The Olive Tree Initiative at UCLA holds open meetings!
OTI aims for an experiential education that will allow students an understanding of the conflict and its narratives.
On our annual diplomatic missions to the Middle East, students actively engage politicians and experts on many sides of the conflict. In addition, students hear and discuss the perspectives of various non-governmental organizations (NGOs), religious leaders, community members and victims of the conflict, in order to acquire a more comprehensive view of the often difficult reality experienced by people living in the region.
OTI has become a known, respected, and award-winning organization.
OTI was recognized as one of the “Top Ten Diplomacy Programs in Higher Education” by the U.S. Department of State in 2010.
It was also awarded the University of California President’s Award for Outstanding Leadership, among other forms of recognition within the UC system.
Furthermore, many OTI alumni have moved forward in related academic pursuits, winning scholarships to PhD programs in international relations and/or conflict resolution at top universities such as Yale, Oxford, Columbia, Cambridge, the London School of Economics, and Georgetown. OTI has seen alumni who advance in career paths to UN offices, foreign policy teams in the U.S. Department of State, and various government institutions around the world.
OTI responds to Tension on campus by presenting a more constructive approach to discussing the conflict.
Like many universities in the world, tensions between pro-Israeli and pro-Palestinian groups on campus can arise at UCLA, often featuring antagonistic, one-way rhetoric. In order to create a civil environment that respects varying and often opposing views, students from diverse backgrounds and perspectives on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict established a UCLA chapter of the Olive Tree Initiative in 2010, based on the model created in 2007 at the University of California, Irvine. OTI is both a forum for civil discussion, as well as an organization to provide direct education about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through strong academic engagement and rigorous experiential learning.
At UCLA, OTI is affiliated with Office of Student Affairs.
Its billing as an apolitical, academic organization allows all students and community members to get involved in the holistic study of the conflict and prospects for peace. The renowned initiative is expanding to begin their unique study on other areas of conflict as well, so do not hesitate to get involved as we grow!