Cameron Macaskill, a senior, was one of 120 students nationally selected for a 2017 Projects for Peace Grant.
Macaskill received $10,000 to implement her project, a weeklong “Poetry for Peace” camp for South African high school students, which will be implemented over the summer.
Philanthropist Kathryn W. Davis launched the program in 2007 in honor of her 100th birthday to advance peace and to challenge future leaders to find ways to “prepare for peace.”
Submissions for the grants aimed to address conflict resolution and reconciliation, foster understanding, provide opportunity and help build community.
Inspired by her background as a poetry student, Macaskill, who is triple-majoring in English, political science and international studies, was driven to apply for funding for the summer poetry camp for students.
“The purpose of the camp is to use poetry as a tool for building peace,” she said. “Students will have the opportunity to write poetry reflecting larger social issues and to write in response to one another, with the theme of the camp being building a shared humanity through shared stories.”
Macaskill, whose father is a South African immigrant to the U.S., studied for a semester at the University of Cape Town in 2015. This past summer, she attended a conference in Cape Town and participated in an open-mic poetry night hosted by InZync, a local organization, and was inspired by the honesty and positivity in the room that night.
“It gave me a first-hand understanding of how poetry could be used to address past wrongs and future fears, making it the perfect tool for the first generation of post-apartheid youth,” Macaskill said.
“Cameron’s experiences and proposal exemplify what it means to be a global citizen at CWRU,” Molly Watkins, executive director for international affairs, said. “By applying what she has learned in the classroom and as a study abroad student to create the ‘Poetry for Peace’ project, she has shown that the world is truly her classroom.”
Many grants, fellowships and scholarships are available for CWRU undergraduate students. To see all available opportunities and for information about how to apply, visit case.edu/ugstudies/.
For more information on Projects for Peace, visit case.edu/ugstudies/honors-fellowships-awards/fellowships-scholarships/national/pfp/.