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Peace Fellow Surprised by Personal Growth

Peace Fellow Surprised by Personal Growth

Published: April 15, 2011
Truman State Peace Fellows

Kat Olsen Flaate and Krista Goodman, AFSC Peace Fellows, provided leadership in organizing Peace Week activities at Truman State University in Kirksville, Missouri.

Photo: AFSC

[AFSC Peace Fellows Krista Goodman and Kat Olsen Flaate have been active working on peace campaigns at Truman State University in Kirksville, Missouri. During the past quarter, Krista and Kat have continued a Social Awareness Film Festival (including Lost Boys of Sudan, Trouble the Waters, Promises and other films). They have worked through “Students for Social Change” and partnered with other campus groups. Below, Krista shares some of what she's learned.]

Upon hearing the opportunity to become an AFSC Peace Fellow, I was unsure of what the fellowship would entail, but was excited at the prospects. AFSC has been the fuel to the fire in my heart and my partner's heart to spread awareness and social change around campus.  Through AFSC's resources, encouragement and accountability, we have been able to plan and execute well-planned and thought-provoking events beyond what normal Truman students could provide.

Recently my partner and I hosted a Peace Panel Discussion in which we invited resident "experts" on the issue of peace. Altogether we had nine panel members that represented many different disciplines from political science, Latin American history, peace activism, local sustainability and more. I received feedback from several panel members and audience members that the event was very enjoyable and eye-opening. Perhaps the most satisfying part of planning the event was my own enhancement. 

I believe I grew in my beliefs about peace throughout the entire planning process. From researching potential panel members, organizing and formulating questions to discussions with panel members and peers after the event, I feel that I have a more firm grasp on my stance and participation on furthering peace in this world. 

I look forward to our final event of the year, the Eyes Wide Open exhibit. I know this will not only be challenging in a physical sense, as it takes considerable effort to set up, but also in an emotional sense. I anticipate much growth in myself, my partnership with the other AFSC Peace Fellow and with relationships on campus.

I have been so fortunate to be involved with AFSC in my final year as a college student. I expected at the beginning of the year to help those on my campus learn about peace issues and grow through that, but I could not have anticipated the growth in myself.