Supported by the Center for Citizen Peacebuilding, in March 2007, a diverse group of students from Jewish, Muslim, Christian, Druze and non-religious backgrounds with different perspectives on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict founded the Olive Tree Initiative (OTI). Their mission: Learn fact-based knowledge of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict gained through hands-on experiential learning. Since their first visit to the region in 2008, students and faculty have made yearly trips to engage with local people, academics, politicians, religious authorities, community leaders and others who live in and study the conflicted region. When they return, students share their experiences and insights at forums both on and off campus in synagogues, mosques, churches, community centers, and retirement homes. OTI became an independent program in 2011. It branched throughout the UC system, resulting in active OTI groups at UC Santa Barbara, UC Santa Cruz, UCLA and Berkeley. Over the years, more than 700 students have participated in the program. OTI's efforts to promote peaceful dialogue have been lauded both on the campus and in the wider community. While the Olive Tree Initiative was a program within our Center, two publications were released. See - olivetreeinitiative.uci.edu for information about current programming.



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