Violence is pervasive in our culture and impacts our young people every day, from guns on the streets to bullies in schools, intolerance, and our inability to connect with, respect, and be kind to each other. These experiences have a devastating effect on young people's healthy development, and contributes to a cycle that is at the root of so many other problems in our world.
Thankfully, over twenty years of experience working with young people has taught us that they can be powerful problem-solvers if they are called and prepared to do so. By teaching young people the skills of courage, compassion, and collaborative leadership, we can unleash their moral imagination. By investing in those ideas, we can help them address some of the most challenging issues in their communities.
Unfortunately, not enough young people are being called to act and supported to create powerful solutions. The narrative around our young people is as victims at best, and all too often they are seen as part of the problem. According to the Berkeley Media Studies Group, only 1% of media representations of young people are positive.
Now is the time to unleash this untapped resource by teaching young people the skills they need to solve the problems that matter most to them, and investing in the ideas that will help change our world for the better.
The Digital Activity Center houses our signature peacemaking curriculum. The Peace First curriculum is tailored to meet the development needs of young people and to help them develop and practice positive behaviors. Our curriculum addresses themes such as friendship, fairness, cooperation, conflict resolution, and consequences of actions, all through the use of experiential activities and cooperative games.