Highlights from Incredible Youth Peace Summit

This year’s Youth Peace Summit convened youth from all over the Richmond region to meet and learn from one another and learn about peaceful ways to resolve conflict. This year’s gathering opened with a powerful panel “Sharing Immigrant Stories.” A highlight of the day was a visit and presentation by Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney.

See photos here.

See video clips here.

Well into its second decade, the Peace Center’s annual Youth Peace Summit is still going strong. This year’s free, day-long conference for teens was held on April 29 at St. Paul’s Baptist Church, Southside campus.

Here’s some of what this year’s Youth Peace Summit participants had to say…

What did you learn today?

  • How to find what makes you happy and how to pursue it
  • I learned how to defend myself without harming others
  • How many different kinds of people there are
  • Control my feelings how to share them
  • That everyone is equal and how to be myself

After today what would you do differently?

  • Take action when I see someone in trouble
  • Stay positive
  • Respect others- you don’t know what they’re going through
  • Control my anger better
  • Help immigrants in my school
  • Stand up for LGBQT kids
  • Take action in the community
  • Treat people how I want to be treated

More than 135 young people from central Virginia attended this year. The teens participated in morning and afternoon workshops where they learned about leadership and conflict resolution skills, and ways to work for social justice or to express themselves through various art forms. Honoring our commitment to promote youth leadership, several dozen teen leaders–including many from our Richmond Youth Peace Project–facilitated or co-facilitated most of this year’s workshops.

The workshops offered this year included:

  • Conflict resolution
  • Building Healthy Relationships
  • Anger Management
  • Preventing Human Trafficking
  • Being an ally to undocumented youth
  • Indonesian and Latino cooking and culture
  • Capoeira
  • Taiko and Afro-Brazilian Drumming
  • Yoga
  • Cross-Cultural Understanding;
  • … and much more

The Peace Center is grateful to the many volunteers who planned and led workshop sessions, or assisted with the logistics of making this year’s Summit a reality. We also want to thank The Robins Foundation, the employees of Swedish Match, The Wonder Fund of the Community Foundation, Sisters of Bon Secours, St. Paul’s Baptist Church, and the many faith partners and individual supporters of the Richmond Peace Education Center who made this event possible.