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Peace Projects

 

Click Here to Learn about the Peace Project ProcessClick Here to Learn About Past Peace Projects

Today, an after school tutoring program exists at Gad's Hill Center in a low-income community on Chicago's Westside.  Each week, students from nearby Cristo Rey Jesuit High School mobilize fellow classmates in an effort to work toward reconcilaiton and lessen gang-related violence.  The entire high school community has been transformed by the vision and leadership of these students.

This is just one example of a peace project designed and implemented by a participant of Peacebuilders Initiative.  Many of the hundreds of projects that have been implemented in and around the city of Chicago since our program's inception, still remain active today.

Over the course of the program year, Peacebuilders participants create and develop a project to advance peacebuilding and reconciliation in their school, parish, or community. They may address one of the many issues that divide society and prevent peacebuilding and reconciliation from thriving, such as cross-cultural dynamics, racism, and intolerance. 

As they work through their project, our participants come to know themsleves as leaders within the Church, and the adults who support them come to realize the same.  Through the course of their project, our participants are encouraged to call forth the leadership of their peers, to build relationships with other church and school leaders, and to establish two-way transformational relationships with the people they have been called forth to serve.

What is a Peace Project? 
"The place God calls you to is where your deep gladness and the world's deep hunger meet."  - Frederick Buechner

A Peace Project can be many things!  Tutoring programs, awareness-raising campaigns, liturgies, new service clubs, and mission trips are all projects that Peacebuilders have brought to life.  Peacebuilders participants use their unique gifts and interests to respond to issues or opportunities present in their local communities, so the projects are as varied and different as the young people who design them.  At the same time, there are some basic criteria common to each project.  All projects should:

1.    Be rooted in the local community.
2.    Build and strengthen relationships between individuals and between communities.
3.    Involve and honor the voices of everyone the project will affect.
4.    Address a need or opportunity within the community to build peace and justice, especially one concerning the poor, vulnerable, and/or young.
5.    Incorporate prayer and/or reflection for and with all those affiliated with the project.

 
Do You Have What it Takes to be a Peacebuilder?