The Peace Exchange
Ask yourself: how do you motivate young people in some of Chicago’s most troubled areas to rise up to condemn violence and embrace a vision of a better way to live? The Peace Exchange’s two groundbreaking initiatives deliver powerful strategies that encourage youth to actively choose positive attitudes and actions in their lives and reject violence.
LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT - PEACE BUILDERS
Young Chicago leaders - Peace Builders – receive intensive training in topics ranging from ending bullying and teen dating violence to creating greater tolerance using restorative justice techniques. Together as a group they travel to learn from inspirational peace leaders in other countries. Upon their return they use their newly-honed skills to deliver the messages of peaceful conflict resolution to thousands of Chicago youth, peer-to-peer.
PEACE EDUCATION - SPEAKING PEACE
It is never too early to teach young students the language of peace. Our innovative 4-session Speaking Peace program is designed around two core principles: (1) Peace begins with me, and (2) I am what I am because of who we all are. Presented to students in grades 5 to 8 throughout the Chicago area, students develop their self-awareness and a mindfulness of others as they develop conflict resolution and nonviolent communication skills.
Since our 2017 launch of Speaking Peace, we have touched the lives of over 5,000 students across 38 schools in the Chicago metropolitan area. The results are powerful:
74% of students participating in Speaking Peace expressed confidence in their new skills for peacefully resolving conflicts and 80% said they will use nonviolent communications with classmates and friends. A school counselor reported, “My 5th and 6th-grade self-referrals for ‘problems with another student’ were cut in half!”
Read more about the program and view our documentary films featured on Channel 11 WTTW.