Search for Common Ground seeks beta-testers for innovative social media/video game

Over the past two years, Search for Common Ground has brought together experts from engineering, marketing, and academia with young peacebuilders from around the world. They’ve envisioned a new way to reach young people with a vision of global leadership: “Battle for Humanity” – a global, online platform where social media meets real-life video game.

Critical Choices: Assessing The Effects Of Education and Civic Engagement on Somali Youths’ Propensity Towards Violence

Understanding what works to reduce violence, including violent extremism, is a key priority for many policymakers. Despite this need, to date there is very little research evaluating the effects of development programs on violence reduction. To address this knowledge gap, Mercy Corps undertook a rigorous impact evaluation of a 5-year stability-focused youth program in Somalia known as the Somali Youth Leaders Initiative (SYLI).

More Peace Please: Brazilian youth create posters for a school-wide ethics campaign

ABA Global School is an IB World School in Recife, Brazil that offers a bilingual program for children aged 2 to 10 years old. The 5-year students are engaged in a school-wide ethics campaign which they entitled “More Peace Please.” They have been learning the basics of Nonviolent Communication (NVC) and are doing their best to create personalized pro-peace action plans for each of the school’s eight cohorts.

A schoolgirl takes part Saturday in a session of the Uruguayan parliament, which was packed with some 160 children and teens from around the country who debated and approved a declaration for world peace, as part of the Universal Children's Day observance this Sunday. (Photo: EFE/Maria Eugenia Fernandez)

Uruguayan youngsters approve peace declaration in parliament

The Uruguayan parliament was packed with some 160 children and teens from around the country who debated and approved a declaration for world peace as part of the Universal Children’s Day observance. “‘Education for Peace’ was the message to parliament, where the youngsters had two days to analyze, reflect upon and discuss the current state of world peace,” said Nicolas Pons, secretary general of the Uruguayan National Commission of UNESCO.

(Photo: Tucson News Now)

Tucson students learn ‘non-violence’ way of life amidst anti-Trump protests

A rash of nationwide protests against president-elect Donald Trump have brought out thousands of demonstrators. Tucson students are participating in a two-day introduction to the Kingian Nonviolence training program, which aims to “institutionalize and internationalize nonviolence.”

(Photo: UNSDN)

UN NGO Youth-Led Briefing: Targeting Poverty and Education for Peace

The annual United Nations Department of Public Information’s NGO Youth-Led Briefing brought hundreds of youth, from all over the world, to the UN Headquarters in New York to discuss Sustainable Development Goals 1, 4 and 16. A panel of experts talked about how targeting poverty and education can help advance peace.

American Foreign Service Association: National High School Essay Contest

This is the 19th year of this contest that encourages high school students to think about important international issues and learn about The United States Foreign Service. This year the spotlight is on a clear and present challenge: the growing number of refugees and internally displaced persons around the world. Contest deadline: March 15, 2017.

Kathy Fletcher and David Simpson shared a meal and sparklers with more than a dozen young people this Fourth of July. (Photo: AOKDC.org)

The Power of a Dinner Table

David Brooks, in a recent NY Times Op Ed, shares a powerful model of non-formal community/family-based peace education.
Kathy Fletcher and David Simpson have a son named Santi, who went to Washington, D.C., public schools. Santi had a friend who sometimes went to school hungry. So Santi invited him to occasionally eat and sleep at his house. That friend had a friend and that friend had a friend, and now when you go to dinner at Kathy and David’s house on Thursday night there might be 15 to 20 teenagers crammed around the table. The kids who show up at Kathy and David’s have endured the ordeals of modern poverty: homelessness, hunger, abuse, sexual assault. Almost all have seen death firsthand — to a sibling, friend or parent.

Youth delegates presenting at the final plenary session.

Inspiring Youth demand more space in the Peace Movement

At the IPB Disarmament Congress in Berlin the first weekend in October around 40 young people from 15 different nations met during a Youth Gathering. Pressenza interviewed three of them: Marie Cucurella from France, Emma Pritchard from England and Simon Ott from Germany.

When asked to constructively criticize the Congress, all three become rather lively: “They always say: Engage the Youth! But then they do not give us space.” Emma says that the Youth had an important perspective to contribute, a perspective that is also valuable. “The goal would be that we no longer have Youth Gatherings in the future but that we participate on equal terms”, Marie says.

UNICEF Consultancy assignment: Voices of Youth Engagement Coordinator

UNICEF, the world’s leading organization working for the rights of children, seeks a consultant (Voices of Youth Engagement Coordinator), Social Media Team, Digital Strategy Section, responsible for the development and growth in engagement of the Voices of Youth (VOY) community and presence. Application deadline: October 12.

Militarism and the Young: Youth Gathering at the Disarmament Congress in Berlin

“In many ways the world we live in is unjust and inhumane, especially towards young people. Our social model is established on unlimited economic growth, the extensive use of natural resources, the predominance of capital, domination structures, patriarchy, competition, violence, confrontation, conflict and war. Capitalism and militarism reinforce themselves, destroying the livelihoods of all beings.” That’s how the draft of the Declaration for Demilitarization and Youth begins, which was developed in the preparation meetings for the Youth Gathering of the Disarmament Congress that starts in Berlin end of September 2016.

Forest Whitaker announces launch of the Domestic Harmonizer program at Andrew Carnegie Middle School. (Photo: CSUDH news)

Forest Whitaker Partners with Cal State Dominguez Hills to Teach Middle School Students Peace and Conflict Resolution

At a school-wide assembly at Andrew Carnegie Middle School artist and social activist Forest Whitaker officially launched the Domestic Harmonizer Program with California State University, Dominguez Hills (CSUDH). All 915 6-8th grade students will participate in the program. The program is an innovative initiative designed by WPDI and CSUDH specifically for middle schools, with the aim of nurturing a new generation of youth leaders committed to peaceful conflict resolution. The program integrates Conflict Resolution Education with Common Core State Standards in math, science, social studies, and English.