For more than a decade and a half, UME has established a serious and credible record with the successful organization of 39 academic programs in the U.S., Spain, Morocco, Jordan, Egypt, Lebanon and Saudi Arabia that has benefited over 2000 educators and community leaders in the Middle East, North Africa the US and Europe. Some programs like the Teacher Education Institute (TEI) and Civic Engagement Workshops (CEW) are repeated on a regular basis, while others take place only once in response to a specific goal or need articulated by UME alumni.
UME will implement the Middle East Oleander Initiative in Hiroshima, Japan in early August 2016. From August 3 - 10, 2016, up to twenty high alumni of the Teacher Education Institute will gather in Hiroshima to learn first-hand from atomic bomb survivors about the horrors of nuclear war and from global experts about the basic issues of nuclear weapons - how they work and how to reduce the probability that they will ever be used again. The 2016 program will leverage "the power of place" of the city of Hiroshima - the first city to be devastated by a nuclear weapon - to generate awareness and inspire personal calls to action. In turn, teachers attending the seven day workshop will design educational activities to raise consciousness in their home classrooms about the perils of nuclear war. The 2016 pilot program in Hiroshima is the first of a series of educational programs, workshops and student activities designed to educate a broad foundation of future decision makers to deeply understand the humanitarian consequences of nuclear warfare.
UME’s curriculum begins with its flagship introductory program, the Teacher Education Institute (TEI), which has convened more than 300 secondary school teachers since 1999 and affects the lives of approximately 4,500 new students annually. The TEI’s unique interactive method shares the best of teaching theory and practices with MENA educators, empowering them with the skills to incorporate critical and creative thinking, constructive dialogue, and cross-cultural perspectives into their lesson plans. It is through these inspired and inspiring teachers that UME’s mission spreads.
Building on the solid foundation it has created through the TEI, UME has recently launched a host of follow-on programs that utilize the UME Alumni Network to train more teachers, provide former participants with new learning and meeting opportunities, while supporting the implementation of acquired skills. In recent years, these have included:
- The Somerville-Tiznit Sister City Community Partnership
- Civic Engagement Workshops (CEW) in Morocco, Jordan, and Lebanon
- Civic Engagement Symposium in Cairo, Egypt
- Multinational Seminars on Identity and Education (IDEA) in Spain
- Train the Trainer Workshops in Morocco and Jordan
- Collaborative Art Initiatives in Morocco and the U.S.
Additional programs are planned in the U.S., Europe, and MENA region.