Name: Roger Falcon
GYV Staff/ Participant during: 84-87
Education: Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy, the Fletcher School, Tufts University, Certificat d’etudes politiques, IEP Paris, BA, Oberlin College
Occupation: Chief of Staff, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition
Most Interesting Country Visited: Going to a Mayan village in the middle of the Mexican rainforest and meeting the chief who is trying to hold onto tradition as the world changes rapidly around him was unforgettable.
Favorite GYV Memory: Gathering in a circle at the end of each summer, holding a candle and singing “Let There Be Peace on Earth” as we committed to keep the Legacy spirit inside of us.
Volunteer/Civic Engagement Activities since Global Youth Village:
- Founding board member, Sovereign Arts, a non-profit dedicated to Native American rights and culture.
- Founding board member, A3D, a non-profit promoting exchange with Senegal and multi-cultural awareness on Boston’s north shore.
- Launched a Boston chapter of Nonviolent Peaceforce, which sends trained peacekeepers into zones of conflict such as Sri Lanka.
- Was active in the “Maison pour un developpement solidaire” in Paris, which promotes diversity and international exchange.
- Have sung in various choral ensembles and played handbells.
My current position at Law Enforcement Against Prohibition is very exciting. LEAP is an organization of current and former members of law enforcement, as well as civilian supporters, who are calling for an end to the drug war and the racial discrimination, violence and corruption it causes across the globe. Putting in place a system of legalized regulation would allow for better control and for more resources to be made available to treat addiction.
After graduate school, I lead the creation of ArtCorps, which sends volunteer artists from around the world to Central America to spread environmental, public health and human rights messages. The best part was getting to know the artists and spending time in Guatemala, an amazingly diverse country (62 indigenous languages currently spoken!), where I met fabulously warm people.
I also co-taught a course on human rights and worked for the Reebok Human Rights Award, which until a couple of years ago honored four activists age 30 and under each year for their cutting edge work.
During graduate school, I spent a year in an intensive program called Education for Public Inquiry and International Citizenship, studying corruption and the different ways it impedes political development. My thesis compared challenges and potential strategies in Mexico, China, Russia and the US.
After college, I spent three years in Prague. I lived with a Czech family, sang in several choirs, went to many concerts, and immersed myself in the country, still coming out of the fear of the Cold War. At first, I taught ESL at a university. I then had the inspiring, amazing opportunity to intern for President Václav Havel. Havel would not want to be considered a hero, but he is certainly one of mine. He brings together the arts and activism in a way that I have aspired to ever since.
Prior to graduate school, I spent a year and a half in Paris studying and, most importantly, meeting my wife, Helene, who is an artist, a polarity therapist and an art therapist working with kids. We live happily in Medford, near Boston, Massachusetts.
I would love to hear from friends – and friends-to-be – from Legacy. Please write!