What is Project Pericles?What is Periclean Scholars?

2003 history
2004 History
2005 History
2006 history


pericleans in residence

trips to namibia
thank yous


Kevin Bales: Spring 2003
Bales is an expert on contemporary slavery whom works for the United Nations and is the author of Disposable People. He gave the students valuable insight about the injustices around the world and gave them advice on becoming good global citizens; his recommendations included (1) learn languages, (2) learn bureaucracy.

Dr. Philippe Talavera: October 2003
Dr. Talavera is originally from France, but moved to Namibia years ago to provide relief and facilitate the fight against HIV/AIDS in Namibia. He is the Director of the Red Ribbon Campaign and Head of the Ombetja Yehinga Organization, an NGO aimed at decreasing the impact of HIV/AIDS in Namibia.

Dr. Talavera works with the youth of Namibia to spread awareness about the disease and educate audiences about prevention methods. He provides a support network for the students, all of which have been affected by the disease in one way or another; and with the students he conducts fundraisers, directs educational productions, and plans events to display the productions. Dr. Talavera has directed and produced one documentary named The Hyena’s Disease, and a series of five short films with the students: the days are so long, can love cry?, I can’t imagine, Amanda, and It is me and you. These productions were developed with students of Namibia, makes use of songs and poems written by the students, and the message is intended to reach an adolescent audience. Dr. Talavera also wrote a book that parallels the information in the documentary The Hyena’s Disease , publishes a bi-monthly newsletter, Ombetja Yehinga, Namibia, with student’s publications about the issues surrounding HIV/AIDS, and has published the book Challenging the Namibian perception of sexuality, a case study of the Ovahimba and Ovaherero culturo-sexual models in Kunene North in an HIV/AIDS context . This book is based on his findings from his field esearch and intensive work with the Namibian youth.

During his time in North Carolina, Dr. Talavera made three public talks to Elon University addressing the issues of gender and HIV/AIDS, the role of global citizens in the fight against HIV/AIDS, and a comprehensive discussion addressing the Elon community at large. He visited the Periclean Scholars Class of 2006 and was instrumental in advancing and critiquing the mini documentaries being produced at the time of his visit. He made radio appearances; visited GST 110 classes, and spoke with a number of administrators about his work and the work of the Periclean Scholars. Elon University was honored to host his presence and he made a critical impact at the start of the Periclean Scholars’ work. 

Anita Isaacs: Fall 2004
Anita Isaacs was the Periclean Scholar's third Periclean-in-Resident, she is the regional director of Lironga Eparu, an organization that helps people "live positively" with their HIV status. Throughout her stay, Anita met with and educated the Periclean Scholars as a group, as well as on an individual basis. She had several campus-wide events in which she was a catalyst for conversation and education among Elon University students. Anita had several radio interviews and public speeches on campus, in an attempt to educate and raise awareness among the Elon community. Finally, interviews and filming were conducted with Anita to prepare for a final documentary all about Anita and her story.

She was the main character featured in You Wake Me Up, the third of a four part documentary series created by the Periclean Scholars Class of 2006.

Anita's presence changed lives of the members of Elon's campus and surrounding community, while experiencing changes to her own life. She took her message and shared her story outside of her country, and beyond her continent.  She developed the Periclean Scholars' understanding of AIDS in Namibia by providing first hand information from a woman who fights AIDS in Namibia on a daily basis. Anita's message affected the Periclean Scholars' projects and the education shared with others throughout the world and within the United States. 

Lucy Steinitz: Fall 2005
Lucy is the co-founder of Catholic AIDS Action and is now the Senior Technical Officer for Faith Based Programs. For the previous eight years she had been living and working in Namibia trying to address the AIDS pandemic. In her time at Elon, she taught 21 classes in 12 days, which included both lectures and short in-class role-plays about social action and aspects of modern African life. She reached out to a number of Elon students as well as students at Alamance Community College and the Synagogue Religious School in Greensboro, NC. Initially, she found many Americans were judgemental of Africans who don't protect themselves from getting AIDS; but saw many mindsets turn around when they explored what they would do if they could only choose between two terrible outcomes - that is, if the only way to get food for themselves and their families was to steal or prostitute themselves. She also related African's risky behavior to smoking, binge drinking, and driving too fast; and the American students soon began to realize that they were not so different from these young Africans, and that they too engage in dangerous behavior that could put themselves or their loved ones in danger. She was able to give students a broader view of the AIDS pandemic, which becomes a metaphor in many ways: for other issues related to poverty, politics, and gender-inequalities in the modern world.