Friday, April 1, 2011

For Teachers and Activists

How do you start a discussion about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan? After all, teenagers and young adults have only known our country at war. Growing up in the shadow of 9/11 their lives have been shaped by ‘terrorist plots’, homeland security, and troops being sent to war. Faith community and activists across the country are working to change that.

This was one of our ideas.

On May 20 last year, the combined costs of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars passed the $1 trillion dollar mark. In anticipation we began working with the National Priorities Project to reach out to young people with a simple question.

How would YOU spend $1 trillion?

The response was remarkable. Students groups, community centers, Quaker meetings, classrooms, individuals and AFSC staff with partners wrestled with the question. Some sought to illustrate just how much $1 trillion dollars really is, some talked about the human cost, many made the connection that money spent on war – and militarism – steals the resources needed for communities in distress here.

These videos are great ways to stimulate conversations. Show one, three, six, and you will find people have a reaction and want to talk.

Additional Resources: Curriculum guide, tool-kit and hand out of frequently asked questions.

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