Gabie Giers

Furman University

Gabie is a double-major in Sustainability Science and Politics and International Affairs at Furman University. She is an equity minded leader and innovator. Her commitment to coalition building and sustainable communities was evident as she collaborated with the staff of the Poe Mill Achievement Center to secure a highly competitive Projects for Peace (PfP) Grant. PfP allows undergraduates to design, oversee, and implement innovations that encourage peacemaking and community-building to address the root causes of conflict. Gabie’s project focused on a former mill community just outside the city of Greenville. Gabie collaboratively developed an arts curriculum that focused on restorative justice. Activities involved guest artists and speakers, staff development, and conflict resolution and empathy building practices for students. The participatory curriculum provided a rich opportunity for communication and dialog--despite challenges posed by the pandemic. Gabie is committed to addressing the root issues of inequity and ensuring that solutions are community-led and community-initiated. She exemplifies curiosity, engagement, leadership, and a dedication to community.

Elizabeth Davis
Furman University

Personal Statement

Having worked closely with under-resourced communities, I know that projects must be rooted in community values, needs, and assets--not in those that I personally impose. I believe that to bring positive and effective change, leaders should work to uplift and prioritize the goals and desires that a community drives and embraces. Part of my civic engagement includes volunteering and interning with the Happy Hearts Center in the New Washington Heights neighborhood and receiving and developing a grant project through Projects for Peace at the Poe Mill Achievement Center, in which I collaborated with various organizations and stakeholders and worked to honor community voices. Additionally, I believe facilitating constructive dialogue around uncomfortable topics is vital to innovative development, as having tough conversations that challenge certain beliefs is how new perspectives and understandings are developed, ultimately creating impactful change. My education and various opportunities through Furman have exposed me to realities that greatly differ from my own and I have walked away from these experiences with a more inclusive perspective and greater understanding of social issues, as well as an increased openness to continue challenging and developing any beliefs and values I may hold.

Gabie Giers
Sustainability Science and Politics and International Affairs: Class of 05/2023
written 2022

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