YMCA Peace Week
YMCA Peace Week is a time when we celebrate the presence of peace in our local and global communities, and reflect on the peace-building work that happens all year both inside and outside the YMCA.
Just as health is more than the absence of illness, peace is more than the absence of violence and conflict. Peace is the presence of conditions like fairness, inclusion, empathy, security, and respect for diversity. Peace is also the ongoing work of building and rebuilding these conditions.
When people are included in their communities and have opportunities to be heard, contribute, and shape the way things work, they tend to relate peacefully to others. When people are excluded, feel misunderstood or frustrated, and can’t find ways to change these conditions, a community’s peace is undermined.
The YMCA is dedicated to strengthening the foundations of community and peace is fundamental to strong and healthy communities.
What kinds of actions create PEACE?
P = Participation – getting involved and encouraging others to get involved in community-building activities
E = Empathy – listening and understanding diverse perspectives to create a sense of belonging for all
A = Advocacy – making the case for positive change in the community
C = Community – building and strengthening community connections and capacity
E = Empowerment – inspiring others to foster peace and helping them gain the skills and tools to succeed
Acts for peace tend to grow outward, creating ripples through the whole community. An act for peace may affect only one person directly—but it may show many more people what’s possible. Peacemakers challenge and inspire others to pursue acts for peace.
How can you “act for peace” daily? Think, say and embody PEACE!
We have listed 25 ways, but we know there's more so keep the list growing. Join the #ymcapeaceweek social media discussion and add your own #actforpeace ideas.
“...Peace has many dimensions. It is not only a state of relationships among nations. We cannot expect to live in a world of peace if we are unable to live in peace with those close to us – even those who differ from us.... The responsibility for peace begins with each person, in relationship with family and friends, and extends to community life and national activities.....”
– from World Alliance of YMCAs Statement on Peace, 1981