Applying Coexistence Theory to Work in the Field

March 15, 2007

The Master's Program in Coexistence and Conflict awarded two students with Slifka Fellowships this year, providing them full tuition plus a living stipend. These scholarships are given to early to mid-level career professionals who are working full-time within a government or inter-governmental organization. This year's Fellows are Andrew Ian Ginsberg of New York and Moussokoro Kané of Mali.

Ginsberg comes to the program from the United Nations High Commissioner of Refugees, where he concentrated on the resettlement of refugees who had to flee their homelands. Hearing the testimonies of those who had been forced out of their homes was part of his motivation in coming to the master's program.

"I had been hearing stories about atrocities and intercommunal violence," said Ginsberg. "I wanted to see whether there was something I could do to help."

He plans to work in repatriation when he completes the program, to help internally displaced people – those who have fled their homes but still reside in their home countries – return to their homes and to a situation that is better than when they left.

"I'm going to try to apply some of the skills I've learned here, to make sure that their reintegration is sustainable and peaceful."

Before Moussokoro Kané came to Brandeis, she worked for the United States Agency for International Development in Ghana, on a conflict mitigation and governance team. She joined the program because, she said, "I had always wanted to go back to school, because at times I felt I was practicing without knowing the theoretical foundation for some of
the concepts."

Kané hopes to return to the field in a different capacity than the one she left; rather than helping to decide which peacebuilding projects to fund, she wants to be the one implementing change.

"I want to be closer to the action and actually apply some of the knowledge I've gained," she said.