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Danielle Parsons

DanielleDanielle Parsons is a rising senior at the University of Michigan studying Psychology with a minor in Crime and Justice. She is highly interested and passionate about exploring the discrepancies between social groups that still exist today through research and hands-on experience. Danielle spent her last semester facilitating a class discussing social justice topics and its relation to the criminal justice system. Even through a small leadership position as a Resident Advisor and a larger task of pursuing a law degree focusing on prison reform, Danielle is dedicated to making a difference where help is needed. Danielle is currently interning with the United States Parole Commission.

Kiya Kassa

kasaMy name is Kiya Kassa and I am a graduate student at George Mason’s School of Conflict Analysis and Resolution. My area of interest lies in the Horn of Africa where I have extensive research and work experience. I am currently a full time graduate student and a full time employee of the federal government working as a project manager on an IT security team. When I am not at work or in the library, I enjoy meeting with friends and discussing the complexity of social life, politics, and religion. Through this internship I hope to obtain more programs and project related exposure in an international context.

Yixu Chen

Yixu-ChenYixu Chenis a rising sophomore at Franklin and Marshall College. Growing up and living in China for 18 years, she came to the U.S. for the first time last August. This experience enabled her to think globally and be inclusive to diverse views and cultures. With her major undecided yet, Yixu intends to explore the mysterious world of psychology and art.Yixu is deeply concerned about the social problems existing globally, and wants to contribute her own strength to make positive change to society.As an officer at the Catastrophic Relief Alliance of F&M, Yixu went to Texas this January to help with the Bastrop Wildfire with club members, and planned a trip to Staten Island, NYthis April to help with hurricane Sandy. Yixu is currently interning at the Community Council for the Homeless at Friendship Place. This summer, she is excited to work with CWBI to takeNational Action toRealize the Dream.

Kara Valliere

Kara-ValliereKara Valliere is a rising senior at the College of the Holy Cross majoring in Psychology and Music. She is a participant inthe Community and Social Change seminar as part of American University’s 2013 Washington Semester Summer Internship Program and is currently interning for the Advisory Council for Bosnia and Herzegovina (ACBH). A native of Severna Park, Maryland, she has always been an avid traveler. Living abroad for three years as a child and traveling throughout Europe, Kara gained valuable insight into other cultures of which she eagerly embraced. This will be her second summer in D.C.and sheis thrilled to support the America Speaks tour. Passionate about helping others, she is excited to help fulfill the mission of theNational Action to Realize the Dream!She plans on pursuing a degree in education, law, public policy, or international relations following the completion of her undergraduate studies.

Rachel Dyer

Rachel-DyerRachel Dyer is a rising junior at Virginia Commonwealth University, studying Political Science with a concentration in Civil and Human Rights. She is also studying Gender, Sexuality and Woman Studies and is seeking a minor in Non-profit Organization and Management. She is a student of ASPiRE at VCU, a living-learning community that promotes community engagement through academic coursework and co-curricular activities. Rachel has presented at the Active Citizen’s Conference at William & Mary and the National Impact Conference at the University of New Mexico about the benefits of studying in a living-learning community and how community engagement can lead to self-actualization. She is a founding member of the Iota Sigma Chapter of Alpha Xi Delta at VCU, served as the Programming and Community Involvement Chair with “Where is the Line?” at VCU, and founded and served as the Vice President of “Oxfam at VCU”. She currently interns for Terry McAuliffe for Governor campaign in Arlington, Virginia.

JR Altidor

jrJean-Renold (J.R.) Altidor is a native of Haiti and has been living in the United States for the past 36 years.  He completed a distinguished career in the United States Army, retiring with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.  His tenure in the army afforded him global exposure where he gathered an unmatched ethnicand cultural competency that correlates to the following regions: Europe, the Caribbean, Latin America, the Middle East, parts of North Africa and sub-Sahara Africa.  

Due to JR Altidor’sinternational insight, knowledge of several foreign languages he was selected and diplomatically assigned as an assistant to the US Defense Attaché in several countries in North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Turkey.  In that position he occasionally advised the US Ambassador in military affairs and assisted in the implementation of the Security & Humanitarian Assistance Programs.

Later at the Pentagon, he managed and monitored the employment of regionally and globally assigned Human Intelligence (HUMINT) assets where he provided each operation with detailed guidance, tasking, and specialized logistical requirements. Moreover, he also represented the United States Army at the International Program Office where he managed a group of international military officers (from Great Britain, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand) to resolve combat operational conflicts and optimize international military interoperability.

During the global war on terrorism, JR spent a year in Afghanistan as the Commandant of a Camp of a coalition of Special Operations Forces that included the United States (U.S.), the United Arab Emirates (UAE), New Zealand, Czech Republic, Lithuania, Jordan, and France.

Upon retirement from the US Army, JR decided to view conflict with different lenses.  He entered the School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution (S-CAR) at George Mason University where he completed a Master of Science (M.S.) degree in Conflict Analysis and Resolution. He also possesses a Master of Arts (M.A.) degree in Information Technology Management (ITM) from Webster University. JR recently applied at NOVA Southeastern University to pursue a PhD program in Conflict Resolution.

JR is the recipient of several Humanitarian Service Medals and was awarded the Bronze Star Medal as a result of his duties in Afghanistan.

As a native of Haiti, former Lieutenant Colonel of the United States Army, and a recent graduate of the M.S. program at the School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution at George Mason University, Jean-Renold (J.R.) Altidor sees his work with Communities Without Boundaries International as a way of giving back to the society that has afforded him ample room to grow and fulfill his dreams. Mr. Altidor became involved in this work through his professor, Dr. Maneshka Eliatamby, who invited him to join the team at CWBI so that he could be involved in community building.

Mr. Altidor volunteers his time to CWBI and for continuing Dr. King’s dream by supervising a group of students from American University who have researched demographic, community and social data in key communities across the United States. The compiled data is presented in the form of a briefing document that informs civil and human rights leaders of the major challenges that these communities face.

Mr. Altidor says, “Although I was fairly aware of the great economic disparity in America, this work gives me the opportunity to learn it first hand. The research for the briefing books provided me with hard and raw data of the crime rates, poverty rates, and the organizations that are helping the community. I also enjoy meeting and seeing young individuals that are making a difference in their communities. It is refreshing to see that.”

As a part of his work thus far in preparing the briefing books, Mr. Altidor has discovered the extent of economic disparity in communities all across the United States. He believes that in order to continue Dr. King’s dream, it is important for all people, including immigrants and children of immigrants as well as born nationals, to reach out and contribute something to help shift attitudes in this country.

March on Washington Anniversary Organizers Aim for Change

(TriceEdneyWire) – At the time of the Aug. 28, 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, there were 22 million people living in poverty in America. Upon the 50th Anniversary this year, that number has nearly tripled to 60 million.

This according to Martin Luther King III who has joined with dozens of civil and human rights leaders to commemorate the 50thanniversary of the march led by his father. A press conference held at the National Press Club on Monday drew dozens of high profile religious, civic and labor leaders, all vowing to unite and not only commemorate but renew the fight for equality and justice. They expect at least 10,000 to converge on Washington, D.C. for at least five days of events in late August.

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