Chicago, IL USA
Spanish and English
I was leading experiential adventure education leadership development programs for high school students in Chicago schools when I heard that Play for Peace was starting. Chicago is a city that is very segregated and the idea of having youth leaders use cooperative games and adventure education to help bring their communities together was perfect. As an anti-war activist interested in countering racism, I saw firsthand how Play for Peace's youth facilitator development could bring children and youth together to transform the relationships in schools and communities. Helping to get Play for Peace going at schools, parks, and community organizations throughout the city also had a positive influence on the culture of the Chicago Teachers' Center (part of Northeastern IL University). I've been delighted to see the power of humanizing relationships that Play for Peace has for everyone, bringing laughter and joy in places where there could easily be sadness and hatred and it does so in the hearts and minds of young people. At one school, Play for Peace became the club where people got together when they decided to leave the violence of gang involvement. They had experienced firsthand the tragedies that gun violence caused to their loved ones and knew it had to stop. PFP is rich because it integrates people from all over the world and is a model to help promote world peace. Its been a pleasure for me to train in various countries and states.