Are you ready to take the next step as a peacebuilder? Use the Peace Club Starter Kit to guide you through the process of starting a group in your school or community!
A Peace Club is a great way to make a difference. It can help you to connect with others who share your interests. You can learn more about peace and gain skills to deal with conflict. You can also find ways to take action to make the world a better place.
Once you’ve organized a Peace Club, let us know. We’ll recognize your efforts and let others know about your great initiative!
“If you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go together.” – African Proverb
The first step in creating a successful Peace Club is talking through, as a group, why you are each committed to being peacebuilders. Then, you may wish to turn that into a written commitment to working for peace locally and globally.
At your first meeting, share and get inspired!
Encourage all club member to participate in a conversation to lay the groundwork for your future plans. Key questions to answer include:
- Why you are here: Why do you want to be part of a Peace Club? What does peace mean to you? Why does it matter that young people work for peace? What do you think you have to offer?
- Set your goals: What do you hope to learn and do as a Peace Club?
- How you want to operate: How often and where will you meet? Do you need a teacher or other adult to sponsor and mentor your work? Do you want to stay in touch with each other on Facebook or another way?
Declare your commitment!
Write a charter, pledge or statement of purpose for your Peace Club. This is your chance to describe your commitment and vision, and it can also be shared with others who want to learn more about your work.
- Articulate WHY, HOW, and WHAT: Why does peace matter to your group? How will you pursue peace? What actions and attitudes will you uphold in your work to build peace? What do you hope to achieve?
- Consider having the group sign it; post it somewhere to refer to later.
“It isn't enough to talk about peace. One must believe in it. And it isn't enough to believe in it. One must work at it.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
Building peace requires knowledge, skills, and effort. Put your Peace Club’s commitment into action by first learning about peacebuilding and then leading activities in your community. Try a few of these ideas and add your own!
- Pick up the skills of peacebuilding: The Peacebuilding Toolkit includes activities that can teach you about conflict analysis, active listening, negotiation, mediation, and others. Pick one of the following, or find others that are of special interest to you and your Peace Club:
- Research global events in the news; then, discuss what you learn. Are there issues you feel strongly about and would like to take action on?
- Explore peacebuilding stories that do not always get covered in the news, starting with USIP’s blog, The Olive Branch.
- Find examples of young peacebuilders who have made an important change in their communities and the world. They can be role models for you and your peers! Ask each member of the Club to research one example to share, and then discuss as a group.
- Tackle an issue you care about: First, brainstorm ideas by creating a list of priorities or issues you care about as a Peace Club. Next, choose one issue that you care about as a group and create an action plan (see a great template) based around that issue. Want feedback on your plan? Email us!
- Celebrate peacebuilding: Who in your school or community resolves conflict or builds peace? Give them an award or share their story on social media using #EverydayPeacebuilders. How else can you recognize local peacebuilders? Brainstorm good ideas in your club.
- Take the Peace Day Challenge: The United Nations designated September 21 as the International Day of Peace. Each year, USIP mobilizes millions of people across the U.S. and around the world in turning September 21 into a day of action for peace. Join us by participating in the Peace Day Challenge in your school or community!
- Call attention to important peace events in history: Raise awareness about these moments through social media, through an art project in your school or through a commemorative event.
“If you have knowledge, let others light their candles at it.” – Margaret Fuller
Now that your club is up and running, make sure the work of peacebuilding doesn’t stop with you! You’ve learned about conflict and peace, gained the knowledge and skills of peacebuilding and even taken action to address an issue you care about. Next, share your knowledge and experience with your community and the world to increase your impact and inspire others.
- Talk it up! Organize an event in your school or community to share what you learned and did as a Peace Club.
- Write it up! Write an article for your school or community newspaper or online platform to share your knowledge and experience with even more people.
- Team up! Team up with adult peacebuilders in your local community to share your and their peacebuilding work with your peers.
- Compare your story! Share your story, photo collection or video with us to post with other examples of Peace Clubs.
- Connect with young peacebuilders! Reach out to others from around the U.S. and even from around the world to share your work and learn from theirs. We can help make those connections – let us know!