"The experiences were incredible. [The] opportunity to meet... people from around the world... was exciting. I am now more aware of how important the world centered on peace truly is, and the large impact it can have on peoples’ lives." - PJ Schwalm
World Youth Peace Summit
The World Youth Peace Summit (WYPS), which included the World Scholar-Athlete Games, was held in Hartford, Connecticut from July 1-4, 2011. The World Youth Peace Summit's mission is to develop scholar-athletes and scholar-artists from around the world as well as other interested individuals or groups into successful peace advocates. By providing the opportunity to study peace policies through a week-long intensive series of lectures and workshops, the WYPS furnished participants with practical knowledge of how to develop and implement their own peace initiatives successfully in their home communities.
At the conclusion of the WYPS, General Colin Powell hosted the ceremonial opening of the Office of Peace Projects.
The mission of this office is:
- to assist 2011 WYPS participants implement their Pathways to Peace initiatives;
- to plan the 2016 WYPS and subsequent Summits which will be held at five-year intervals;
- to conduct empirical research with regard to the efficacy of Pathways to Peace initiatives; and
- to award grants to exceptional Pathways to Peace initiatives.
The Office of Peace Projects will support the implementation of the thousands of Pathways to Peace initiatives that result from the Summit. It will provide administrative direction, information, and opportunities to network with other organizations and people who might be helpful in advancing their efforts. Project implementation may connect to existing service projects or new efforts. Some Pathways to Peace initiatives will focus on large-scale issues such as poverty, nuclear proliferation and the environment. Other Pathways to Peace initiatives will be community-based programs involving some project that fosters peace, such as juvenile justice, conflict resolution, youth sports programs, mentoring and civil rights.
The Office of Peace Projects will become an international center of world peace, providing financial support to innumerable worthy projects. By hosting peace conferences, lectures, and other gatherings, as well as by reaching out to organizations that have connections beyond the state and nation boundaries, the Office will attract visitors to New England from around the world, thereby associating the region as with being a catalyst for world peace.
Read what participants from the 2011 World Youth Peace Summit had to say:
"This was one of the most moving events that I have ever been to." - Dr. Richard Lapchick
"It has been an absolutely amazing experience for me and my daughter. I gained so much more than I gave." - Dr. Eileen Angelini
"This past week has been the best experience of my life; it has changed me as a person, inside and out. It helped me realize that even as one teenager, I can make a difference and contribute to peace, something I had never recognized was possible before as a single person. The speeches were inspirational and incredible, and I have been given opportunities because of these Games that I would not have had if I had not been honored to attend." - Hannah Fasano
"Thank you for all of your help with getting our students into the Peace Summit. They had just a phenomenal time! To end the year with such an amazing experience for our student leaders was what we needed in so many ways." - Barbara Greenbaum
"It was awesome to see so many youth alive and engaged with issues bigger than themselves. It was also great to see sport being used in such a powerful way - as a vehicle for peace. And thank you for making it a priority to have the Voices of Women panel." - Joslyn Dalton, ESPN
"I admire what you are doing, even more now that I have had a taste of it. Many, many thanks for this marvelous work!" - Bill Drayton, Chair, Ashoka
"I am eager to reconnect to all things related to what you are doing to carry on your vision of peacemaking." - Brad Corrigan, Member of the band Dipatch (Dispatch performed at the 2011 World Scholar-Athlete Games)
Visit the Summit's official website at www.youthpeacesummit.org.