Share your skills at the 2018 Youth Peace Summit

Call for Workshop Proposals: 

 Share your knowledge, skills and experiences with Richmond area teens at the Richmond Youth Peace Summit, Saturday, April 28, 2018

The Richmond Peace Education Center will hold its Annual Youth Peace Summit on Saturday April 28, 2018, at St. Paul’s Baptist Church–Southside Campus, 700 E Belt Blvd., Richmond, VA 23223.   The summit features 90-minute breakout workshops for groups of about 12-15 teen participants. Morning workshops will be scheduled from 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Afternoon workshops are scheduled from 2 -3:30 p.m. We invite you to propose a workshop to offer at the event.

The summit emphasizes cooperation and collaboration among Metro Richmond’s diverse populations of young people. We are looking for proposals focused on: youth community organizing; reducing gun violence; juvenile justice reform; Black/Latino and interracial unity; racial justice in Richmond; Richmond’s rich African-American history; building healthy relationships; arts for social change; and increasing educational and economic opportunities for metro Richmond youth.

Proposals promoting teen leadership, or positive self-expression through the arts are also welcome. In past years, sessions on performing arts, writing, cooking and improvisational comedy have generated substantial interest among participants. All workshops should be be active and participatory.

To promote youth leadership, we encourage you to include young people as leaders or co-leaders for each workshop. (We may be able to identify a youth co-leader from among our RYPP members if you are unable to recruit one.)





The deadline for receiving proposals is March 9, 2018. RYPP youth will read and help evaluate all proposals the following week, and we’ll notify you of their selections soon thereafter.

Please consider volunteering to be a part of this event!. Email for more information or download a proposal form here. Call for Proposals – 2018 Summit

Thank you very much.

Announcing the 2018 Peace Essay Contest

The annual Peace Essay contest sponsored by the Richmond Peace Education is now open for entries. The theme for this year’s contest is “Remembering All of Virginia’s History.”

The writing prompt asks students what people or events are not included among Virginia’s monuments? What new monument could help tell a more complete history, and build understanding and respect among all Virginians? They’re asked to describe what a new monument might look like and where it might it be placed.


The contest is open to all elementary, middle, and high school students in Virginia. It offers a top prize of $100 in each of four grade divisions: K-2, 3-5, middle, and high school. Seven additional cash prizes are awarded in each division. Teachers are encouraged to use the contest’s writing prompt as they prepare students for the annual SOL writing tests.


Deadline for entries is April 16, 2018



The Peace Essay Contest honors the memory of the late Jim Doherty, whose family foundation has long provided support for this program of the Peace Center.

Entry forms, along with contest rules and a complete description of the writing prompt are available here:

Essay contest 2018 (.pdf)

Essay contest 2018 (.doc)

For questions or additional information, email:


Al Madina Performers Prepare for Gen. Dream!

Part of what makes Generation Dream such a profound experience is the power that our performers bring to the stage. Standing up and sharing one’s truth can be truly courageous and impactful.  The student performers from Al Madina School of Richmond are doing just that. Through spoken word, these talented teens are preparing to bring their experiences the stage and spread a powerful message of empathy and understanding.

I was lucky enough to be invited to Al Madina for rehearsals and had a chance to get to know the students a little better. Here are some thoughts from the performers at Al Madina about the upcoming edu-concert event:

“It’s Nerve-wracking,” was the first response when I asked the teens how they felt about performing in Generation Dream. “I think we’ll have a meltdown before the show, and then we’ll be fine,” says one of the students as everyone in the room joins in giggling nervously. For any young person, performing for a live audience can be a daunting task, but the students at Al Madina are compelled to share their stories.

“I’m nervous but at the same time, I want my voice to be heard so that people could understand the actual pain that we’re going through instead of them just looking at us on the outside,” shares Summer Alabood. Summer has faced more than her fair share of violence, bullying, and discrimination in public school. “In fifth grade, I was actually beaten up… He called me a terrorist and started throwing punches.” Summer’s spoken word piece is inspired by her personal experience but is informed by a strong desire to build a richer understanding of Muslims and Islam. “We want people to recognize us not as terrorist and ISIS, but just as normal people. Not to criticize us for what terrorists have done.”

Each of the students expressed similar feelings, “We want to do it because we wanted to show people how we really feel… and to share our stories” says Khadija Williams, sitting across the table from me wearing a black cap that says ‘feels’ over her Hijab.

It’s clear that the other students are compelled by a need to set the record straight. “Islam means ‘peace’. A lot of people don’t know, but that is what Islam is all about—Peace,” says Sumeo Farah, an 8th-grade student at Al Madina.

The potential for healing that Generation Dream can offer the featured performers by providing a platform to feel safe and acknowledged was something Summer also looked forward to. “I feel like there is a weight pulling me down, so I want to be able to speak out about what’s holding me. I want to be able to feel free.”

The students are hoping to shed light on global issues as well. Miryam Mustapha sat in the back quietly listening to her peers during most of our conversation. Her performance was one I found quite illuminating and highlights the struggles Muslim girls and women are facing around the world and the practice of FGM. “Girls are mutilated because it is the culture.”

Empathy and mutual listening was another theme that seemed to continue to come up during our conversations. The youth looked forward sharing their stories, but also were eager to hear about other perspectives as well. “You not only get to say what you have to say, but you get to hear other’s feelings,” says Khadija.

“[Generation Dream] is a good way to have younger people get what they have to say out. Usually, younger people or teenagers, other people see what they have to say and think, ‘they’re just a little kid, what do they know?’ Doing this, you get your voice heard, and other people take you seriously.”

I truly enjoyed my experience visiting Al Madina and the opportunity to get to know the youth. After having my own sneak preview, I can guarantee you that Generation Dream 2018 will be a special event to remember!  

Come see these teens perform at Generation Dream, the Peace Center youth arts production in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Feb. 2 or Feb. 11!

Community Trauma & Healing Basic Workshop

Conceptual symbol of multiracial human hands making a circle on white background with a copy space in the middle

How Can Communities Heal from Violence: A Trauma Healing Workshop

Friday, March 2nd- Sunday, March 4th

The Richmond Peace Education Center will offer a Healing And Rebuilding Our Communities (HROC) 3-day Basic workshop for adults Friday March 2 through Sunday, March 4.

The HROC three-day basic training presents a group-based experiential model of healing that focuses on recognizing and understanding extreme trauma and its effects on the individual, family and community. Based equally on trauma theory and in-the-field application, the HROC training engages participants in a process that is both instructive and personally enlightening.

Gain tools to help yourself and others heal from hurt and trauma through a collective trust-building process.  Many people have benefited from this Richmond Peace Education Center program. Experience it for yourself!

  “‘This workshop taps into your inner strengths & pulls them out as a way to help others.”

 ”  In my 27 years, I have not felt the calm and peace that I felt over the past 2 days. I feel very sure that I will overcome my story.

Details of the Training: 

Friday, March 2 from 6pm to 9pm

Saturday, March 3 from 9am to 5pm

Sunday, March 4 from 9am to 5pm

Location: TBA

Participants gain tools to help themselves and others through the process of grieving, loss, and the transformation of hurt into healing. Healing from trauma and building peace between groups are deeply connected.  It is not possible to do one without the other. RPEC trainers and educators Santa Sorenson and Ram Bhagat will lead the workshop.

The fee for this session is $200. Partial scholarships are available. To reserve a spot please send a $25 non-refundable fee that will go towards RPECsquare2the $200 fee of the workshop.For more information and to register, email name, address and phone number to  Please mail your check in advance to RPEC, 3500 Patterson Avenue, Richmond, VA 23221 with HROC Basic in the memo line.

Pay here to reserve your spot

Join Us for Generation Dream 2018, Feb. 2 and 11

Join the Peace Center for Generation Dream 2018 this February

Now well into its second decade, Generation Dream offers the opportunity for a diverse cast of talented young people to make their voices heard during Black History Month. Richmond area youth are concerned about issues of social justice, and hope for a future in which young people of all backgrounds can flourish.

Through Generation Dream 2018, talented youth and supporting adult artists perform original poems, music and dance pieces. All performances honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s legacy and vision of peace, nonviolence and social justice. This family-friendly event is free and the public is invited. Donations to support the Peace Center’s programs will be gratefully accepted. No RSVP is required. Groups are welcome.

This year’s shows are scheduled for:

 —Friday, February 2, 7 p.m., at the Richmond Public Library’s downtown branch, 101 E. Franklin St., Richmond VA 23219.

–Sunday, February 11, 5:30 p.m., at VCU’s Grace Street Theater, 934 W. Grace St., Richmond, VA 23220. This performance is co-sponsored by the VCU Office of Multicultural Student Affairs

Generation Dream 2018 will be thought-provoking, moving, and inspirational. It includes performances by members of the Richmond Youth Peace Project leadership team and the newly established Jackson Ward Peace Team. Many of the performances touch on urgent community issues. The production also showcases some of the great cultural diversity of our region.

Also performing will be the University of Richmond a cappella group Off the Cuff, singers Odessa Hott, Kyra Trice and Shayla Winn, and dance ensembles from Binford Middle School, River City Dance and Performing Arts Theatre and Dance Interface from the Appomattox Regional Governor’s School.

Included among this year’s performers will also be piano prodigy Axel Obregon, classical Indian dance groups, and, as always, our partner and leader of the finale, Drums No Guns!

For more than a dozen years, the Richmond Youth Peace Project (RYPP)–the Peace Center’s program for teens–has presented these performances in collaboration with Drums No Guns. “Especially in today’s challenging political climate, many young people are eager to help build a better future for themselves and their communities. Our region’s youth are leading the way,” says Peace Center director, Dr. Adria Scharf.

For more information call the Peace Center at 804-232-1002, or email

You can see video of pervious years’ performances on the Peace Center’s Youtube Channel

Find Your Dream Vacation at this Year’s Auction!

The highlight of our annual auction has always been the exciting getaway opportunities! This year, we have a wide array of dream vacations and getaways to bid on. Here’s a full list of what you can expect to find at this year’s auction!


5-Night Stay at Nags Head Beach House

Value: $2,000

A sound-front home with spectacular views of the sunset and golf course. Three tastefully decorated master suites, every room overlooks the water and only a pitching wedge to the golf course clubhouse! Excellent golfer or family vacation getaway! 5 bedrooms, 4 1/2 bath Outer Banks vacation home. Fairway/sound-front location on the Nags Head Golf Links in the Village at Nags Head. Swim in the sound behind the house or at the beach a quarter mile walk away. Hot tub on deck, WiFi, gas fireplace, grill and outside shower. Available anytime between mid-November 2017 and mid-May 2018 or mid-September 2018 to mid-November 2018. Parking for 4-5 cars. 


3-Night Weekend Stay at Gorgeous Alpine Home

Value: $1,050


Enjoy a 3-night, weekend stay at this stunning alpine home in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. Wintergreen offers a wide range of year-round activities like skiing, golf, tennis, hiking, horseback riding, and much more. Enjoy the scenery of the Blue Ridge from a gorgeous, custom-built alpine home! The 4-bedroom, 4-bath house sleeps 8-10 people and boasts a great room with a 25-foot vaulted ceiling, floor-to-ceiling windows, beautiful stone fireplace (gas), gas fireplace in the master bedroom suite, magnificent views from four decks, gourmet kitchen, large steam shower, eight person hot tub, and much more. The décor is granite, cedar, natural wood and stone, and is furnished in a contemporary but cozy Alpine style. The artwork is extraordinary. The property backs up to the Wintergreen Foundation Nature Center, for an unobstructed panoramic view from all sides, including an eastward-facing 70 mile view.


Wintergreen Weekend Getaway

Value: $800


A 3 night weekend at a pretty and cozy Wintergreen getaway house. Weekend to be coordinated with donor. From Margaret Rittenhouse and David Woodburn.



Value: $650


This home sits on the quiet Main St. of Chincoteague Island. It has four spacious bedrooms and 2.5 baths, Sleeps 7 with 3 queen beds and 1 double futon. From this home you can view the water. Bike or drive to Assateague Island to visit the ocean, only 3 miles away. Available for 1 week in September 2018. Amenities include TV, DVD, VCR, Washer/Dryer, Dishwasher, A/C, and two decks.


One-Week Cottage Stay at Southern Shores, NC

Value: $650


The Clarke Cottage is one of the Southern Shores historic Flat Top beach cottages, located just 1,000 feet from the ocean, on the Outer Banks of North Carolina near Kitty Hawk and Duck. The cottage sits directly across from a natural preserve area, and guests can enjoy the beach, walking paths, and amenities of the Southern Shores Neighborhood association! There are 3 bedrooms, 1 full bath, a fully equipped kitchen with dishwasher, and has a large enclosed porch. The cottage is most comfortable for 6 people. One bedroom has a queen bed, and two bedrooms have 2 twin beds, the living room has a queen sleeper sofa. Direct TV, piano, grill, bicycles, and fishing rods are provided. Please bring your own linens & towels. Pets are not allowed. Rental includes access to amenities of the Southern Shores Civic Association (ocean side parking, boat ramp, bike paths, handicap beach access, trails through dunes and maritime forests). One-week stay, with check-in at 3pm and checkout at 10am. Website: Available during May and October.


3-Night Stay in Lovely Cottage in Duck, NC

Value: $525


Three-night stay in lovely cottage in Duck, North Carolina on the beautiful Outer Banks. About 300 yards from the beach, you can enjoy your days by the water and evenings in a beautiful cabin home. Relax in the comfortable Great Room decorated with knotty pine tongue groove paneling. The 3 bedrooms were updated and all new flooring was installed. House is equipped with password protected Wi-Fi ! There is a well-equipped kitchen or cook up your ‘catch of the day’ on the gas grill. Bring your bike and enjoy an exciting bike path that connects Duck and Corolla! This cottage has 3 bedrooms; 7 people maximum may stay for 3 nights in the off-season. Not available on holidays. Available in the January-April or September-December. This perennial auction favorite is a tribute to the memory of early and long time RPEC activist Galen Heckman whose family owns the cottage. Visit to see rental calendar. PROP #303436


Afton Mountain Getaway

Value: $260


How about a three-day, two-night getaway to Afton Mountain? Enjoy a spectacular view of the Rockfish Gap from a tiny, cozy and absolutely charming cottage, just 1 ½ hours from Richmond. Hiking? The Appalachian Trail is a 10-minute walk away. Wine tasting? Visit three wineries within a short drive. Craft brew aficionado? Choose from five local breweries. Charming towns? Head to historic Staunton, a 20-minute drive away. Or – sit, read and relax while enjoying the view! The cottage has a modern kitchen, queen-size Murphy bed and a roll-out twin bed. Offer expires May 1. Dates to be mutually agreed upon.


#221 The Clearing Retreat Center

Value: $200

Two Day, One Night Rental

The Clearing is the Richmond Friends’ meditative retreat center, in the center of roughly 85-acres of natural forest within an hour’s drive of Richmond. Includes a modern air-conditioned lodge with a large meeting room with fireplace, full kitchen, two bathrooms, and a big front deck. Also two sleeping cabins, 20+ cleared campsites, an open grassy area with a roofed pavilion, outdoor worship area, an Adirondack shelter, outdoor privies, an all-weather gravel access road and parking. A great vacation spot for your family, extended family, or any group up to about 20 people.

Don’t forget to take a look at our full items catalog, and we’ll see you at the auction!

Auditions open for Generation Dream 2018

The Richmond Youth Peace Project is now putting together Generation Dream 2018, our annual performing arts tribute to the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Once again we’re looking for talented young performers—singers, musicians, dancers, actors and spoken word poets—who would like to be part of the show.  All performances should in some way reflect Dr. King’s message of peace, nonviolence and social justice.  Individual acts should be limited to no more than five minutes.

We’re auditioning new performers, so, If you know of someone who may want to participate, please have them get in touch with us as soon as possible, at

We’re planning two shows this year:  One will be held at the Richmond Public Library on Friday evening, February 2.

Our second performance is scheduled for the Grace Street Theater on Sunday afternoon, February 11.

Performers who have participated previously do not need to audition, but we would need to know what you’re planning to perform, and preview your performance when you’re ready.

Please let us know if you would like to be a part of this year’s show.  

You can find video from past shows on the Peace Center’s YouTube channel,

For additional information, or to schedule an audition contact us at


Featured Items in This Years Auction!

We know you’ve been wondering what surprises are in store for this year’s auction. Well here’s a sneak preview of some of our featured items. Once you take a look, you’ll be clamoring to purchase your ticket as soon as possible!

Delicious Paella Dinner for Four!
Enjoy a mouth watering Spanish classic without the fuss and clean up involved with putting it together at home! Prepared by the Peace Center’s very own Paul Fleisher, this prize is a culinary dream, featuring salad, wine AND Dessert-Yum!


Plan an Active Weekend with our Active RVA Package!
This package is giving you two great weekend experiences: Two two-hour trampoline passes at Jumpology, AND a two hour segway tour from Segway of Richmond! As a bonus, this package also features a canteen, provided by Ashton Creek Vineyard!


Fashion and Elegance! 
These Fabulous pair of 18k Akoya Pearl and Gold Earrings, donated by Mindy Loiselle, is just the accessory you’ve been looking for! Try showing them off with a Cruelty Free Faux Fur Coat, one of which is also featured in this year’s auction.



And we can’t forget about the fabulous getaways!


A one of a kind Chincoteague Escape!
Every Virginian has heard of the majestic and beautiful Chincoteague island, home of the roaming wild horses. Escape the dredges of every Chincoteague escapeday life with this fabulous week long getaway! This home sits on the quiet Main St. of Chincoteague Island, with four spacious bedrooms, a perfect view the water, decks for relaxing, and nearby biking trails. Embrace your inner horse, and be free with this getaway!


Relaxing stay in an Afton Mountain Cottage

The beach is always a blast, but how about a three-day, two-night getaway to Afton Mountain? Enjoy a spectacular view of the Rockfish Gap from a tiny, cozy and absolutely charming cottage, just 1 ½ hours from Richmond. Hiking? The Appalachian Trail is a 10-minute walk away. Wine tasting? Visit three wineries within a short drive. Craft brew aficionado? Choose from five local breweries. Charming towns? Head to historic Staunton, a 20-minute drive away. This getaway has a little bit of everything! 


These are just three of the awesome treasures you’ll find at this years auction! Be sure to circle back and check our featured items page for updates leading up to the event, and don’t forget to purchase your ticket and come ready to bid!

Teens: What should we do about the monuments?

What Should Richmond Do About Its Confederate Monuments?

Richmond-area teens are invited! Join the conversation at the Richmond Youth Peace Project Monthly Meetup Monday, September 18.

Share your ideas, and discuss, with youth from other schools and neighborhoods.  Meet members of the Mayor’s Monument Avenue Commission.

Monday afternoon, September 18, at the Richmond Public Library, 101 E. Franklin St. 4:30-6:30 p.m.

Your ideas matter. Your voice matters.

  • Join us for snacks
  • Meet new friends
  • Earn two community service hours

Please let us know if you plan to attend.  Email us at

See a schedule of upcoming RYPP monthly meetups here:

Apply to be trained to become a RYPP leader.

The Richmond Peace Education Center empowers teenagers to be leaders for peace and community change through its Richmond Youth Peace Project (RYPP). RYPP is a program of the Peace Center in collaboration with Drums No Guns.


Reclaiming our Democracy: Reforming the Police









Join us for the ACLU of Virginia’s event; Reclaiming our Democracy: Reforming the Police Panel Discussion on Saturday, September 9, co-sponsored by the Peace Center!

ACLU of Virginia 2017 Annual Member Meeting and Panel Discussion
Saturday, September 9, 1-4 p.m.
Maggie L. Walker Governor’s School
1000 North Lombardy Street
Richmond, VA 23220
Campus map
Moderator:  Claire Guthrie Gastañaga, Executive Director, ACLU of Virginia

Hassan Aden, founder of The Aden Group, Inc.; former chief of police of Greenville, NC
Osita Iroegbu, 2017 Governor’s Fellow; journalist; graduate student, VCU
Wornie Reed, PhD, professor of sociology and Africana studies; director of Race and Social Policy Research Center, VA Tech
Phillip E. Thompson, Esq., president, Loudoun County Branch, NAACP

1-1:30 p.m. | Refreshments and networking
1:30-1:45 p.m. | Introductions by ACLU of Virginia and Richmond Peace Education Center
1:45-2 p.m. | ACLU of Virginia’s Year in Review
2-3:30 p.m. | Panel discussion by ACLU of Virginia and police practices experts
3:30-4 p.m. | Post panel question and answer opportunity


Please click here to register in advance by August 31, 2017.