The Portland Peace Program educates the public about the intolerably high human and economic costs of violence and war. The program exposes the harsh realities of military service and refutes false information provided by military recruiters by organizing innovative events, workshops, multi-media art, community partnerships and “Opt Out” campaigns to help youth opt out of contact with military recruiters. By embracing alternatives to violence, war and military enlistment, youth take leadership of themselves and their communities and actively participate in creating a culture of peace and nonviolence.
The Youth Peace Building and Justice Program in Chicago engages young adults, ages 16-20, in the development of educational and economic opportunities that benefit themselves and their communities. This program gives youth concrete alternatives to community violence and military involvement.
Forty students at two public high schools are learning artesian craftwork as an employment opportunity. Students make mosaics, jewelry, or other crafts and earn money for themselves; they also share half the proceeds with a community fund as part of a social enterprise model.
Five college students interning at AFSC mentor the high school students and elementary school students interested in mosaic crafts. The college students are forming themselves into a college work cooperative. Undocumented immigrant youth are a special focus of the program, and AFSC trains college interns to assist others with Deferred Action (DACA) applications.
Baltimore Peace by Piece works with people ages 16-35 to foster justice, unity, and peace in Baltimore communities.
Building relationships with residents, schools, and community organizations, the coalition connects young people with opportunities to serve their communities and to make their activism more impactful.