FAQs

Questions:

Why are you named “Euphrates?”
What is Euphrates?
Why do you use Einstein’s “levels of thinking” quote?
What are Euphrates’ programs?
What is the Euphrates Warriors for Peace® program?
How can I apply to be a Warrior for Peace®?
What is the Euphrates Visionary of the Year Award?
What is the Euphrates Fellows Program?
How do I donate to Euphrates?
Is my donation tax-deductible?
What is Euphrates’ Tax-ID number?
Where is Euphrates located?
What is the Euphrates connection to Principia?
Does Euphrates partner with other organizations?
What is meant by the Euphrates motto: “prepare for peace?”
What is Euphrates’ vision?
What is citizen diplomacy?
How did Euphrates get started?
When was Euphrates founded?
How can I contact Euphrates?
How can I apply for a job or volunteer position at Euphrates?

Why are you named “Euphrates?”

I had just spent a week as the only female civilian with the Marines just outside Fallujah, Iraq, during a major battle. A week later, I was standing along the Euphrates river a few miles downstream, marveling at the contrast between the peaceful calm and beauty of its gentle flow with the horrors of war I’d just experienced. When I realized that this same river flowed right through downtown Fallujah, undeterred and unchallenged by the death and destruction surrounding it, it seemed a metaphor for the power of life over death, and even good over evil. The Euphrates has been a powerful symbol throughout all time—presumed to flow from the Garden of Eden, it was later the ancient boundary between West and East. Today, it is a purveyor of life in a parched desert, a harbinger of hope and peace in a time of conflict, and, instead of a boundary between West and East, perhaps a bridge. – Euphrates founder Janessa Gans Wilder

What is Euphrates?

Euphrates Institute seeks a collective shift among 20 percent of Americans to align their foreign policy attitudes and actions with their personal–starting where it needs it the most–the Middle East. As Einstein said and as liberals, conservatives and moderates can agree, “problems cannot be solved at the same level of thinking that created them.”

Euphrates is the catalyst to solving our East-West problems at a different level from which they were created, beginning with individuals and communities and progressing to a society and nation that is ripe for change. Euphrates is a 501(c)(3), not-for-profit, educational organization based at Principia College, a globally-minded liberal arts college in Illinois.

Why do you use Einstein’s “levels of thinking” quote?

As Einstein said and as liberals, conservatives and moderates can agree, “problems cannot be solved at the same level of thinking at which we created them.” As a grassroots organization Euphrates will be the catalyst to solving to our East-West problems at a different level from which they were created—beginning with individuals and communities and progressing to a society and nation that is ripe for change.

What are Euphrates’ programs?

Fellows Program. Euphrates hosts on-campus, action-oriented groups of undergraduate Fellows seeking to learn more about the Middle East and explore international relations from the basis of the Golden Rule.
Euphrates Fellows are college students selected to work with Euphrates because they wish to delve deeply into Middle East issues. They follow our three basic principles: inform, inspire, and transform, to view these issues in a new light and positively impact their communities. The Euphrates Fellows program is open to undergraduate and graduate students from any college or university in the U.S. and is dedicated to:

  1. Expanding our awareness of the cultural and political dimensions of the Middle East.
  2. Cultivating relations based on mutual respect and our common humanity.

Travel Study. Euphrates and the Center for Ecological Living and Learning (CELL) lead annual trips to the Middle East with a peace and sustainability focus for undergraduate and graduate students. We also partner with the Educare UnLearning Institute to lead non-student trips to the region focused on transformation and the crossover between personal and global change.

Media. Euphrates uses the power of audio-visual to bring attention to Middle East issues through print, online, and social networking. In Baghdad in 2009, Euphrates filmed and produced a trailer about grassroots change in Iraq, and is currently producing short videos on the Middle East abroad program. In the vein of TED talks, we also publish our speakers’ talks from the Euphrates Summit on our website. In addition to sharing original photos from the region, we film and post video blogs from our student Fellows.

Action — Warriors for Peace®. Euphrates believes that transformation in our relations with the Middle East requires more than just government effort; it will take citizen action and involvement. Our community of Warriors for Peace®—the next generation of leaders of peace and sustainability—spearheads our action platform.

What is the Warriors for Peace® program?

Euphrates’ signature program, launched June 2011, is based on the premise that transformation in our relations with the Middle East requires more than just government effort; it will take citizen action and involvement. Warriors for Peace® is built on a community of young thought leaders who are focused on peace and sustainability. By coming together as a force for good, these individuals will help usher in the end of the “clash of civilizations” between the West and the Middle East.

How can I apply to the Warriors for Peace® program?

Visit our Warriors for PeaceⓇ page for more information, and fill out the application by the stated deadline.

What is the Euphrates Visionary of the Year Award?

Visit our Visionary of the Year page for more information about our recent Visionary of the Year awards, videos, and upcoming events.

What is the Euphrates Fellows Program?

Our Euphrates Fellows program is open to undergraduate and graduate students interested in delving deeply into Middle East issues from a bridge-building and solution-oriented approach. We expect Euphrates Fellows to be self-motivated individuals desiring to gain professional work experience and to develop a wide variety of skills; research, writing, outreach, and event planning, in contribution to Euphrates’ stated vision.

Euphrates exposes Fellows to the depth and complexity of issues in the Middle East, and provides direct access to its network of peace-builders and visionaries in Middle East and international security affairs. Fellows choose projects and research topics that analyze the intricacies and obstacles to peace, while at the same time they take on pioneering work to research existing models of peace in the hopes of applying them to forge lasting solutions. Fellows also discover how the principles behind bridge-building and on tolerance for, and communication with, ‘the Other’ are key to finding peace and reconciliation abroad and at home.

How do I donate to Euphrates?

Tax-deductible donations from individuals are critical to continuing our efforts to build a movement. Contributions can be made here on our website by credit card or Paypal. We also accept checks by mail.

To donate online, just click here and follow the instructions. You will need a credit card handy, and please remember to fill in your email address so we can acknowledge your contribution!

You can mail a check, made out to The Euphrates Institute, to the following address:

Euphrates Institute

1 Maybeck Pl.

Elsah, IL 62028

See our donate page for additional details.

Is my donation tax-deductible?

Yes, your donation is entirely tax-deductible. Euphrates is a 501(c)(3), not for profit organization.

What is Euphrates’ Tax-ID number?

The Euphrates Institute’s IRS federal tax identification number (Employer Identification Number) is 20-4391143.

Where is Euphrates located?

The Euphrates’ offices are located at Principia College, a small liberal arts college in southern Illinois, about 40 miles outside of St. Louis, Missouri.

What is the Euphrates connection to Principia?

Euphrates’ founder, Janessa Gans Wilder, has a long-standing connection to Principia as her undergraduate alma mater. Wilder returned to Principia as a visiting professor of Political Science from 2006-2008, and maintains a current teaching role there as ancillary faculty. Beyond this, there is an alignment of values between Euphrates and Principia. Principia’s educational mission takes a healing-oriented and globally-minded approach, with a focus on character education and a student body comprising nearly 20 percent international students. These values dovetail with Euphrates’ focus on the most intractable challenges of our time and our emphasis on cultivating more peaceful relations, from the inside out, beginning with ourselves and in our communities.

Does Euphrates partner with other organizations?

Yes, we are always interested in forging partnerships with like-minded organizations. Please contact us if you’d be interested in collaborating in any way.

We are currently partnering with several organizations:

• Principia College – home to the Euphrates Institute offices and our student Euphrates Fellows program.

CELL – The Center for Ecological Living and Learning. Euphrates and CELL are leading their first abroad together, January – March 2011, on the theme of “Peace and Sustainability.”

ELI – Educare Learning Institute. Euphrates and ELI are leading a non-student program to the Middle East, focused on discovering the connections between inner and outer peace.

What is meant by the Euphrates motto: “prepare for peace?”

In the dictionary, to prepare means to make ready, and to put into the proper state of mind. Euphrates believes that each of us should be this actively ready to see and experience peace. Peace isn’t something we passively wait around for, or expect our government to hand-deliver. As individuals, we can all start readying ourselves by seeking information, by engaging with ‘the Other,’ and by digging deeper into issues of consequence to our world and to ourselves.

What is Euphrates’ vision?

Euphrates’ vision is to bolster the globe’s sense of peace and security in the wake of 9/11, as we discover what unites us. Our vision is that we do this through the power of citizen diplomacy, awareness, and advocacy, and that we end the ‘clash of civilizations’ in our lifetime.

What is “citizen diplomacy”?

To Euphrates, citizen diplomacy is the idea that the challenges in the world today and in our foreign relations require more than government effort: these challenges require the direct engagement and involvement of the citizens themselves.

We also like the definition put forward by the U.S. Center for Citizen Diplomacy, that it “is the concept that the individual has the right, even the responsibility, to help shape U.S. foreign relations ‘one handshake at a time.’ Citizen diplomats can be students, teachers, athletes, artists, business people, humanitarians, adventurers or tourists. They are motivated by a responsibility to engage with the rest of the world in a meaningful, mutually beneficial dialogue.”

How did Euphrates get started?

You’ll find a complete answer on Our Story page.

When was Euphrates founded?

The Euphrates Institute was founded and officially incorporated in February, 2006 by Janessa Gans (Wilder).

How can I contact Euphrates?

In addition to contacting our staff directly,

Please direct general inquiries to: info@euphratesinstitute.org.

For all media inquiries: media@euphratesinitute.org.

Phone: 202-503-4634

Mailing Address:

Euphrates Institute

1 Maybeck Place

Elsah, IL 62028

How can I apply for a job or volunteer position at Euphrates?

Currently, there are no open positions at Euphrates. However, volunteer positions are often available, as are internships. Please contact info@euphratesinstitute.org to ask for more information and/or to express your interest and skills.

faq