The yearly educational trips are just one little part of all the OTI chapter activities. Chapters hold political discussions, teach-ins, lectures, movie screenings, food sales, community presentations, etc. to educate and enrich the campus and surrounding community to become more knowledge about the international conflicts we study. It provides a safe space for students of different perspectives to come together and constructively interact with one another. While the trip only includes a small group of hand picked student-leaders, the group and organization remains an active and important space on campus that allows the larger student body to engage with the conflict constructively.
The Olive Tree Initiative is and will remain non-partisan and a-political. The membership of the organization shall consist of those willing to challenge their biases and preconceptions in order to expand their point of view by gaining meaningful knowledge through experiential education. The membership tends to consist of those interested in a rigorous, academic study of conflicts in order to procure real change here and in the region. Membership is open to any and all members of the student body, regardless of race, gender, religion, political views, and sexual orientation. Diversity is encouraged.
The Olive Tree Initiative is an educational initiative that has a policy of not making any political comments, policy claims, statements, or directives. It is a student-directed initiative in such a manner that students of very differing biases get to express themselves and challenge others. We make every effort to address all student concerns and our trip itinerary is informed and developed by the students with the support of faculty and staff. We aim to communicate all narratives that make-up the current reality of the conflicts we study so that students can develop a complex knowledge-base and understanding of the nuances involved in solving them. As a purely educational initiative, OTI does not engage in advocacy or political activism, but we encourage our students to become active on their own or in the context of other organizations they maybe part of.
No – while our primary work is with students on various campuses, we also have a strong and growing community group. OTI community members meet on a regular basis for educational events, Women teas, film screenings, on-site visits (religious services, museums) and to plan the community trips. There have been two OTI community trips already in 2011 and 2010 and the next one is planned for Spring 2013. For more information on the OTI community activities please contact Susan Seely at email@example.com.
The Olive Tree Initiative is not a religious organization. The membership demographic of the group, however, is filled with students from all different religious backgrounds. The Olive Tree Initiative respects all religious practices, holidays, and customs of its participants and the countries to which we travel. All participants have the opportunity to observe their specific religious practices. The Olive Tree Initiative embraces the religious diversity of its participants and sees the learning about it as part of the cultural and educational experience OTI seeks to provide.