In the News

The Peace and Justice Institute is often recognized by the community in a variety of media mentions. PJI media mentions include a collection of articles, videos, and more.




January 2021

The Peace and Justice Institute's partnership in training on bias, diversity, and inclusion is mentioned in this recent column, "Racial bias in foster care must be addressed," by the Orlando Sentinel. 



November 2020

Peace and Justice Institute Director, Rachel Allen was quoted in the recent Smithsonian Magazine article, "The Little-Known Story of America's Deadliest Election Day Massacre."

The PJI Principles for How We Treat Each Other were cited in a recent blog post "How Will We Treat Each Other Now?" all the way from Spokane, Washington! 

October 2020

Peace and Justice Institute Director, Rachel Allen was interviewed by Tammie Fields of Spectrum News 13 on the topic of ending systemic racism in the United States.

Peace and Justice Institute Director, Rachel Allen is quoted in the article Official narrative of the terror for decades was obscured or excused by a whitewashing of the facts by the Orlando Sentinel's Stephen Hudak. This special report is about the story of the Ocooee Massacre finally being told 100 years after it happened. 

The Peace and Justice Institute and the College Park Neighborhood Association received a shout out for delivering powerful community workshops in the Community Paper's October Publisher's Desk article: A Season of Thanksgiving like none other.

September 2020

The Peace and Justice Institute's Rachel Allen, was interviewed by Cox Media Group's Public Affairs Producer, Beth Perrell about PJI's vision and the work currently happening at Valencia and beyond. 

June 2020

The Peace and Justice Institute's Rachel Allen, Hank Van Putten and Rudy Darden are all guests on the "Moving Justice Forward" episode of Vanessa Echols’ Colorblind Podcast.

May 2020

PJI Director Rachel Allen wrote an article that was published in The Grove titled "A Lesson in Resilience" chronicling the story of hosting the 2020 Creating a Resilient Community: From Trauma to Healing conference in the wake of the COVID-19 health crisis. 

April 2020

Dr. Heather Bryson is a guest on the  “S.I.S: Sister In Solidarity (Being a Racial Ally)" episode of Jennifer Tomlinson’s Black Woman Be Well Podcast.

February 2020

Valencia Professor and PJI Facilitator Rudy Darden is a guest on the “Sis, you need a gender ally!” episode of Jennifer Tomlinson’s Black Woman Be Well Podcast.

January 2020

Guest Columnists Rachel Allen and Dr. Judi Addelston co-wrote an article that was published in the Orlando Sentinel in January, 2020 titled "Ending Cycle of Violence Starts with Making Children Priority." The article focuses on the Adverse Childhood Experience Study (ACE Study) and how that informs how we should be working with individuals who have suffered from trauma and what we can do to build a more resilient Central Florida. Rachel C. Allen is the director of the Peace and Justice Institute at Valencia College and Dr. Judi Addelston is a professor of psychology at Valencia College.


September 2019

PJI and Oasis Church of Winter Garden have partnered to provide a workshop dialogue series titled "RISE: Conversations on Race and Unity" to give the community a place and the tools to talk about these important topics. This was highlighted in an article by the West Orange Times & Observer on September 5, 2019.

June 2019

On June 21, 2019, PJI partnered with the Equal Justice Initiative to unveil a historical marker memorializing July Perry during a ceremony at the Orange Regional History Center in Orlando, Florida. July Perry was lynched 99 years ago for wanting to vote and was one of many casualties during the tragic Ocoee massacre of 1920.

April 2019

On April 3, 2019 PJI co-hosted a very successful conferences on Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) called "Creating a Resilient Community: From Trauma to Healing." From this conference, the blog ACEs Connection Central Florida was launched. Join us there!

January 2019

PJI is featured in David J. Smith’s Book Peacebuilding as a Means to Global Citizenry as an example to illustrate approaches that can be used by community colleges to promote both global knowledge and global engagement—often taking the form of education abroad—using peacebuilding means.


December 2018

PJI is featured in this Community College Daily article about the rise of peace education in community colleges.   

October 2018

Orlando Police Chief Orlando Rolon included a mention of Orlando Speaks, a series of workshops facilitated by the Peace and Justice Institute to bring together law enforcement officers and the community. 

September 2018

Coverage of PJI's Director, Rachel Allen's participation in the United Nations Panel on a culture of peace.

PJI Director, Rachel Allen was asked to write a chapter in Sally Z Hare and Karen Luke Jackson’s book The Story Mandala: Finding Wholeness in a Divided Word.

August 2018

Rachel Allen, director of Valencia College’s Peace & Justice Institute, was invited to participate in a United Nations panel discussion about creating and sustaining a culture of peace in our society.

PJI Director, Rachel Allen was listed as one of the “10 people who make Orlando a better place to live.”

June 2018

Jacqueline Spencer joins discussion at Orlando Speaks event -- Mother of man shot, killed by Orlando police speaks: 'Profiling is real'

March 2018

Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies interviews Rachel Allen

Orlando Speaks is mentioned in bringing together officers and residents

90.7 WFME's Catherine Welch talked with the Peace and Justice Institute's Rachelle Allen and historian Francine Boykin about events leading up to the massacre.

  • Audio Interview: 90.7 WMFE
  • Ocoee Discussions - 02/11/2018

February 2018

Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies interviews Rachel Allen

Valencia College students offer support to Stoneman Douglas survivors with the Peace and Justice Institute


April 2017

Community Leader Jimmie Williams writes in The Orlando Times about the fifth Orlando Speaks that took place on April 12, 2017.

  • Article: Orlando Times

PJI Director, Rachel Allen was suggested for Scott Maxwell of the Orlando Sentinel's list of 10 people who make Orlando a better place to live


November 2016

Scott Maxwell includes Orlando Speaks in his list of 101 Things to Love about Central Florida for 2016.

February 2016

This article shares details about the third Orlando Speaks series that took place at Howard Middle School on Tuesday, February 16.

October 2016

PJI facilitated the fourth Orlando Speaks in partnership with the City of Orlando and the Orlando Police Department.

July 2016

Hillary Clinton holds a roundtable discussion in Orlando following the Pulse Nightclub tragedy. During this discussion, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer recommends Orlando Speaks as a beneficial program for other cities across the nation to follow.


August 2015, October 2015, and February 2015

Orlando Speaks is a community workshop designed to encourage dialogue between citizens of the City of Orlando and Police Officers with the goal to enhance our community policing initiative.


May 2014

Members of the Peace and Justice Institute, including Valencia students, faculty, and staff, and local community partners hosting a Bring Back Our Girls rally at Orlando's City Hall to raise awareness of the kidnapped girls in Nigeria.


August 2013

The Orlando Sentinel covers the Institute's Conflict Analysis Workshop on the Trayvon Martin Case.

February 2013

PJI hosts its first student retreat for their core group of student volunteers, the Peace and Justice Ambassadors.


October 2012

PJI hosts its first Valencia Night at the Islamic Society of Central Florida with 200 participants.

September 2012

Valencia College to advocate peace through film

January 2012

Conversation on Compassion


October 2011

Renowned Scholar Visits Valencia