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Page 149 of 211

Dayton-Johnson explains that high on the list of important issues for students to tackle are weapons of mass destruction, climate change and global development. "We look at nuclear, biological and cyber attacks and ways to reduce that threat," he says. "We study climate change and policies and meas- ures we can take to reduce the risk for ourselves and other species, the habitat and the planet…We examine pover ty reduction and inequali- ty…There are great disparities between countries and within countries." He points to MIIS students Katie Barthelow and Anna Santos, who recently led a digital storytelling project with children in Coco Solo, an impoverished area that was a former US Navy submarine base in Panama. Both women are completing master's degrees in public administration and international education management. They make it clear that it is cru- cial to be sensitive when discussing issues in third-world countries. "When you are dealing with situations like poverty, especially interna- tionally, how do you talk about it ethically in a way that gives dignity to the people you are talking about, without adding your own biases into the conversation?" Santos asks. The two decided on a project where the local children would write and film their own short movie, with the help of the children's pastor. "A lot of needs assessment has to take place," Barthelow says. "How do you understand what is happening before you go in and work in another country? A big piece is partnering and co-working across cultures…when tackling these really big problems." Both women readily admit that bringing their project for two weeks to Coco Solo would not be life-altering for the children there, but were touched by some of the changes they observed when they gave the children roles in the project. "They started relating to each other in different ways," Barthelow says. "One of the biggest takeaways is that looking at any community different from our own and thinking you can do it through a small lens is incredibly dangerous…There was a picture of one of the children…in an article that captioned it, 'Children in Coco Solo are living in extreme poverty.' They were very upset to be the poster child for despair and disease and poverty." 148 C A R M E L M A G A Z I N E • S P R I N G / S U M M E R 2 0 1 6 Located in an area in Panama that was once a US Navy submarine base, the nonprofit Cambio Creativo helps children and families through afterschool, community development and spiritual programs. MIIS students Barthelow and Santos recently worked with the nonprofit.

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