Alumni Spotlight: Emily Kenward, HOP-inspired campus engagement

Emily Kenward was a 2015 Hand and 2016 XL who is now studying at Tulane University. Emily realized that getting involved with Hands of Peace taught her how to confidently advocate for what she believes. She realized that being able to learn about and dialogue about the conflict is something that she is passionate about, and has made it a priority to continue pursuing activities related to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict.

This semester at Tulane, Emily is taking a class called Arab/Israeli Conflict, which discusses the history of Jews and Israel, the Palestinian story, and the start and continuation of the conflict, and she has attended several lectures by prominent educators about the conflict. These learning experiences have parlayed into Emily's latest endeavor, to establish a new interfaith Peace and Social Justice club that will allow students the opportunity to dialogue openly on campus. Working closely with an Israeli staff member to bring a more pluralistic view of Israel to campus, the first initiative is to host a screening of the movie "The Other Son," which will be followed by a short dialogue about the ideas brought up in the film.

Emily is an example of how to take the valuable skills learned during summers with Hands of Peace to create a voice on campus and present opportunities for other students to become informed and involved. She continues to spread the power of dialogue throughout her campus, making an impact in her community.

She is striving to be back in Israel/Palestine this summer for an intensive Arab/Israeli conflict study abroad opportunity called the Mandel/Palagye Program in Middle East Peace. Following the three-week course, Emily will of course extend her trip to visit as many Hands of Peace friends as possible!