An Alumni’s View By: Kiara Buckner

From the vibrant, sunny and palm tree filled avenues of Miami, Florida to the monumental and deeply rooted historic pavements of Washington D.C., National Voices for Equality Education and Enlightenment continues to impact lives.  This year’s National Anti-Bullying week provided us with the perfect opportunity to spread the significance of transforming bystanders into upstanders.

As a previous student of the Peace Ambassador Leadership Program, I am continuously enlightened through NVEEE.  I witnessed a trip that was always a subject of conversation come to fruition and blossom.  This monumental adventure was unlike any other family vacation I’ve taken to Washington D.C. Visiting the historical locations were normal for me, but this trip provided so much more.  We traveled outside of the tourist attractions to touch the hearts of people within the communities.  The gym of the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Washington and the auditorium of Theodore Roosevelt High School both united as we enjoyed the songs, spoken word and dance from our Peace Ambassadors.  Yet again through performing arts, the organization continues to draw in individuals of all age groups to see the importance of self-expression and accepting our distinctive characteristics.

A trip to the nation’s capital was made complete by receiving a Congressional Record from one of our Florida Representatives, Debbie Wasserman Schultz.  This record indicates that the work of NVEEE has not been carried out in vain, but is only reaching new heights in spreading the idea of acceptance for all.  The Congressional Record was not the only reward we received.  We were also all able to enjoy a special tour through the Capitol Building, a visit to the White House and an evening at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

Visiting the National Mall, National Museum of African American History and Culture and so many other sites does not even compare to the deeper beauty this trip revealed.  Unity and progression were showcased.  Despite the current state of our nation that continuously shows us the negative aspects of life, excursions like these are always needed to remind us why we strive each day for inclusion. Being a PALP Alumna, this trip blessed me with the opportunity to meet so many fresh faces that have left a lasting imprint within me.  I realize that at one moment NVEEE’s founder, Jowharah Sanders, dreamed of trips such as this.  Being able to witness the progression of a life-changing organization is nothing short of an honor.  It only propels me to never give up on a dream, especially one that aspires to change lives.

I do believe that there is so much more to see from NVEEE.  So many more missions to accomplish in a world where the expulsion of anti-bullying, self-harm, violence and overall negativity is our call to duty.