The Elliott Simmons Student Leadership Programme 2021

Two speech bubbles with the SNS logo and The Elliott Simmons Student Leadership Programme written inside them.

Applications are open!

This year's Elliott Simmons Student Leadership Programme will be running from the 23rd - 27th August 2021. 

Apply now 

The Solutions Not Sides Elliott Simmons Student Leadership Programme is a five-day programme for 20 students who want deeper learning on the Israel-Palestine conflict, receive training in conflict resolution and affect positive change within their societies or communities. The course is designed to help enable interfaith dialogue on this issue – particularly between Muslims, Christians and Jews. However, anyone is welcome to apply, regardless of background, political beliefs, or prior knowledge or experience. After completion of the programme, participants will be mentored and have access to seed funding to run an activity or project on campus.

During the programme, we will also explore tensions on UK campuses related to Israel-Palestine, how to resolve and de-escalate conflict and how to foster good relations between people. 

The programme will feature a number of speakers and trainers who are experts in their field and will be facilitated by experienced SNS staff who have delivered many similar youth programmes in the past. This year's programme has been designed with input from previous alumni of this programme and young people who attended our Bridge Builder's Programme in 2021. 

Read on for more information about the programme and for feedback from previous SLP participants.

If you have any further questions, please contact Poppy on poppy@solutionsnotsides.co.uk

FAQs
  1. When is it? - 23rd - 27th August 2021
  2. Where is it? - Cambridge  *Whilst we are hoping that we will be able to host all participants for a residential programme, as we have done in previous years, we are unable to confirm this until closer to the date.*
  3. Who is it for? - 20 participants, students currently enrolled in studies between Year 13 and their second year of university, or on a gap year. While the programme is partly designed to help enable interfaith dialogue on the issue of Israel-Palestine particularly between Muslims, Christians and Jews, anyone is welcome to apply, regardless of background, political beliefs, or prior knowledge or experience.
  4. Goal - To provide a safe space for those who want to learn much more about Israel-Palestine, receive training in conflict resolution and affect positive change within their societies or communities.
  5. What happens during the programme? – The online programme is full of talks, workshops, discussions, skills labs, and lectures and more! The focus will be on understanding social cohesion, interfaith and bridge building. All participants attend all of the sessions and there is always plenty of time to give your own opinions, ask questions, and hold your own discussions each week.
  6. What kind of topics does the programme cover?
    • Historical narratives and religion in Israel-Palestine

    • Antisemitism and Islamophobia

    • Student activism 

    • More details to be announced soon!

  7. What does SNS promote? - You can see our guiding ethos laid out in our programme principles. When it comes to the conflict in Israel-Palestine, we believe in centering Israeli & Palestinian voices, and that any solution must include an end to both the occupation and the conflict, and a win-win outcome. As an educational programme, our focus is on teaching the skill of empathy, providing humanising encounters that break down barriers and challenge prejudice, and teaching about embracing complexity and the value of critical thinking
  8. How much is it? –  The cost of a place on the programme is £450 however, we are able to offer subsidised and free places for students meeting certain requirements. 
  9. What happens afterwards? - After the programme you will become part of the SNS Student Network. This means that you will receive one-on-one mentoring and support from us for any activities you want to do in your schools/communities/campuses, including access to micro-grant funding. You will also have connections with dozens of Israeli and Palestinian peace activists and hundreds of SLP alumni, are invited to speak at our events, can be part of our blogging programme, volunteer & intern with SNS as well as coming to our school sessions, are invited to reunions, events, and other activities.
  10. What have other participants gone on to do? - Over 160 students have now completed this programme. Students have gone onto set up their own pro-solution university societies, set up charities, visit Israel - Palestine, work for NGOS, work for the Foreign Office, do intern and even become employed at SNS, become teachers, campaign in parliament, do Masters or PHD degrees, volunteer for SNS in schools & at events, write blog posts, create art pieces reflecting their experiences, and many other brilliant things.
  11. When is the deadline? We are accepting last minute applications.
  12. How do I apply? - by completing & submitting this form.
  13. Do you run other programmes? - Yes, in February 2021 we piloted the Bridge Builders Programme with 24 participants ages 16-19. This programme was completely online over a month of workshops and ongoing mentoring for participants in incubator hubs to develop a community awareness project. Watch this space for information about the next Bridge Builders Programme if you would like to join on online opportunity instead.
Some feedback from previous years:

"It has consolidated a lot of previous knowledge on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and on-ground reality. I learned much more in regards to history, politics, economics and religion in the region"

"I've become more open to learning about other perspectives"

"[The programme has] made me more passionate and determined to engage in dialogue"

"It was an indescribably fantastic week"

“I have learned so much in such a unique way. Not just about the conflict but about on cultures and religions.”

“I think my understanding has deepened far more than I expected it to, I feel like there was copious amounts of background to the conflict which I never really appreciated.”

"The programme was honestly perfect"

“Definitely deepened my understanding both emotionally and historically”

"I knew enough about the conflict beforehand to make an educated assessment of the conflict, but engaging with others really challenged and deepened my understanding.”