PJI Academy

"We Teach Who We Are" - Parker J. Palmer

PJI Academy for Teachers Tshirt

The Peace and Justice Institute offers this unique and powerful experience to teachers administrators, staff, counselors and SAFE coordinators working in Pre-K through higher education with the goal of creating more inclusive, respectful, compassionate and loving classrooms and citizens. The teacher academy model is based upon ten years of collaboration with leading scholars in the field of peace studies including Dr. Peggy McIntosh, Dr. Beverly Tatum, Dr. George Lopez, Dr. Michael Nagler, Elaine Sullivan, Emily Style, and Dr. Alma Abdul-Hadi Jadallah. The academy pairs their insights and practices with local PJI experts to create peaceable and inclusive classrooms for all students.

Contact Information

PJI Academy Coordinator:
Lauri Lott
Phone: 407-582-2905
Email: LLott1@valenciacollege.edu

PJI Academy Email: PJIacademy@valenciacollege.edu



Academy Format

1.     Participate in summer week-long Workshop

2.     Become a PJI Academy Alumni

3.     Implement PJI Practices

4.     Teach-the-Teacher through professional development

5.     Alumni Development


Summer Week-Long Workshop

Beginning in the summer we offer a week-long program, where participants are introduced to a set of pedagogical tools and theoretical frameworks that help create a peaceable and inclusive classroom, which is one of our PJI most important, all-encompassing, Principles: Create a Hospitable and Accountable Community. Participants explore their own identity, hidden bias, and life experiences to discover the impact these have on the selection and delivery of curriculum and teacher/student relationships. Through selected readings, written reflections, experiential activities, and dialogue, participants identify ways to expand inclusion and create a safe space for learning. Each participant is provided with an instructional binder including all reading materials and activities, some of our favorite books supporting our PJI Academy topics, a large poster of The Principles for How We Treat Each Other, and a highly coveted PJI Academy t-shirt.

2020 Summer Workshop Dates

Valencia College Winter Park Campus 
850 West Morse Blvd.
Winter Park, FL 32789

Registration fee includes facilitation, books, supplies, snacks and lunch daily. Hotel and transportation costs not included. Hotel and transportation information provided upon request.




$1000/person; teams of 3

$1200/person; individual



$1000/person; teams of 3

$1200/person; individual


After 3/1/20

$1200/person; teams of 3

$1400/person; individual


Summer Workshop Key Topics

Happy Person

We Teach Who We Are

  • PJI Principles for How We Treat Each Other, Our Practice of Respect and Community Building
  • Scholarship of the Self
  • Multicultural Selves
  • Using Windows and Mirrors
  • Mindfulness
  • Peaceful Communication Skills

Transformational Practices

  • Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)
  • Restorative Practices

Missing Histories

  • Exploring the “Isms” through Personal Story
  • Culturally responsive teaching

Invisible Knapsack

  • Systems of Privilege and Oppression
    Cycle of Racism
     Creating a Safe Space for Dialogue
     Hidden Bias
    Stereotyping and Microagressions 
    Ally Work

Conflict Transformation

  • Emotional Intelligence
  • Positive Interdependence
  • Relationship Development


Become a PJI Academy Alumni

After completing the week-long summer Academy, you will become an official PJI Academy Alumni and join many other education professionals who are working to create inclusive classrooms. You will find lots of support and connection with our facilitators and past participants in the hopes you will collaborate and share. Each Alumni will be invited to join our private Facebook group where we share articles, best practices and stories of our successes.


Implement PJI Practices

Alumni are expected to return to their institutions and implement some of the PJI practices they learned. This could be done in the classroom, the school or even in the district or community.



Alumni are expected to host professional development sessions teaching others at their institutions and/or community about the PJI Practices.


Alumni Development

Alumni are invited to attend professional development days throughout the fall and spring along with a special Alumni Retreat.

PJI Academy Alumni Development Days:

  • 10/12/19 Conversation on Race
  • 11/9/19 Alumni 1-Day Retreat: Heart of a Teacher
  • 3/27/20 & 3/28/20 Alumni 2-Day Retreat: Gifts of Imperfection


Recommendations for Building Capacity

  • Team Participation: send three teams of at least three participants for three different summer workshops.
  • Teach-the-Teacher: Allow alumni to host at least three professional development opportunities for their colleagues to learn about the PJI topics.

Excited Person Talking

Speaker with Raised HandPJI Alumni Impact

"From the beginning of the 2018-2019 school year I envisioned a trauma informed care community at my school. My approach has been and will continue to be trauma informed care first. Implementing a positive peer culture environment allows for a more peaceful and caring community all across the board."

Maritza Figueroa, MSW

Liberty High School

School District of Osceola County

"After I finished the PJI Academy, I received an envelope that has a certificate, a group picture, and a magazine. I took the picture out the next morning. I smiled as I was looking at the 30 faces including myself. I remembered each name, I can hear their laughter in my head, I remembered their stories, and the tears they shed during serial testimonies. I remembered the “goodbye” moments, the little tears that well in the eyes, and the genuine words and hugs. That scene was a great testimony about the importance of the 13 principles that I learned about during this week, and how they positively transformed a group of diverse people in a short time."

Fadia Ahmed Hussein

Avalon Park Middle School

Orange County Public Schools

"Summer’s the time when teachers get to imagine.  During the school year, teaching ideas pop up but are quickly overwhelmed by the moment.  In the summer, we can finally get down to some serious daydreaming about how to make things happen.  PJI’s provocative discussions have helped me furnish these imaginary rooms.  I’ll return to school with a new mindfulness and a sense of urgency about the work this moment in history requires."

Chris Sprouse

Lake Highland Preparatory School

Orlando, FL

"Honestly to me this has been an educational retreat (mental, spiritual and emotional cleaning). Since day one I'm learning and reflecting in how I as a teacher could be better every day. I can reflect and recognize that I'm doing some things well, but I have a long way to improve." 
María Cubero, Ed.D.
Boone High School
Orlando, FL

"PJI has given my colleagues and me a great many valuable tools and resources that I am confident will change the culture within each classroom, the school, and the surrounding community. This will have a far reaching, long lasting, potentially lifesaving impact."   
Libby Boyette
Orange County Academy
Bithlo, FL

" I am excited to share the 13 Principles for How We Treat Each Other with my students. These principles can be used in school, at home, in their future career, and most importantly with future generations; hopefully breaking the cycle of trauma and abuse. If all schools in our nation adopted the use of these 13 principles, I can only imagine how many ways this would positively impact our society." 
Tonia Thompson
Princeton Elementary School
Orlando, FL

" In these five days, though, I feel I finally came to understand what the best version of myself could look like and I’ve been set on that path. It has been transformative. It is life changing." 
Brandy Eleazor
Park Maitland School
Maitland, FL

" Transformative. Inspiring. Exhausting. Challenging. Encouraging.  These are just a few of the words I would use to describe my week at the Peace and Justice Institute Academy for Teachers." 
Andrea DiBartolomeo
Orange County Academy
Bithlo, FL