education through grades 9-12 through the Religion Department.

The part-time educator will also design, plan and implement educational workshops and assemblies for faculty and students, and coordinate at least one high-profile educational event in the community that will be open to the public.

“The overall effect of funding will be to supplement peace and tolerance initiatives that Hobart and William Smith Colleges are implementing,” Macaluso said.

“The intention is to partner with the Colleges in the effort to bring social justice programming, not only to the student population of the two schools, but jointly, to the community at large,” he said.

The program for the 2010-11 academic year would involve:

  • Separate faculty and student presentations on “Overview of the Holocaust from the Critical Perspective.”
  • A schoolwide literature project involving the reading of the book “Night” by Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel.
  • Holocaust survivor speaker events.
    An Interfaith Holocaust Remembrance Event in the spring.

The cost of these events is estimated at $1,495.

“We truly believe the objectives of the program relate to our mission at DeSales and to the Roman Catholic Church,” Macaluso said.

Working with Macaluso on the grant and in developing the Peace and Justice Institute are Daniel Hennessy, the grant’s primary author, and DeSales faculty members Tammy LeClair and Beryl Tracey.

The grant comes from the HWS rowing team’s “Row for Community” fundraising project.

Each year, students on the rowing teams solicit donations from friends and family. In return, each rower, coxswain and coach rows for an hour on an indoor rowing machine Oct. 27.

Since 2003, Row for Community has donated more than $33,000 to the Geneva community in small grants of up to $150 and large grants of up to $1,500.

Women’s rowing coach Sandra Chu said she received 10 applications this year. A committee of eight crew team members, four women and four men, decide which ones get funded.

“This year, all eight were unanimous in saying the DeSales program deserved their support. They felt it would have a great impact, with one student, Emily Sheldon, saying she experienced a similar program in high school and it changed her life,” Chu said.

“They are looking forward to seeing how it turns out,” Chu said. “They feel good about where their money is going.”

Others getting smaller grants were the Finger Lakes Counseling Center for an adolescent anger management program and the Geneva Little League.