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Posts Tagged:

Leadership

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    [ID] => 156239
    [post_author] => 21
    [post_date] => 2020-02-06 13:50:56
    [post_date_gmt] => 2020-02-06 20:50:56
    [post_content] => 

In effort to give back to our incredible community partners, Dragons manages a Community Grant Fund.

This fund awards grants to community organizations based on a comprehensive application process. Ultimately, the goal of the fund is to provide community organizations with financial support for local projects and to provide a mechanism for Dragons administration, instructors, and students to give back to the places that so generously welcome Dragons participants. The Dragons Community Grant Fund is supported by under-budget funds from student programming. All applications are reviewed by a committee and awarded on an annual basis. And the Dragons Community Grant Fund is now accepting applications for 2020-21 projects and proposals! You can view the eligibility criteria and apply online through the same page. Applications will close on June 1, 2020. Good luck! Sincerely, Dragons HQ
PS. WANT DRAGONS BLOG UPDATES SENT DIRECTLY TO YOUR INBOX? ONE EMAIL A WEEK. NOTHING MARKETY. UNSUBSCRIBE ANY TIME. SUBSCRIBE TO DRAGONS BLOG AND STAY CONNECTED TO THE COMMUNITY. ❤️
[post_title] => The Dragons Community Grant Fund Application Period is Now Open! [post_excerpt] => Spread the word: The Dragons Community Grant Fund is now accepting applications for 2020-21 projects & proposals! Read on for details... [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => the-dragons-community-grant-fund-application-period-is-now-open [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2022-04-23 16:44:05 [post_modified_gmt] => 2022-04-23 22:44:05 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.wheretherebedragons.com/news/ [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 669 [name] => Engage [slug] => engage [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 669 [taxonomy] => category [description] => Activism, Advocacy, Leadership & Organizing. [parent] => 0 [count] => 13 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 14 [cat_ID] => 669 [category_count] => 13 [category_description] => Activism, Advocacy, Leadership & Organizing. [cat_name] => Engage [category_nicename] => engage [category_parent] => 0 [link] => https://www.wheretherebedragons.com/news/category/engage/ ) [1] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 651 [name] => Announcements [slug] => announcements [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 651 [taxonomy] => category [description] => Announcements on: New Programs, Surveys, Jobs/Internships, Contests, & Behind-the-Scenes Activity. [parent] => 0 [count] => 25 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 15 [cat_ID] => 651 [category_count] => 25 [category_description] => Announcements on: New Programs, Surveys, Jobs/Internships, Contests, & Behind-the-Scenes Activity. [cat_name] => Announcements [category_nicename] => announcements [category_parent] => 0 [link] => https://www.wheretherebedragons.com/news/category/announcements/ ) ) [category_links] => Engage, Announcements )
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    [post_author] => 21
    [post_date] => 2020-01-09 13:05:26
    [post_date_gmt] => 2020-01-09 20:05:26
    [post_content] => In an effort to give back to our wonderful network of international partners, Dragons has a Community Grant Fund that awards grants to local organizations based on a comprehensive application process.  Some of this year's grant funds were distributed to support a menstrual health project in Chaukati, Nepal. Thank you to Michael D. Smith MSW/MPH (Nepal Himalaya Studies Instructor) for sharing more about this project via the following report! 

Introduction

For over ten years, Where There Be Dragons has had the pleasure of bringing numerous Gap Semester, Summer, and College Study Abroad student groups for rural homestay visits to Chaukati village in Sindhupalchowk District, northeast of Kathmandu. Travel to Chaukati from Kathmandu takes about four hours by bus on the Araniko Highway to the nearest town of Bahrabise, located just above where the Bhote Khosi (Tibetan River) meets the Sun Khosi (Gold River). Then one must hike three hours up a hill through forests and fields from the highway to the villages above. Chaukati was one of hundreds of communities whose village was completely destroyed in the devastating earthquakes of April and May 2015. Of hundreds of houses, not a single one remained standing. Many families lost most of their possessions, as well as livestock such as chickens, goats, cows and buffalo (the lifeblood of rural Nepal).  Chaukati is a village of mixed ethnicities and castes, including many members of the Thangmi (Thami) community, a small ethnic group known for traditions that reflect a close relationship with the natural world. The Thangmi continue to gather food and medicines from the forest and maintain unique shamanic cultural practices. Most Thangmi elders never received any formal education, and many only speak Thangmi language, of which an estimated 20,000 native speakers remain.

Project Origin

Dragons student groups and alumni instructors, together with local government and some development NGOs, have joined a number of projects in Chaukati, before and after the earthquakes, including construction of a new health center and elementary school, dozens of new homes for marginalized local families, and other assistance such as agricultural development and new stoves. Other organizations, such as Its Her Turn Nepal (Hamro Palo Nepal), have assisted the community with non-tangible social development, such as conducting leadership trainings and empowerment workshops for girls.  In the Fall of 2017, as Dragons instructors interviewed host families about learning service opportunities in the village, the idea of reusable sanitary pads came up in conversation. Some local girls were aware of the benefits of reusable sanitary pads from the previous Its Her Turn project, but there was nowhere to obtain the cotton pads in the area. When one instructor asked the girls if they would be interested to receive a distribution of the pads, they refused, instead suggesting that it would be best for them to organize a training in Chaukati to teach local women to make their own cotton pads, so that they would not be reliant on others to bring them to them. The instructors approached a Nepal-based social enterprise, Dharti Mata ("Mother Earth" in Sanskrit), which runs a small factory that employs village women to sew a variety of sanitary pads from organic cotton. These attractive reusable pads, called "Love Lady Pads," are designed to reduce social stigma in rural areas around menstruation, to support safe and healthy sanitary practices, and to reduce the problem of solid waste from single-use disposable sanitary pads. Dharti Mata was co founded by Claire Lin, an eco-social entrepreneur from Taiwan, and Mithu Dhital, of the Hasera Permaculture Farm in Patlekhet in Nepal (where many Dragons students have studied). The women of Dharti Mata were enthusiastic to partner in the project, so the instructors applied for a $2000 of funding from Dragons Community Grant Fund to support Reusable Eco-Sanitary Pad DIY training workshops in Chaukati.

Project Description

Due to the limited availability of trainers and the onset of monsoon, which is very heavy in Chaukati (as anyone who has been there during that time can attest!), the group of seven trainers from Dharti Mata were not able to conduct the workshops until late October of 2018. A four-hour workshop was held each day for three days. The workshops included sessions on female reproductive health, developing positive attitudes about women's bodies and the menstrual cycles, massage and yoga techniques for maintaining a healthy uterus, discussions of the health and environmental benefits of reusable sanitary cloth pads, and a training session on how to stitch one's own pads that included distribution of cloth, needles, and thread. Each woman was given five pads in total: A pre-made simple pad and two pad components that were stitched during the training (a long pad and a night pad). More about the Love Lady Pads line can be found on their website at www.dhartimata.com In total, 150 local women of a variety of ages, castes, and ethnicities representing all six wards of the Chaukati area attended the workshops. The workshops were supported by the local government and were officially opened by the municipal Chairperson, Man Bahadur Thami. In the Spring of 2019, one instructor returned with the Dragons Nepal College Study Abroad course and visited Chaukati. They interviewed the local Women's Craft Development Committee about asked about their impressions of the workshops. The women reported they were pleased that the workshop had taken place, as it created a safe forum for women to openly discuss issues they were facing. They requested more trainings and workshops in the future, and offered to serve as the local organizing partner. The conversations surrounding women's health in Chaukati inspired one of the Spring 2019 Nepal College Study Abroad students to return to Chaukati for two weeks to study local midwifery practices. While she was there, she participated in the birth of baby, and was able to learn a great deal about taboos and progress in the areas of female reproductive health.

Importance of Menstrual Health Projects in Nepal

In the contemporary Nepali context, programs such as this DIY Reusable Eco-Sanitary Pad training take on a larger significance than merely environmental or economic benefits. In many sectors of Nepali society, especially in rural areas, menstruation and female reproductive health issues have been considered taboo subjects. Myths and stigma surrounding ritual pollution from the touch of a menstruating woman prevails. In some areas, chapaudi, a practice where women move to a shed behind the house during menstruation, is still practiced. Though this tradition has been banned in Nepal, recent incidents of young women or teenage girls dying in their 'menstruation sheds' due to snakebite or other hazards have highlighted the persistence of these practices. Even in communities like Chaukati where Chhaupadi is not practiced, taboos surrounding menstruation still affect Nepali women and girls. Many households in Kathmandu still prohibit menstruating women from entering kitchens, temples, eating with the family, and sleeping on their beds. These practices can condition women to view their bodies as unclean and  devalue themselves because they take  blame for any misfortune their families experience. Chhaupadi’s legacy contributes to a wider disregard of women and girls that places them in danger. Nepali news outlets have been raising  awareness of this issue, and there are some indications that the media is in general, reporting more stories of female reproductive and gender related issues. Recent incidents of women dying in menstruation sheds have even been covered in international media such as the New York Times. Encouraging projects that support local women to advance the conversation about female reproductive health, helps de-stigmatize harmful attitudes and given women the space to voice experiences previously neglected in formal and public spheres.  Michael D Smith Dharti Mata and the organizers of the Chaukati Reusable Eco-Sanitary Pad DIY training workshops are grateful for the support of the Dragons Community Grant Funds for this project. It would not have been possible without the creation of the Fund or the instructors who carefully managed program budgets in order to contribute money to the fund. Thank you!      
PS. WANT DRAGONS BLOG UPDATES SENT DIRECTLY TO YOUR INBOX? ONE EMAIL A WEEK. NOTHING MARKETY. UNSUBSCRIBE ANY TIME. SUBSCRIBE TO DRAGONS BLOG AND STAY CONNECTED TO THE COMMUNITY. ❤️
    [post_title] => Dragons Community Grant Fund Supports Menstrual Health Project in Chaukati, Nepal. [post_excerpt] => In an effort to give back to our wonderful network of international partners, Dragons has a Community Grant Fund that awards grants to local organizations based on a comprehensive application process. Some of this year's grant funds were distributed to support a menstrual health project in Chaukati, Nepal. Thank you to Michael D. Smith MSW/MPH (Nepal Himalaya Studies Instructor) for sharing more about this project via the following report!  [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => dragons-community-grant-fund-supports-menstrual-health-project-in-chaukati-nepal [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2022-04-23 16:44:25 [post_modified_gmt] => 2022-04-23 22:44:25 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.wheretherebedragons.com/news/ [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 653 [name] => Global Community [slug] => global_community [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 653 [taxonomy] => category [description] => Featured International People, Places, Projects. [parent] => 0 [count] => 47 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 7 [cat_ID] => 653 [category_count] => 47 [category_description] => Featured International People, Places, Projects. [cat_name] => Global Community [category_nicename] => global_community [category_parent] => 0 [link] => https://www.wheretherebedragons.com/news/category/global_community/ ) [1] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 641 [name] => About Dragons [slug] => about_dragons [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 641 [taxonomy] => category [description] => Press, Essays from Admin, and Behind-the-Scenes HQ. [parent] => 0 [count] => 43 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 10 [cat_ID] => 641 [category_count] => 43 [category_description] => Press, Essays from Admin, and Behind-the-Scenes HQ. [cat_name] => About Dragons [category_nicename] => about_dragons [category_parent] => 0 [link] => https://www.wheretherebedragons.com/news/category/about_dragons/ ) [2] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 669 [name] => Engage [slug] => engage [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 669 [taxonomy] => category [description] => Activism, Advocacy, Leadership & Organizing. [parent] => 0 [count] => 13 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 14 [cat_ID] => 669 [category_count] => 13 [category_description] => Activism, Advocacy, Leadership & Organizing. [cat_name] => Engage [category_nicename] => engage [category_parent] => 0 ) ) [category_links] => Global Community, About Dragons ... )
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    [post_date] => 2019-12-23 12:58:09
    [post_date_gmt] => 2019-12-23 19:58:09
    [post_content] => Dear Community,

Value Statements are the guiding and aspirational principles that unite a community, inform direction, and help a group make tough decisions in times of ambiguity.

Dragons began the work of crafting new Value Statements over a year ago. It started with a call to the community (staff, student, and admin) for essays in response to the prompt: "What is the heart of Dragons?" From those qualitative responses, a Word Cloud was born.

Dragons admin then used 237 phrases taken from the "Heart of Dragons" essays to create 50+ first draft Value Statements. With the help of our student ambassadors, we have narrowed the list down to 9 statements.

The aim of this survey is to find out if we're on track with these value statements, or need to further refine or build them. Just as we started with our community, we now turn to you again for your feedback in this final stage of review and revision.

Will you please take a few minutes to share with us your level of RESONANCE & INSPIRATION in response to the following proposed Value Statements?

TAKE DRAGONS VALUE STATEMENT SURVEY

There's space at the end of the survey to offer more feedback or write/add your own Value Statement if you feel something essential is missing. Thank you so much for sharing your time, insights, and feedback with us. Gratefully, The Humans @ Dragons HQ
PS. WANT DRAGONS BLOG UPDATES SENT DIRECTLY TO YOUR INBOX? ONE EMAIL A WEEK. NOTHING MARKETY. UNSUBSCRIBE ANY TIME. SUBSCRIBE TO DRAGONS BLOG AND STAY CONNECTED TO THE COMMUNITY. ❤️
[post_title] => Dragons Value Statement Community Survey [post_excerpt] => Value Statements are the guiding and aspirational principles that unite a community, inform direction, and help a group make tough decisions in times of ambiguity. Dragons began the work of crafting new Value Statements over a year ago.... [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => dragons-value-statement-community-survey [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2022-04-23 16:42:18 [post_modified_gmt] => 2022-04-23 22:42:18 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.wheretherebedragons.com/news/ [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 653 [name] => Global Community [slug] => global_community [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 653 [taxonomy] => category [description] => Featured International People, Places, Projects. [parent] => 0 [count] => 47 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 7 [cat_ID] => 653 [category_count] => 47 [category_description] => Featured International People, Places, Projects. [cat_name] => Global Community [category_nicename] => global_community [category_parent] => 0 [link] => https://www.wheretherebedragons.com/news/category/global_community/ ) [1] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 641 [name] => About Dragons [slug] => about_dragons [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 641 [taxonomy] => category [description] => Press, Essays from Admin, and Behind-the-Scenes HQ. [parent] => 0 [count] => 43 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 10 [cat_ID] => 641 [category_count] => 43 [category_description] => Press, Essays from Admin, and Behind-the-Scenes HQ. [cat_name] => About Dragons [category_nicename] => about_dragons [category_parent] => 0 [link] => https://www.wheretherebedragons.com/news/category/about_dragons/ ) ) [category_links] => Global Community, About Dragons )
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    [post_author] => 21
    [post_date] => 2019-12-16 11:58:55
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    [post_content] => 

Dragons Podcast

You asked for it. And here it is:

THE DRAGONS PODCAST

hosted by Alum Student Bub Vernon

  • EP. 6 PEPY's Executive Director Sarakk Rith on hope and struggle for education in Cambodia.
  • EP. 5 Dragons Executive Director, Reed Harwood, on the role of Dragons in the lives of students and communities.
  • EP. 4 Two Dragons fund students on "ah ha" moments and advice for future students.
  • EP. 3 Veteran Instructor Rich Brown on the realities of immigration across the southern US border.
  • EP. 2 Veteran Instructor Claire Bennett on "voluntourism" and an alternative approach to service.
  • EP. 1 A mother & daughter who EACH did Dragons programs on their unique yet similar experiences.
  Dragons is committed to cross-cultural education as a tool for breaking down barriers. Tune in to our podcast and hear for yourself how we can all make a difference.

LISTEN NOW on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and more.

PS. WANT DRAGONS BLOG UPDATES SENT DIRECTLY TO YOUR INBOX? ONE EMAIL A WEEK. NOTHING MARKETY. UNSUBSCRIBE ANY TIME. SUBSCRIBE TO DRAGONS BLOG AND STAY CONNECTED TO THE COMMUNITY. ❤️
[post_title] => Announcing Dragons Podcast: On Place + Purpose, hosted by Alum Student Bub Vernon [post_excerpt] => You asked for it. And here it is: THE DRAGONS PODCAST hosted by Alum Student Bub Vernon. Dragons is committed to cross-cultural education as a tool for breaking down barriers. Tune in to our podcast and hear for yourself how we can all make a difference... [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => announcing-dragons-podcast-on-place-purpose-hosted-by-alum-student-bub-vernon [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2022-04-23 16:42:25 [post_modified_gmt] => 2022-04-23 22:42:25 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.wheretherebedragons.com/news/ [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 1 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 700 [name] => For Parents [slug] => for_parents [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 700 [taxonomy] => category [description] => Blog posts specifically curated for parents wishing to know more about Dragons culture, programs, company, and community. [parent] => 0 [count] => 33 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 6 [cat_ID] => 700 [category_count] => 33 [category_description] => Blog posts specifically curated for parents wishing to know more about Dragons culture, programs, company, and community. [cat_name] => For Parents [category_nicename] => for_parents [category_parent] => 0 [link] => https://www.wheretherebedragons.com/news/category/for_parents/ ) [1] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 640 [name] => Dragons Instructors [slug] => dragons_instructors [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 640 [taxonomy] => category [description] => Featuring the words, projects, guidance and vision of the community of incredible staff that make Dragons what it is. [parent] => 0 [count] => 12 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 9 [cat_ID] => 640 [category_count] => 12 [category_description] => Featuring the words, projects, guidance and vision of the community of incredible staff that make Dragons what it is. [cat_name] => Dragons Instructors [category_nicename] => dragons_instructors [category_parent] => 0 [link] => https://www.wheretherebedragons.com/news/category/dragons_instructors/ ) [2] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 641 [name] => About Dragons [slug] => about_dragons [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 641 [taxonomy] => category [description] => Press, Essays from Admin, and Behind-the-Scenes HQ. [parent] => 0 [count] => 43 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 10 [cat_ID] => 641 [category_count] => 43 [category_description] => Press, Essays from Admin, and Behind-the-Scenes HQ. [cat_name] => About Dragons [category_nicename] => about_dragons [category_parent] => 0 ) [3] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 654 [name] => Mixed Media [slug] => mixed_media [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 654 [taxonomy] => category [description] => Featured Photography, Videos, Podcasts, Photo Contest Winners, Films & Art [parent] => 0 [count] => 18 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 13 [cat_ID] => 654 [category_count] => 18 [category_description] => Featured Photography, Videos, Podcasts, Photo Contest Winners, Films & Art [cat_name] => Mixed Media [category_nicename] => mixed_media [category_parent] => 0 ) [4] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 669 [name] => Engage [slug] => engage [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 669 [taxonomy] => category [description] => Activism, Advocacy, Leadership & Organizing. [parent] => 0 [count] => 13 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 14 [cat_ID] => 669 [category_count] => 13 [category_description] => Activism, Advocacy, Leadership & Organizing. [cat_name] => Engage [category_nicename] => engage [category_parent] => 0 ) [5] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 651 [name] => Announcements [slug] => announcements [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 651 [taxonomy] => category [description] => Announcements on: New Programs, Surveys, Jobs/Internships, Contests, & Behind-the-Scenes Activity. [parent] => 0 [count] => 25 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 15 [cat_ID] => 651 [category_count] => 25 [category_description] => Announcements on: New Programs, Surveys, Jobs/Internships, Contests, & Behind-the-Scenes Activity. [cat_name] => Announcements [category_nicename] => announcements [category_parent] => 0 ) ) [category_links] => For Parents, Dragons Instructors ... )
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    [post_date] => 2017-07-12 15:33:39
    [post_date_gmt] => 2017-07-12 21:33:39
    [post_content] => Twenty-five years ago Chris Yager founded Where There Be Dragons, pioneering an industry now commonly known as Cross-Cultural Experiential Education. He identified a deep need for this kind of education, and has since helped cultivate an understanding that we all need it. In 2005 I happened upon Dragons, and discovered that I needed it, too. 

I was called to Dragons in 2005 to work as a field instructor in Tibet. In my late 20’s, it was the perfect job. I had spent years in the field as a wilderness guide, and had recently transitioned back to academia to pursue a graduate degree in Religious Studies. Dragons came along and offered an opportunity to blend my passion for experiential education with meaningful cross-cultural engagement and inquiry. I could continue to ask big questions, not in the halls of academia but with other people in alleyways and mountains. Dragons connected me to the stories of the world, and often the untold stories.

For 10 years I worked for Dragons, as a guide and as an administrator. I balanced my Dragons work with my desire to be a teacher. I taught part time at the college level, and then I left Dragons in 2012 to teach full time as a high school World History teacher. Then I became a father, and I knew that I needed to dedicate my life to Dragons and its founding mission. 

My wife and I adopted our son at birth. Like most parents, we transitioned into a new life together. Parenting forced us to sift through what we value in life, and discard any excess. My son is African-American, and it’s no secret that being black in America requires a different kind of skill set to thrive. As a white father living in Boulder, Colorado, it demanded answers to a difficult question: how am I going to educate my son? How am I going to provide an education that will allow him to go off into the world, to discover who he is and that he matters? How can I equip him with the skills to not only survive, but thrive. 

Dragons, in part, was my answer. Dragons is a global community bent on discovering something deep, and mysterious, and beautiful. It’s about the thousands of students, instructors and community members who come together to learn what it means to be fully human, to be fully oneself, and to see the majesty in all of life’s expressions. Dragons is part of a historical movement that seeks to resist the marginalization of difference, and offer celebration in its place. This is what I want my son to learn: to recognise all the potential we have and to gain the skills to craft a life surrounded by beauty and meaning. That’s not an easy task, considering all the facts. But it’s possible, and it’s one that Dragons is committed to realizing.

The dream of Dragons is as important today as it was 25 years ago, and my commitment to Dragons is to maintain that uncompromising belief in the inherent potential and beauty of humanity. I’m honored to be a part of this community, to now serve as the Executive Director, and to help Dragons realize its best self.

- Reed Harwood

 
    [post_title] => An Introduction to Dragons Executive Director: Reed Harwood
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    [post_author] => 21
    [post_date] => 2017-05-31 15:51:57
    [post_date_gmt] => 2017-05-31 21:51:57
    [post_content] => 

Dear Dragons Community,

On this memorial day weekend, the Dragons community mourns the death of a different kind of national hero. 23 year old Taliesin Myrddin, an alumnus of the Indonesia Fall Semester-2011, was fatally stabbed while attempting to stop anti-Muslim hate speech against two women on a train in Portland, OR. His sister, Vajra Alaya-Maitreya, emailed a statement to The Washington Post on behalf of their family:

“We lost him in a senseless act that brought close to home the insidious rift of prejudice and intolerance that is too familiar, too common. He was resolute in his conduct (and) respect of all people,” she wrote. “In his final act of bravery, he held true to what he believed is the way forward. He will live in our hearts forever as the just, brave, loving, hilarious and beautiful soul he was. We ask that in honor of his memory, we use this tragedy as an opportunity for reflection and change. We choose love.”

Taliesin represents the best of what Dragons stands for in this world. May his life, and his final act, give us all strength to continue the work of creating a more empathetic, understanding, and humane world. Taliesin, and the others who intervened, are an inspiration for our entire community to stand up against the voices of violence and intolerance which seek to undermine our shared humanity. Dragons is committed to its programming throughout the Muslim world in order to continue fostering meaningful cross-cultural understanding and further strengthen the bonds of our global community.

Dragons is participating in the campaigns to support the victims' families.

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