Across religion, across culture, across difference of opinion, Kids4Peace youth leaders are coming together to take action in their communities. In Boston, Cincinnati, Jerusalem, Lyon (France), and Seattle – youth leaders are driving the work of Kids4Peace. We are so excited to share these updates with you from our continued work around the globe!
Boston: On Sunday, November 3, over 120 guests came together during Kids4Peace Boston’s Determined to Make a Difference Benefit. This was a joyous celebration of all that has been accomplished over the past nine years, and a look toward K4PB’s continued impact in the years to come. We honored K4PB founder Peggy Stevens for all she has done to create and grow the organization, and youth addressed guests about the importance of K4PB in their lives. Cincinnati: Volunteers and community members gathered on Sunday, November 10th for their annual Appreciation Party where everyone celebrated the hard work that keeps Kids4Peace growing! Kids4Peace Cincinnati has tripled in size over the last 4 years and is hard at work planning for their 5th summer program in 2020. These volunteers and community supporters are crucial to the great work that helps to support our youth leaders! Lyon, France: Kids4Peace France had their first meeting of the school year on Sunday, October 13th. 15 youth, both old and new friends, gathered to make plans and learn together about the Jewish holiday of Sukkot! Our youth leaders in Lyon will gather for their next meeting on November 17th when they will tour a Synagogue and learn more about the Jewish faith.
In the spirit of honoring the deep cultural importance olive trees have to all those in Jerusalem, our youth began their weekly programming in late October by joining the olive harvest at the YMCA. Youth worked together on ladders and even on each other’s shoulders to harvest the olives!
The painting described below was created in response to the prompt “Raise Your Voice.” The painting was displayed in the “Under One Roof” at the Bender JCC art gallery in Washington D.C. during the month of October! | On a gradient background a podium faces the abyss. People lurk at the bottom of the painting, in the darkness, hiding from the light. As people move closer to the podium, their color begins to emerge as each person begins to find the light and bring their own color to the world. A rainbow speaks at the podium representing the sound of all the voices, joined in a chorus, bringing contrast and light to a monochromatic society. Coloring The Monochrome
This year, Kids4Peace Cincinnati is focusing their learning and action on the issue of gun violence in their community. During their November meeting, youth decided to hold an interfaith prayer vigil for all the families and cities affected by mass shootings this year in the USA. Sitting in silence one youth read a list of every city and date where a mass shooting has happened in 2019. It took a good fifteen minutes. It was sad. After a brief pause, three other youth recited prayers, each from their own faith tradition. High school students from different faiths and no faiths did this. These youth care deeply about the issue of gun violence. These youth are the ones who are practicing active shooter drills every day at school. They are the ones who are growing tired of “thoughts and prayers.” They mourn for the victims. They are growing up in a world where this is normal, but they have not accepted it as such. They are doing something about it.
During the weekend of October 12-13, 21 middle and high school youth from Kids4Peace Boston came together for a weekend of fun, dialogue, and climate change learning. Youth learned about the current discourse around climate change issues and explored different ways that individuals, businesses, and government could intervene. Youth then engaged in dialogue with each other on their views around climate change and climate action. The weekend also marked the start of the Jewish holiday of Sukkot, and Boston participants and their families gathered together at the end of the overnight to celebrate together, helping to build and decorate a sukkah for a local Jewish community, including creating a decoration with blessings from Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.