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Deivid Rojas '11 Named DMI Scholar for Taller de Paz Work

Devid Rojas '11 Named
DMI Scholar for Taller de Paz Work

by William Hopkins '11

Jose-Luis Machado and students in Crum Woods
From left, Taller de Paz co-founders Alex Frye '11, Deivid Rojas '11, Andrés Freire '11, and (front row center) Camila Leiva '09, with program facilitators from La Universidad Javeriana: Katherin Lopez, Angelica Barrera, Camila Diazgranados, Diana Diazgranados, and Sandra Bermudez.

The Drum Major Institute for Public Policy has selected Deivid Rojas '11 of Miami, Florida for the DMI Scholars class of 2010 for his work with Taller de Paz (Workshop for Peace) and his commitment to progressive work in his community. Originally from Bogotá, Colombia, Rojas is a history major and Latin American studies minor and has served the Swarthmore campus in a variety of roles, including vice president of Student Council, Enlace president and secretary, and as a diversity workshop coordinator.

Rojas cofounded Taller de Paz at Swarthmore in 2009 with Camila Leiva '09, Alex Frye '11, and Andrés Freire '11 in conjunction with partners at the Conciencia Social at La Universidad Javeriana at Bogota, Colombia. The group provides educational workshops to internally displaced youth in Colombia, preparing them to advocate for themselves and serve as community activists. Rojas and the other Swarthmore students travelled to Suba, a neighborhood in Bogotá, to run the initiative for the first time in summer 2009. After the program's initial success it was selected for a Davis Program for Peace grant, which will enable them to return to Bogotá later this year.

As a DMI Scholar, Rojas will work with other young activists to learn about public policy and how to enact progressive social change. The Drum Major Insititute is a nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank based in New York City that focuses on empowering the next generation of policy makers from underrepresented communities. The DMI Scholars program trains undergraduates to continue progressive dialogues on a local, state, national, and international level.

"I'm really excited and honored to be chosen as a DMI Scholar, especially after such an intense and competitive selection process," Rojas says. "I have faith the program will open the public policy doors for me to use it as a tool to change and improve the lives of others."