UCAN held its 2nd Annual Youth Peace Summit on Saturday, November 5 as a prelude to our 3rd annual Polar Peace March that’s set for January 15, 2017. The youth-led event included an inspiring demonstration from Pastor James L. Brooks of Harmony Community Church about how our young people need back up in order to weather the storms of adversity. Spoken word artist Kush Thompson from Louder Than a Bomb performed an original piece.
Participants broke into smaller groups to attend youth-led workshops on leadership, violence prevention, diversity and inclusion, putting faith in action, healthy relationships and choosing peace. The discussions provided youth an opportunity to offer their insight on important topics that impact their lives. Their feedback was shared with the larger group to pass along to their peers outside of the event.
Comprising the Youth Peace Summit Council that planned the event was Leo Boler, Ariell Clark, Shyon Currie, Imani Downer, Natalia Hernandez, Naheige Lewis, Jake Nitzsche, Jamirria Rucker, Rashaye Scott, Shanon Seaberry, Destiny Smith and D’aeveion Williams. Council members and attendees represented a variety of neighborhoods from across the Chicago area.
Here is what the youth said about the Youth Peace Summit:
“My experience today working with youth from all over Chicago, I was able to establish conversation and break some borderlines. We have youth from Evanston, Riverdale, North Lawndale and all over the area. They were able to discuss what peace means in their community.”- Naheige (Council Member)
“Activities like this are good for young people. It has a good effect on young people to have them come together in different ways. Instead of them being on the streets they can come out and connect with each other and make new friends.”- Shyjon (Council Member)
“It was really good this year to be able to get a lot of people’s opinions, especially in my group where we talked about diversity in the different neighborhoods. I think it was a good experience and we had some great conversation.”- Jake (Council Member)
“I think activities like these are important because I feel like everyone has their different opinions but I think it is more valuable when people listen to different opinions rather than just say their own.” – Natalia (Council Member)
“My impression of today was how everyone has something to say. I liked being able to talk about what is going on and how we can improve our community. It is great to see other people like me trying to achieve the same goal in life and just trying to get peace overall.” – Brion (Attendee)