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Walls to Bridges - Testimonials

Walls to Bridges - Testimonials

“It [the Walls to Bridges Program] states a very good answer to the problems students have getting along with each other.”
-9th Grade Student, St. Paul Central High School


“The program Walls to Bridges was very successful with my students. I really enjoyed seeing them in groups discussing their feelings. Many of our students do not speak to each other unless they are friends, and this program compelled them to come out of their shells, and share their ideas with students they did not know.”
-Ms. S. Lahbil, Social Studies Teacher, Nellie Stone Johnson Community School


“Through a thoughtful series of question centering on his mandala style poster, students are motivated to build their own framework of understanding a multitude of concepts centering on just how similar diverse cultures are when you look at their fundamental beliefs about how people should treat each other. Few investigations are more important in these…times. Walls to Bridges is not only a program to support and continue, but an idea to expand for the good of us all.”
- Mr. J. Scoggin, Teacher, Marcy Open School


“[The program] provides students with an opportunity to actually do something.”
- Mr. J. Damm, Social Studies Teacher, Patrick Henry High School


“I highly recommend your program and presentation to any school or organization involved in educating young adults and children about the value of building positive relationships.”
- Mrs. B. Corbin, Health Education Instructor, Minneapolis North High School


“…respect, tolerance, compassion and honor. These are fundamental to the content and skills developed in Walls to Bridges
-Mr. B. Mittlefehldt, Social Studies & Psychology Teacher, Anoka High School; 2002 Annenberg Foundation Award Winner.

“It kind of widens who we include, when we talk about 'We' .   How inclusive is our concept of 'We'?” 
David Sylvestre, Visual Communications Teacher, Minneapolis North High School

“Should be taught to young kids, but also should be taught to all people. It’s a universal message, and it’s about the humanity of all of us.”
Jeff Damm, Social Studies Teacher, Minneapolis Henry High
School

“You don’t know when you’re words are going to hurt somebody, so it makes you want to think twice about what you say.”
Marion Charles, Student, Minneapolis Henry High
School

“Don’t look at people and react to what they look like, or their color of their skin, just be peaceful.”
Betsy Orke, Student, Minneapolis South High
School

“It just helps people [learn] how it is very important to understand each other and how the differences can just help everybody.”
Jennifer Brown, Student, Minneapolis South High
School

“No matter what your background is, you always have a common human thread with somebody else and you should always respect that.”
Ella Chrenka, Student, Minneapolis South High
School

“I think the work that Dwayne is doing for us has been tremendous in the Minneapolis Public Schools.  We really value his work and we are looking forward to more opportunities to provide our students with this type of knowledge training and understanding.”
Craig Vana, Assistant Superintendent, Minneapolis Public Schools

“I wish we had funding to have [the Walls to Bridges Program] here full time.”
Mike Favor, Principal,
Minneapolis North High School

“It was all about tolerance, differences, understanding those differences and using the differences to unite people.”
Paul Czarnezki, Teacher, Minneapolis Henry High School

“You need to be reminded and you need to remember how you act towards others and exercise tolerance.”
Margaret Fuucault, Student, Minneapolis South High


“The whole metaphor, I thought, was just brilliant, that we can take down our mental walls and build bridges so we can go to another person and not think about what religion they are and not be racist against them.”
Mike Swammi, Student, Minneapolis Henry High
School

“Young women commented on the fun they had in the experiences that the walls to bridges program provided them.  This program is something that they will carry with them for the rest of their lives.”
Dr. Linda Huntzicker, Minneapolis Olson Middle School

“I would strongly recommend Mr. Lilja to share his Walls to Bridges concepts with any group of students.”
Jerry Pedersen, Administrative TOSA, Patrick Henry High
School

“I wanted to take the time to thank you personally for all of your hard work on the Human Rights education model.  We really appreciate all that Walls to Bridges is doing in the field of Human Rights.”
Kristi Rudelius-Palmer, Co-Director Human Rights Center, U of M

“Your organization’s mission, to create relationships between individuals and groups by knocking down walls and building bridges was put into effect with great success thanks to the willingness of the bright young students of Harbin, China, and your superb organizational efforts.  It would be my honor to be included in any future exchange visits.”
Mary Kiffmeyer, Minnesota Secretary of State

“Like many of the peace seminars you have held for my students, the one you held for our Chinese visitors was a huge success.  They were really touched by your stories, and never in their lives had they been more aware of the significance of treating fellow human beings with dignity in spite of their cultural, religious, and philosophical differences.  This is a valuable lesson that they will never forget.”
Dingman Yu, Teacher Minneapolis South High
School

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