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Youth lift up their voices in St. Louis peace summit

Youth lift up their voices in St. Louis peace summit

Published: November 11, 2013
Joshua Saleem with Peer Mediation Program students Nov 2013

AFSC Peace Education Director Joshua Saleem, front, with four students honored for their Peer Mediation Program work at Northwest Academy of Law in St. Louis. 

Photo: AFSC

It's time to listen to students and to follow up on their ideas for reducing violence. It's time to stop stereotyping African American youth.

These were two of the messages delivered by Northwest Academy of Law students at the first Urban Peace Summit, held Nov. 8, 2013 in St. Louis. Students told the St. Louis police chief and mayor that their community needs after-school programs, community programs, and a student advisory board. Read their open letter to leaders and concerned citizens here.

One day before the summit, students involved with AFSC's Peer Mediation Program were honored at an all-school assembly.

“The Peace Summit and actions like it are exactly what AFSC in St. Louis is trying to do with all youth we engage, empowering them to engage their community and community stakeholders in a positive way that results in action and change," said Joshua Saleem, who directs AFSC's Peace Education Program in St. Louis. "This is the heart of what we're doing with the peer mediators who are combating violence in the school.”

"Now the real work begins to hold those officials in attendance accountable to what they said and to stay engaged with them," Joshua said.

The summit received news coverage through the Missouri Public News Service and KMOV TV in St. Louis.