Davis Projects for Peace
$10,000 Peace Grant Opportunity
The Brandeis awardee for Summer 2023 is Daniel Block '25. Daniel is majoring in Environmental Studies and American Studies, with a minor in Legal Studies. His project, entitled "Stewarding Sustainable Relationships Between Rural Midwestern Communities and the Soil in the Era of Climate Change," will be carried out in Sheldon, Illinois at Zumwalt Acres. This farm is a regenerative agriculture community working to develop a model of land stewardship in Illinois that is ecologically sustainable and socially responsible, rooted in Jewish values. It sits on the traditional unceded homelands of the Kickapoo, Peoria, Kaskaskia, Potawatomi, Myaamia, and Očhéthi Šakówiŋ peoples.
Daniel's faculty mentor is Prof. Sally Warner of the Brandeis Environmental Studies Program.
Learn about the projects of other members of the Projects for Peace 2023 cohort, who hail from almost 100 partner institutions around the US. Read about past Projects for Peace recipients from Brandeis.
THE 2023 APPLICATION PERIOD IS NOW CLOSED. The next application cycle will open up in Fall 2023 for projects to be carried out in Summer 2024. All Brandeis undergraduate students are eligible to apply for this $10,000 grant.
Davis Projects for Peace is being funded by Kathryn W. Davis, a lifelong internationalist and philanthropist. Davis earned a BA from Wellesley, an MA from Columbia and a PhD from the University of Geneva. She was the mother of Shelby M.C. Davis, who funds the Davis UWC Scholars Program, which currently involves more than 90 American colleges and universities. Mrs. Davis has felt some urgency to spark initiatives for building prospects for peace in the world, $1 million on her behalf is committed to funding 100 $10,000 projects for peace. She always believed that today's youth - tomorrow's leaders - ought to be challenged to formulate and test their own ideas. Davis passed away in 2013 at the age of 106.
Intentionally, no clear definition is offered so as not to limit the imagination. We leave it up to the students to define what a "project for peace" might look like. We hope to encourage creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship. The overall program is to be worldwide in scope and impact, but specific projects may be undertaken anywhere and may be as grassroots as desired, including in the United States.
Some of the most compelling projects to date have addressed one or more of the following: contributing to conflict prevention; ameliorating conditions leading to violence/conflict; looking for and building on shared attributes among differing groups; fostering diplomacy or otherwise contributing to advancing peace processes underway; promoting economic opportunity and entrepreneurship among those in areas affected by conflict; finding creative ways to bring people on opposite sides of issues together, such as through art, sports, music, or other techniques to promote a common humanity; developing leadership and mediation skills training for those in conflict or post-conflict societies; starting or leveraging initiatives, organizations (e.g. education, health) or infrastructure projects to build/rebuild community.
See sample projects for peace.
Undergraduate students at any of the Davis UWC Scholar schools (including seniors who would complete their projects after graduation) are eligible - so long as the president of their institution has signed and returned the grant agreement form. While the schools included are restricted to those in the Davis UWC Scholars Program, all undergraduates (not just Davis UWC Scholars at those schools) are eligible. Groups of students from the same campus, as well as individual students, may submit proposals.
Davis philanthropy commits over $1 million each year to fund Projects for Peace. While Davis funding per project is limited to $10,000, projects with larger budgets are welcome with co-funding from other sources—such as other philanthropists, a college or university, foundation, NGO/PVO or students’ own fundraising.
To be considered, a student (or group of students) must email all pieces of the application as a single PDF to Leigh Swigart no later than Thursday, January 12, 2023 at 9pm EST. Students are strongly encouraged to contact Dr. Swigart to discuss their proposal prior to submission. Communication between students writing proposals and the Davis UWC Scholars office is prohibited.
Each involved campus has a designated official to coordinate the process on each campus. This official, in ways s/he deems appropriate, will guide the internal campus procedures for announcing and promoting the opportunity to students; organizing the selection committee to evaluate the proposals submitted; communicating results on a timely basis to the Davis UWC Scholars office; and distributing the awarded grant funds for the winning proposal(s) on campus. Final review and approval of all recommended proposals from individual campuses rest solely with the office of the Davis UWC Scholars Program which will then forward the appropriate grant funds to each school with winning project(s).
The intention is to fund 100 or more projects at more than 90 Projects for Peace partner institutions. Therefore, all involved schools are invited to select and submit one proposal for funding and one alternate proposal that might be funded as well. Final decisions on all grants are made by the Davis UWC Scholars Program office. Grants are made upon assurance that the project proposed will, in fact, be undertaken during the summer of 2023.