Thanks to the many people who supported this program during our 2012 conference. The children and youth who attended were amazing. They worked on projects together, shared experiences with each other, and learned ways they can reduce violence in their communities when they returned home.
They were also the last group to leave the dance floor during our Tuesday night dance party with a DJ. They had great fun dancing with each other and the many adult advocates that attended the conference. They continue to stay connected to each other as good friendships were developed over the course of the week.
This group will become better activists and I look forward to the great work they do to make the world a safer and more equal place to live!
The Young Advocates for Peace Program coincides with the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence Conference and occurs every 2 years at varying locations across the United States. The 2012 NCADV conference, Preserving Our Roots While Looking to the Future, took place in Denver and the Young Advocates for Peace Program housed 35 young advocates through the span of the 6 day conference, ages ranging from 1-18 years old. The YAP Program is a venue for young advocates to define and celebrate their vision of a non-violent world through educational and peaceful programming. The YAP Program is a safe and fun opportunity for YAPs to meet and interact with other youth and learn about the domestic violence movement through age-appropriate activities. Below, please find some highlights from the 2012 Young Advocates for Peace Program in Denver, Colorado:
-The YAP Program served 35 YAPs through the conference, one of the largest number of youth in attendance in the program's history.
-The YAP Program was managed by 7 staff members representing a range of races, genders, and socioeconomic statuses.
-The YAP participants engaged in a daily yoga workshop spearheaded by Yoga For Warriors trailblazer Christen Bakken, practicing spacial awareness and self-awareness to achieve a more positive body image.
-The YAP Program commissioned Arts Street Denver, a local nonprofit that cultivates low-income and under-served youth into a creative and culturally competent workforce, to facilitate a community quilt project that was displayed for the general conference attendees to share the effort and successes of our young advocates program.
-The YAP Program commissioned renowned activist Jaime Utt to engage the young people in a self-image artistic project.
-The YAP Program commissioned Project P.A.V.E. (Promoting Alternatives through Violence Education) to facilitate a teen dating violence education and prevention workshop. This workshop also touched on hot button issues including LGTBQ Awareness and Anti-Bullying.
-To promote and encourage curiosity and interest in the arts and sciences for our younger YAPs, the program embarked on field trip opportunities to local museums such as the Museum of Nature and Science and the Butterfly Pavilion.
- The YAP Program participated in a visit with local therapy dogs and their volunteers to educate and create awareness about the benefits of animal companionship as a source for healing. NCADV is a proud endorser of this relatively new strategy in the domestic violence shelter community.
NCADV could not be more proud of our Young Advocates for Peace Program and we are already looking forward to the 2014 domestic violence conference.
Thanks to everyone who has supported this project so far! We are in the process of finalizing the programs and events we will be doing with the children and youth at the conference in Denver. It is shaping up to be an amazing experience. We have two volunteers, a brother and sister, who will be joining us from Toronto, Canada to work with NCADV for the week. We already have 27 young people signed up, ages 1-17! We are going to have a great time sharing ideas with them on living free from violence, and teaching them creative ideas on actions they can do to make their communities safer.
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