Citizen Across Borders:
The Student Initiative for Global Citizenship in the Wake of September 11, 2001

Project Manager: Donna Serbe-Davis, Rutgers University
Assistant Project Manager: Michael Lassiter, Highland Park Middle High School

Purpose of CAB: Citizens Across Borders is an education/action project for high school students aimed to generate understanding and change out of the suffering and loss of September 11th, 2001. This goal was achieved through the examination of vital questions under the themes of Understanding, Reaffirmation, and Global Representation. Questions asked included: How is cultural diversity a lived reality in the United States and in other countries? How can the diversity of students and groups in the United States be conveyed to the world community? How can the conflicts among peoples be resolved? What is the importance of inter-cultural understanding for conflict resolution? How are myths and stereotypes to be dispelled? How can youth across borders facilitate the necessary basis of understanding for a renewed and cooperative world order in the years to come?

The Center for Middle Eastern Studies developed a timeline for Citizens Across Borders. This timeline gave participating schools to ample time to select interested and capable students to brainstorm and complete their projects for the initiative.

  • On November, 2001, high school teachers and supervisors from over twelve central New Jersey high schools met as a working group with Citizens Across Borders administrators at Rutgers University, establishing guidelines for CAB.
  • During November, 2001 to February, 2002, each school district selected six students to join the local project student team. These students then met in discussion groups for research and project support for ten weeks.
  • On February, 2002, students, teachers and staff met at Rutgers University for an assembly of Citizens Across Borders.
  • During March-April, 2002, participating students presented their progress and ideas in Citizens Across Borders in their local schools and communities.
  • On May-June, 2002, Completed student projects were submitted to the Center for Middle Eastern Studies and uploaded to the Citizens Across Borders website.
  • On date, an exhibition of winning projects was held at Traye's Hall of Rutgers University's Douglass College Center.

Another important component of Citizens Across Borders is the CAB website, Winning projects are uploaded onto this Rutgers-hosted site and access is made available to parents, teachers, and the general public. Since we believe that it is very important for people of all ethnic backgrounds to critically reflect on how the September 11th tragedy has impacted the American society and other societies abroad, the website has been translated into the six official languages of the UN - Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish. The winning projects are as follows:

First Prize Winners:

  • "How Have the Events of September 11, 2001 Affected Your Views of Patriotism?" Odyssey of the Mind Club, Perth Amboy High School
  • "1,000 Cranes Project in Commemoration of September 11, 2001" Colts Neck High School
Second Prize Winners:
  • "Remember Those We Lost" Edison High School
  • "The Stakes of Success"
Third Prize Winners
  • "Teleconferencing Project With China on September 11, 2001 and International Terrorism" Hunterdon Central Regional High School
Honorable Mention:
  • "A Mural for Our Friends" North Brunswick High School
Winners are all students within the thirteen central New Jersey school districts involved with Citizens Across Borders. The school districts involved are:
  • Colts Neck School District
  • East Brunswick School District
  • Edison School District
  • Freehold Township School District
  • Highland Park School District
  • Hunterdon Central Regional School District
  • North Brunswick School District
  • Perth Amboy School District
  • South Brunswick School District


Comments or questions about the CAB project? E-mail Us.
© 2004, Center For Middle Eastern Studies
This project is supported by a generous grant from the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation