Each spring, the Richmond Youth Peace Project hosts an annual Youth Peace Summit. The Summit is a full-day conference, free to any metro-Richmond young person age 12 through 19. This year, approximately 90 Richmond teens spent their day in active, engaging, workshops in conflict resolution skill-building and creative nonviolent expression through music, writing, and visual arts. These workshops gave teens the opportunity to explore different activities like yoga, cooking, writing, and drumming. Teens also had the chance to gain new skills in areas like organizing for social change, conflict resolution, community engagement, building healthy relationships, and much more. One of the most poignant parts of the day was the discussion panel on bullying, which included four panelists from diverse backgrounds who all have had personal experiences of bullying.
The following video allows those who were unable to attend the summit to hear the amazing stories and voices of these young people:
This panel was incredibly powerful, and had a profound effect on those in attendance. Every year, the Youth Peace Summit proves to be one of our most successful, impactful events. Feedback from participants is consistently positive, and this year was no exception. When asked what they would take away from the Summit, youth responded with “new friends & a new way of viewing things”, “learning how to stick up for myself”, “it’s ok to be who you are”, “different ways to solve conficts peacefully”, and many more similar sentiments. It is a rare opportunity to touch a large group of youth in countless ways, from skill-building to facilitating meaningful discussion. To get more involved with the Richmond Youth Peace Project, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We encourage local teens to join RYPP and continue working with the Peace Center throughout the year.