Fall is here and as the youth in our families and communities come back to school we are excited to launch a new year of PeaceJam programing throughout the Great Lakes region!
On November 17th, youth from Michigan, Ohio, Illinois and Indiana will gather together in Battle Creek, Michigan to meet with their peers at the PeaceJam SLAM and begin their annual journey of making change in their neighborhoods and communities. This year, the social justice issue that was chosen for the fall SLAM with PeaceJam youth is gender based violence. During workshops, youth will be led by community activists through understanding the complexities surrounding the different issues of gender based violence, and guide the PeaceJammers in identifying what gender based violence looks like in their communities - and how it negatively impacts different groups of youth, in particular the LGBTQ youth. They will then have the opportunity to go into the community and engage with various organizations that are working directly on issues of geneder based violence. This will highlight for PeaceJammers the realities of working on these issues, and where they might look within their own communities for potential partners in their own service learning projects.
This year we are happy to see several more Gay-Straight Alliance groups join with PeaceJam in their schools!! This is creating a wonderful dynamic where these two youth groups are joining forces and coming together to work on designing and implementing programs that are aimed at directly addressing the root causes of the social justice issues LGBTQ youth are facing.
These are important steps for our youth as we are reminded again and again that PeaceJam is, for many who self-identify as LGBTQ, the only place in their lives where they feel 100% accepted for who they are, and are treated with respect by their peers. Building a positive sense of self is so important to the overall well being of our youth, and is key to their future success. PeaceJam plays a fundamental role helping youth to achieve this. Through youth led education that culminates in change making service learning projects - and the opportunity to share these projects and personal experiences with a Nobel Peace Prize Laureate - we are creating the next generation of social activists and leaders for equality!
Please join us in supporting this amazing and dynamic group of youth to achieve their full potential, to discover their personal strengths, and to change their (and our!) world!
Thank you for your support.
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