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Enhance Understanding

Making that happen through advocacy, podcasting, research and publications.

Final Hours to Picture Change with PHOTOVOICE IRAQ!

We are over 75% of the way there! Haven’t donated yet? Want to tell a friend but are not sure what to say? Here are our Top Ten Reasons you should help us reach our goal by midnight tonight!   Top Ten Reasons to Donate to Photovoice: #10: The photos from PICTURING CHANGE will help us understand the needs of young people in Iraq. #9: Everytime you donate, the EPIC HQ wildly rejoices!  #8: Because 60% of Iraqis are under the age of 25 and will be impacted tremendously, with your help. #7: Supporting this project will help EPIC reach

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Final 48 Hours

Last night we had the opportunity to bring together some of EPIC’s friends and supporters for a reception kicking off the last 48 hours of fundraising for PHOTOVOICE IRAQ:Picturing Change. The event brought together educators, scholars, advocates, and practitioners to support EPIC’s mission.   The same sentiments were repeated throughout the night: student-centered projects like this are what the youth of Iraq need now, small-scale development can have the greatest impact, and that photovoice has the power to teach a range of much-needed skills. Over twenty passionate support were in attendance at this intimate spontaneous reception to rally support for

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EPIC & The Tiziano Project: A Conversation with Jon Vidar

The old adage “a picture is worth a thousand words” remains as true as ever, even in a globalized world characterized by the power of technology. Frozen in time, however, is the powerful impact that a simple picture can have on perceptions of a state, religion, or people. At EPIC, we view this simple fact as an incredible opportunity to build understanding and craft the foundation for a peaceful and fruitful future Iraq. So we’ve teamed up with the best photojournalists in the business at The Tiziano Project, working together to wield the power of photography and technology towards the task

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Practicing Photovoice

Today in the office we decided to try an activity.  We practiced photovoice for ourselves to see what impact it can have on both the photographer and an audience.  Photovoice, when done correctly, is a multi-step process involving discussions, skills training in photography technique, practice writing captions, and debriefing at the end of the exercise. The method takes at least eight weeks and leaves students with skills in photography, writing, and communication. Unfortunately, we didn’t have time to go through this entire process so we are practicing an abbreviated mini-photovoice exercise. Everyone in the office was asked this question: What

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Why Crowdfunding?

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has” -Margaret Mead This quote has been adopted and shared by organizations of nearly every kind.  I once lived in a house where it was scrawled on a napkin and taped above the sink as a plea  to do the dishes.  When I was teaching high school history I kept it written on the board for weeks, egging on my students to ask for examples of when a small group of people had actually changed the world.  (For the

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Foundations for the Future

Growing up in the New York metro area the events of 9/11 certainly shaped my generation. Less than two years after 9/11 I was finishing high school and preparing to start college unsure of what to study. In the middle of all these events, the United States began the 2003 invasion of Iraq. My name is Daniel Young, a fall EPIC  intern. Starting college just as the war began, combined with a heated presidential election, hooked me on politics. My studies have continued into graduate school with coursework  focused on development, conflict, and democratization during the Arab Spring. It was

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The Power of Education

What does it mean to empower youth?  What effect can great teaching have on a young person?  How are communities improved when young people feel as though they are making an impact? These are questions that go to the heard of EPIC’s mission, and in recent years, an important part of my life.  As a high school history teacher I constantly questioned how my classes could help my students understand their communities, but more importantly, how my students could help improve their communities.  I developed and implemented student-centered curriculum focused on current events, sustainability, and the actions young people could

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An EPIC Start: From a Summer in Iraq to Picturing Change

It’s one thing to talk about peace in Iraq, but achieving any kind of meaningful and tangible on-the-ground impact can be difficult to organize and execute (and even harder to fund). Yet since joining the EPIC team in August, I’ve had the privilege of joining an effort that aims to showcase the true peacebuilding power of Iraq’s youth as the country goes through a fragile transition in the post-American withdrawal period. My name is Christian Chung, and I’m proud to serve as the Conflict Resolution Intern, and newest member of EPIC, for the fall semester! I’m excited to be a

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A Conversation with Henry Arvidsson

As we continue to talk about EPIC’s new project, PHOTOVOICE IRAQ: Picturing Change, we thought it would be a good idea to discuss why photography is such a powerful and important medium.  To explore this, we called a professional. Henry Arvidsson is a professional photographer based out of the Netherlands.  Part of the United Nations Special Commission envoy, Henry first went to Iraq in the early/mid 90’s to document the dismantling of WMD’s.  His work there formed an intimate portrait of Iraq not often seen in Western media.  Fifteen years after this first trip, he returned to Baghdad in 2011 to see

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A Conversation with Ahmed Ali

Last week, our executive director Erik sat down with Ahmed Ali to discuss the challenges facing Iraq’s education system, and the value of programs like PHOTOVOICE IRAQ: Picturing Change.  Ahmed is not only an Iraq analyst and scholar whose work has been published in Foreign Policy Magazine and the Arab Reform Bulletin and whose commentary is featured on international news, he also has the rare distinction of being a former EPIC staff member!  We’d like to share the conversation with you.

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Stand Up, Be Counted

Everyone loves a census, from the obvious politicians and policy makers, to builders, educators, geographers, and business people.  Napoleon was famous for them.  Everyone can gain something from the information conveyed in a census which is often referred to as the bedrock of government.  To sum it up: how can you govern a country and plan for the future, if you don’t know how many citizens you have and where they are? A census acts like a snapshot of a country.  From age to occupation, religion to income, it gauges trends and tabulates numbers to provide a model for statisticians.

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Today, and Every Day

August 13th is International Youth Day, a day to celebrate young people and their contributions to making the world a better place.  It is also a day to remember the importance of investing in the next generation. This Youth Day, consider a charitable contribution to our new project on Indiegogo!

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