Sunday, July 20, 2008

Monday, July 14, 2008

Saturday, July 12, 2008

About Us

Our Stories

playing Elves, Wizards, and Giants

We invite you to read about us, the participants of the Peace in Focus Boston workshop:

My name is Taylor! I am fourteen years old. I am going to be attending Fenway High School as a freshman sometime in September. My hobbies are reading, writing, going on the internet and talking with my friends. I am what you could call a loud person, but a fun person to be around. I have two brothers. One is older than me and the other is younger than me. In September I plan to be playing basketball for Fenway High School. My goals in life are to be the best that I can be and not try to be anyone else.

Hi my name is Catherine. I go to the McCormack Middle school. My family is from Vietnam. I grew up around cameras. What I would want to get out of this program is to make new friends and learn more about photography. I grew up taking pictures. All the pictures I have taken are of nature and flowers, but my main focus is on flowers. Through this program I want to learn more of what I love to do all the time. Now that the program has ended, what I want to take to my community is that we should all pick up our trash and be more involved in with what our city has to offer to us. Also, I want to have a spoken word day for all the poetry writers out there in my community.

My name is Dounia, and I am going into the seventh grade at the McCormack Middle School. I am a tomboy that loves animals. I also love taking pictures. I mostly take pictures of living things, like my dog, my family and friends. I play on a softball team, and I love sports. I love animals and I love Boston! Peace in Focus taught me things about a camera that I didn't even know existed! Now, I'm going to try to help people who can't defend themselves.

My name is Malcolm and here are some things about me and some things I like to do in my spare time. Some days I like to hang out with my friends and other days I like to go new places. I also like to get out and play sports ,and play video games is one of my favorite things to do when I have nothing to do. Generally I like to have a good time with my friends and family.

My Name is Alia. I was born in Boston, Massachusetts in 1995. I attend the Lilla G. Fredrick Pilot Middle School. In September, I will go into the 8th grade. In my spare time I love to take pictures, go on the computer and hang with my friends and family. My passion is to go to Harvard Law school and become a great lawyer. When I heard about Peace in Focus I was glad that there is a program that teaches kids about photography. Since it was about photography I wanted to be in it because I have a camera of my own and I got tired of taking snapshots and wanted to take pictures that meant something. I learned a lot more than I thought I would and I am glad I came here. Now that I have finished the program I would love to show my community how much trash there is and how we need to work together to clean it up. So my message to my community is "Keep the community Clean!"

My name is Geisha. I am 13 years old and I go to the McCormack Middle School. In September I will be going into the 7th grade. In my spare time I like to go on the computer and just take pictures around. Some things I like to photograph are people I know, myself, or just nature. In Peace in Focus, we talk about camera parts and conflict. It's really fun. Seriously, if next year they got it, I am really joining it. Well I love to take pictures, play the piano and joke around about people but I am not mean. My goal is to go around the community and get everyone together to hear my spoken word and write their own.

Hi, my name is Feysal. I was born in Somalia. When I was little boy I moved to Kenya, and I grew up in Nairobi. I started elementary school when I was eight years old. When I finished in 2007, I came to the United States of America. Then I went to a middle school called Frederick Pilot Middle School and now I am trying to get into the best high school in Boston, which are exam schools such as Boston Latin. Then after I finish high school I will try to get into one of the best colleges in the whole world. After Peace in Focus, I want to work with my community, and I will do everything I can to make my community better. I would like to make my community clean and peaceful. I will never give up fighting for what I learned in Peace in Focus.

My name is Jamal and I was born in Nairobi, Kenya. I'm 13 years old and I go to Lilla G. Frederick Pilot Middle School. I came to America when I was three years old and I'm going into the 8th grade. I joined this program because I wanted to learn how to use cameras even better and focus on helping my community. After the Peace in Focus workshop I want to work on cleaning up my community because when I grow up I want to become an environmental scientist. The college I want to go to is MIT because they work on Math and Science and those are my favorite subjects.


The Facilitators






Kate and Kyle

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Spoken Word

On Thursday, one highlight was our open mic time. Here are some favorites:


by: Geisha Colon

What's with all the violence

one shot boom in the hood then is silence,

stuff happens

people dying



cause a lot of stuff happens

where's the love

what happened to the love

oh lord above

people are killing each other

hurting each other's feelings

even hating one another

love and hate is not a game

so stop playing is all, ready game over

what a shame

where's the love

what happened to the love

oh lord above

help the people from hating each other and also crying

'cause a family member had died

another shot boom in the hood

people are screaming and wondering cause someone had died

where's the love

what happened to the love

oh lord above

where's the love.

After 25 Years

adapted by Feysal

25 years from now

it doesn't matter

how your shoes, hair, or

jeans that you bought yesterday


What will matter is

what you learned from school.


By: Catherine Huynh

don't try to fix me I am not broken, I am just missing from your heart. but all you can see is my tears on the floor. someone help me find my myself again. I am a spirit that is not rested in peace. just trying to find my body to live again. I feel like I am not home anymore. there is just too much pain that time cant erase. this loneliness and pain there is too much that I cant let go.


By: Catherine Huynh

is there something missing in me

is there someone missing me

all that I can feel is an empty spot in my heart

I always feel that the people I hate should die

I hate my life but the love of it is OK

but all of that is that my life is a complete mess

I just feel like crying out blood

I just want to die in my tears

if you have lived my life you have no right to judge me

it's my life so you have no right to judge me at all

someone wake me up from this nightmare I am in

my blood is cold and no life.

someone wake me up and save me from a nothing I not become.

I feel so hopeless now so someone help me find my missing piece of me.

Death to Music

by Wendy Martin

Bang! Bang! Bang!


A sense to know there's violence.
Didn't even go a mile and it's done,
she's gone.
Put it in a song.
Sing it LOUD!
Sing it PROUD!
Because you're the only one
who heard the sounds
the screaming and pain..
then you go INSANE!
BUT DIDN'T pick the right lane.
But now it's done.
Put down the gun
and let the song be sung.


by Wendy Martin

Hello Everybody,
one and all.

I stand here to recite and not
prepared to fall.

You can choose to ignore it,
or applaud in AWE.

With the words i spill up an down the hills
of this world,
the love and kills of this boy
or this girl,
gunshots,stabbings,broken hearts,& broken dreams.
The cold heartless people who don't understand what this means.

What can you do?
Nothing. Right?
You can't stand UPRIGHT and fight for what's right?

People embody hypocrisy.
Guns POP, bodies DROP, you see.

Step over the pool of blood and get mad cuz there's a spot on your kicks.
Too fly to appreciate the people who take risks.

With the words i spill, you don't realize until,
things for YOU go wrong, your friend is gone, SO LONG.

Ok. Let's B R E A TH E...


You dream, I dream, HE DREAMT.
He spoke words that were meant to be heard,
or they took pictures that were seen by herds of people
from shacks to steeples.

It's: What can you do??
No. It's you CAN do WHAT? ALOT!

I don't wanna hear "I'm busyyy!"
Yea? Well, so is the rest of the city.

Just take a step back,
compare the Truth with the "FACTS",
compile it, file it, ALL SET! Ready to print.

Do you get the hint??

I Say:

With the words you spill up and down the hills,
you too,
will get an applause.

Wednesday's Trip: Change in the Community

On Wednesday, we went to places where we could get information on changing the community.

First, we went to Artists for Humanity. They have the most green building in Boston. They make t-shirts with the scrap pieces of other shirts. They screen print their shirts. They have been running this business since 1991.

Work by High School Students

We also went to BYOP: the Boston-area Youth Organizing Project. They help the youth with things like lowering the cost for student passes and making the T run longer.

Sign for Change in the T

Next, we visited the Cloud Foundation. They get kids involved with art.

The Cloud Place

We also went to Boston Public Library. We looked at the pictures of kids from Israel and Palestine. I think that they can take some good pictures. My favorite picture is the one that has three kids talking on their cell phones. That picture is funny.

Photos from Kids with Cameras from Israel and Palestine

-writing and photos by Dounia and Alia

How To Read an Image, Leadership Skills and Peer Mediation

On Tuesday, July 7th 2008 we worked on how to read images and how captions can make an image look different than what you can see. We did an image exercise on how we think the picture looks to us. After we wrote down our captions that we thought were the right captions for the picture, then Kate read off what the real caption was.

Peace in Focus!

Perceptions activity

Later in the day we worked on LEADERSHIP SKILLS! We had to help kids solve their problems in a non-violent way, but they had to solve their problems them selves. That can also go into PEER MEDIATION. What we had to do was we had to sit down with two of the kids that were having "problems". (We were just acting it out though.) They had to tell the mediator the problem that they were having and had to find a solution that they both could agree on. When they finally agreed with one another they had to apologize for what they did and if they wanted to, shake hands.

Mediation role play

After we did Peer Mediation we went in STATIONS. What we did in stations was we went to different groups and did different things. The first thing that we did was:
  • Make Posters out of the pictures we took over the weekend.
  • Make a picture map of where we live.
  • Peer Mediation 101.
We also had a weekend project that we had to do. We had to take 18 pictures of things that we like about our community and 9 pictures of things that we want to change.

Blogger of the day,


Wendy studying hard

In the classroom

Monday, July 7, 2008

Our Day at the Zoo

On July 4, 2008 we went to the Franklin Park Zoo. We went to take pictures of animals and nature as we were there. We all went different places and took lots of pictures of nature and animals but in different forms. But for some of us we took some waterfall pictures but we had to get on the floor and get dirty and take a good picture for everyone to see how hard we work. Through out the trip to the Zoo we meet up with lots of Kate and Kyle's old friends and we all met new and good friends to keep.

In the zoo we also took some pictures of the little kids who were there. The funny part was when we saw the lion, me and Marcio (one of Kyle's friends) started to take pictures of the lion. The lion came towards to us, we all scared but there was a large glass between the lion and us. That day was a good day. We will never forget that day.

But as the day ended we had to say our good byes. We will never forget the day we met some new people that like what we like to do too. But at the end we took a big group picture and Kyle said "it looks like we are throwing up gang signs" but what we were really doing was doing our Peace in Focus sign to show how much we love our program. But after a great day at the zoo (no rain for us today) we will always remember for the rest of our lives.

Bloggers for the day,

Feysal and Catherine

Photos by Feysal:


Our "Peace in Focus" sign (Feysal, Kate, Alia, Wendy, and Geisha)

Jamal (and Marcio)

Mr. Lion

Smiling gorilla


Catherine and Elizabeth

Photos by Catherine:

Flowers and lion

Wet grass

Zoo waterfalls

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Touring Boston

On Wednesday July 2 the Peace in Focus group went on a tour with My Town around Back Bay. We took pictures and we were with a group of graduate students. Some places we went to on the tour were at the Philip Randolph's statue at Back Bay station, another place we went to was Martin Luther King Jr's house on Mass ave. After tour we went Jackson Square to see some of the murals that some of the youth workers and local artists did. Then we took the train to the Arboretum. We were taking pictures of the surrounding area.

In Peace in Focus we also learned about shutter speed, ISO, aperture. Shutter speed is how fast the lens opens and closes, the ISO is how sensitive the camera is to light and aperture is the opening that lets light into the camera. Also in Peace in Focus we take pictures, play games, and learn new things about the camera.

Bloggers of the day,



Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Conflicts, Peace and Stereotypes

On Monday we talked about conflict and peace. We talked about it by looking into magazines and cutting out pictures of conflict and peace. The game we played to get the day going was called Toilet Paper Ice Breaker. The TP Ice Breaker game went like this:
  • You were stranded in the woods for three days.
  • You had to think about how much toilet paper you might need.
  • Then you take it.
What we did not know was that each square of toilet paper you took meant that you had to share a fact about yourself.

On Tuesday we did a scavenger hunt. In the scavenger hunt we had to find common things and use camera basics that we had learned in the past day. Also we talked bout The Community Issues and How We can Solve Them?
For Example:
  • The Trash in our community
  • Drugs
  • Violence and Gangs
What we could do to solve those problems are:
  • Pick up trash and recycle.
  • You can protest, speak your mind or go to city officials
  • Organize a peace walk, and protest
-July 2 blog entry by Alia and Taylor


Alia (in blue) with Ilyasa, Doania, Wendy, and Feysal


Group practicing poses


Kyle and Wendy