In September 2016, CIR changed its mission statement to: “We connect New Mexico and the world by engaging and educating people to be responsible global citizens.” Education is at the very heart of what we do, and we have many different ways in which we seek to educate, from our community education efforts (our talks, lectures, dinners-and-a-movie, and special events) to our high school and college activities, as detailed below.
Above all, we seek to create empowered, empathetic, and engaged young leaders. CIR believes a student-centered approach to education enables students to take a leadership role in their current and future education. We regularly welcome interns from colleges and high schools in pursuit of this. Figure One below illustrates CIR’s approach to serving high school students over 2017-18. Please download our CIR – Education Operational Plan 2017-2018 for many more details.
Highlights of this coming year include:
1. Annual Policy Simulations
Building on the successes of CIR’s Human Rights Day (December, 2016) and the Middle East Symposium (April, 2017), over 2017-18 CIR will host at least one full-day policy simulation for students on a key or contested global issue; CIR may take this simulation to multiple schools on different days to ensure the widest possible participation. Students will assume the profiles of different stakeholders involved in an issue or problem in a highly innovative simulation designed and led by students.
2. Global Citizen Summit
To be held just before Earth Day, 2018, CIR’s Global Citizen Summit will be an artistic celebration of global citizenry, and how we can collectively contribute to a sustainable, green, and peaceful world where all enjoy the same opportunities in life. The Global Citizen Summit will bring together several hundred participants, and feature multiple contests for students to celebrate their global identity through the arts. Uniquely, CIR will encourage students to understand their own global identity (i.e. the parts of their identity that stretch well beyond national borders) and express that identity in an artistic medium. The Summit will feature student-led events focused on music; visual art; poetry; literature; essays; food; and dance, with innovative and highly creative outputs.
3. Academic WorldQuest
Over this academic year, CIR will expand upon its popular Academic WorldQuest (AWQ) program to 10-15 high schools across the state. CIR will recruit schools from Las Cruces, Los Alamos, Taos, and Española to join local schools in this dynamic quiz-style competition. As in years previous, CIR will award the top team with an all-expense paid trip to Washington DC to compete against the other winning teams from across the country. The 2017 winners from CIR’s competition were four female seniors from Las Cruces High School. This year, CIR will turn AWQ into a fundraiser for local schools, linking it to a new CIR event to be staged in April 2018—adult Academic WorldQuest, where community members will compete with each other in order to raise funds for global education efforts.
4. Meet the Speaker
As over 2016-17, CIR will continue to create intimate events for high school classes to interact with CIR’s world-class speakers. In some cases, CIR will bring the speaker directly to high schools; in others, the students will sit with the speaker for 45 minutes in advance of his/her talk. CIR believes these kinds of exchanges are of crucial value in advancing intellectual inquiry among students, in receiving feedback on research projects, and in shaping future educational and career-oriented decision-making. Additionally, space at each event will be dedicated to address the questions and concerns of youth in attendance, who will then be responsible for reporting what they learned to their classrooms and teachers. CIR has agreements with three schools to grant students extra credit for this type of participation, and will expand agreements to at least three more schools over 2017-18.
5. International Career Mentor Nights
Once per semester, CIR will create unique opportunities for high school students to connect with CIR members, many of whom have extensive global professional experience. These events, which will take on a “speed dating”-style format, will allow students to understand the career options open to them, and the types of educational or work experience required of those options.
6. Youth Media
To advance CIR’s goal of students able to critically engage with the media, CIR has two key partnerships for 2017-18. The first is through a consortium of national nonprofits, including Talking Eyes Media and Generation Human Rights. This project—entitled HEARD! Conversations between Rural and Urban Classrooms—is a ten-week, media-based curriculum that will help students in grades 9-12 deepen their understanding of our most pressing issues and broaden their ability to empathize—to walk in someone else’s shoes. In four very different classrooms nationally, HEARD! will teach two core skills: media literacy and media production, reinforced by the practice of deliberation and critical inquiry to encourage students to seek compromise rather than victory as they approach problems of great complexity and immediacy.
We have also tracked our impact on students over the years.