The Prejudice Awareness Summit (PAS) is an intensive day-long workshop for middle school students that leads to a year of programming designed to increase awareness, knowledge, and acceptance of ethnic and cultural differences.
Since its inception, the PAS has provided training to over 2,000 middle school students from the metropolitan Richmond area. On average, 28 schools participate in the program annually, each sending eight students and one or two adult sponsors, usually teachers, guidance counselors, or administrators.
The PAS curriculum takes participants through a process of awareness to action. Students learn to recognize prejudice and intolerance, and to respect others. They work closely with their peers from a wide range of ethnic, cultural and socio-economic backgrounds. Trained adult and high school facilitator teams guide the students through small group learning activities that explore personal experiences with discrimination and develop conflict resolution skills. During the PAS, educators receive professional development training that compliments the student learning. Jointly, students and educators develop follow-up plans to take back to their schools to share the PAS message with the larger school community.
Founded in 2001 by the local chapter of Jewish Women International, the PAS is today sponsored by the Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities with the support of a coalition of community organizations: Communities in Schools of Richmond, Higher Achievement, Initiatives of Change/Hope in the Cities, Partnership for the Future, and the Richmond Peace Education Center.
The 2014 Prejudice Awareness Summit took place
on October 16, 2014.
Thank you to Wells Fargo, the Michael B. Huntley Scholarship, and the Herbert J. and Ruth B. Rubel Holocaust Education Fund of the Richmond Jewish Foundation for their financial sponsorship.