The Peace Exchange

Holy Family Ministries’ visionary and far-reaching violence prevention program was created to help participants become agents of positive change within their communities and beyond.
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Ask yourself: how do you motivate young people in some of Chicago’s most troubled areas to rise 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.




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. Their year-long curriculum begins with 80 hours of  Chicago-based study on topics ranging from bullying and teen dating violence to tolerance and restorative justice.

Upon completion of the first phase, the Peace Builders take a two-week trip accompanied by documentary filmmakers. While traveling, they participate in cross-cultural exchanges with community organizers, student leaders, and peace activists. The program's third phase is Giving Back!, a post-trip outreach in which the Peace Builders share their stories, showcase a documentary film, and use their newly honed skills to deliver the messages of peaceful conflict resolution to thousands of Chicago youth, peer-to-peer.

Take a look at our trips over the years -

2021 Trip to South Dakota -

2019 Trip to Rwanda -

2018 Trip to India -

2016/2017 Trip to South Africa -

2015 Trip to Nicaragua -

2013/2014 Trip to Thailand and Myanmar -

If you're interested in learning more about how you can sponsor a Peace Builder or support the training sessions of the Peace Exchange and impact the leaders of tomorrow, please contact our Senior Gift Officer at [email protected]



Peace Exchange Leader

It is never too early to teach young students the language of peace. Our innovative 4-session Speaking Peace program, a component of The Peace Exchange, 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 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 11,000 students across 60+ schools in 30+ communities. 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!”