Krzysztof Czyzewski

Ashoka Fellow
Suwalki, Poland
Fellow Since 2003


This profile was prepared when Krzysztof Czyzewski was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2003.
The New Idea
Krzysztof engages entire communities in a broad array of long-term strategies that address the cultural and racial prejudices that exist in their neighborhoods. He has created a complex program to address historical sources of conflict and rediscover community history. Krzysztof provides an open space for meeting and confrontation of different points of view, cultures, and nationalities. Once the walls between cultural and religious groups are torn down, participants can ultimately become cocreators and visionaries of a new integrated community.
In order to model the new civic society, Krzysztof has launched the Borderland Foundation in Sejny, a village on the border between Lithuania and Poland. Through this local pilot, the Borderland Foundation is able to demonstrate to a broader audience how to create initiatives that transform conflict into a positive, new community identity. Looking ahead to long-term solutions, Krzysztof's work draws on the participation of all community members but specifically targets young people. By transforming young people's perceptions and roles within communities scarred by historical divides, the Borderland Foundation is creating a new vision for the future of those communities. By operating as a training and publication center, Krzysztof's work in Sejny is spreading globally.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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