When Eric Dawson started Peace Games as a Harvard undergraduate in 1992, his aim was to prevent violence by equipping children with the skills they needed to resolve conflict. Since that time Harvard student volunteers have taught conflict resolution each year in Cambridge and Boston public schools.
Peace Games, now an independent nonprofit organization teaching conflict resolution to more than 20,000 elementary students nationwide, is just one of more than 260 Harvard community services programs in the neighborhoods around campus. Chronicled in the newly published “Harvard in the Community: A Directory of Harvard University Community Service Programs,” the programs help tell the story of Harvard in the community.
The community directory is also available in
The near 200-page directory, compiled by the Office of Community Affairs, is an information resource offering contact names and a brief description of current programs, from student volunteer efforts and services offered by faculty and staff, to departmental outreach programs and events coming out of every school and administrative department at Harvard. Programs address community needs in education, health, housing and homelessness; offer support to nonprofits and the arts; and provide opportunities for athletics and recreation for youth. Nearly 40 new programs have been added since it was last published three years ago.
The impacts are tangible. “Harvard has demonstrated willingness and a commitment to be a partner in our effort to change the lives of the more than 1,200 children we serve annually.
This has proven to be an equally valuable resource that will pay dividends long into the future,” said Andrea Howard, director of the West End House Boys and Girls Club in Allston-Brighton.
“Harvard can be proud that so many members of our University understand the value of helping our neighbors – and making the community thrive in the process,” notes President Lawrence H. Summers in the letter that introduces the directory.
Whether linking volunteers with programs, or community residents with services, the directory illustrates the positive dynamic that caring people in and outside the University are creating through partnership in Harvard’s host communities.
– By Lauren Marshall