Global Cities, Inc., a program under the auspices of Bloomberg Philanthropies, has committed $250,000 to Out of Eden Learn (OOEL), an online learning community developed by Project Zero at the Harvard Graduate School of Education that fosters thoughtful crosscultural inquiry and exchange.
Using digital technology, Global Cities offers educators a constructive approach to counter recent trends of xenophobia and intolerance, allowing students to interact across different cultures in order to gain an appreciation for diverse perspectives and a curiosity about the world.
“Giving students the ability to interact with and understand different cultures is critical to building a brighter future,” said Michael R. Bloomberg, former mayor of New York City and philanthropist, at Global Cities' May 2016 symposium, The Future of International Digital Learning. “Combatting cultural ignorance — and the fear and intolerance it breeds — begins with young people.”
Like Global Cities, OOEL provides students the opportunity to interact digitally and learn from one another in classrooms that are geographically and culturally diverse. With cross-disciplinary curricula that support broader school-specific goals, Global Cities and OOEL programs motivate students to develop an interest in learning about the world and engaging in meaningful dialogue with one another around important global issues.
Whether building cultural understanding or sparking a desire to communicate or connect with peers around the world, Global Scholars and OOEL are both helping to cultivate the next generation of global citizens in the vital field of global education.
“We are honored to receive this gift, which recognizes the significant contribution Out of Eden Learn is making to the developing field of digital cross-cultural exchange," says Lecturer Liz Dawes Duraisingh, co-director of OOEL. "Our team has been galvanized by the shifting political and social landscape in which we operate: we see our efforts to build meaningful connections among youth from different geographic and cultural backgrounds as increasingly timely and important.”
Global Cities' gift augments the Abundance Foundation’s ongoing support for OOEL.