What is the Peace First Challenge?

The Peace First Challenge is a call to action for young people in the United States ages 13 – 24 to address injustices in their communities through a peacemaking lens. Young people will take action by completing five stages in their peacemaking journey: 1) Register your team; 2) Uncover your insight; 3) Create your plan; 4) Act, Reflect, Share; and 5) Accelerator.

The Peace First Challenge runs from January to June 2017. Each stage needs to be completed by a deadline. Find out more about steps and deadlines.

What are the benefits of joining the Peace First Challenge?

In addition to making positive and peaceful contributions to your community, there are lots of benefits to taking the Peace First Challenge! Here are a few:

  • Access to tools that take you step by step in creating a peacemaking project.
  • Online mentors and groups can provide feedback and answer questions.
  • Youth can share their stories and accomplishments through project pages.
  • Mini-grants break down financial barriers so youth can put their peacemaking projects into action.
  • Young people who want to continue their peacemaking projects may be eligible to attend a Youth Summit where they will get the support of nonprofit and industry leaders.

Do I have to pay to be part of the Peace First Challenge?

No, registering a team to be part of the Peace First Challenge is free of charge. Having access to the mini-grants, digital tools and other resources is completely free. If you opt-in to receive SMS notifications when you register an account, message and data rates may apply.

Does my team need to go somewhere physically?

No, we ask for teams to work in the areas where they already work so they do not have to come together to meet with us. All of the support from Peace First is provided online. There is, however, an opportunity for some selected teams to come together to a youth summit that is planned to be held in June.

What are the digital tools for peacemaking?

The tools are built as facilitators guides that will give facilitators everything they need to run all the Peace First Challenge activities.

Do all teams get $250 mini-grants?

To be eligible to receive a mini-grant, teams will need to register, choose an injustice, submit a suggested solution they want to implement and a plan on how they want to do it. When they submit the plan, they will indicate how much money they would like to request and what they can provide in terms of in-kind resources. For example, if you only need $100, you can request only the $100 that you need.

What role can an adult play?

Guide young people through the Peace First Challenge by being a group facilitator. This is great for classrooms, clubs, after school programs, etc. Peace First will provide you with digital tools that you can use to guide young people through their peacemaking journey. You will also have access to videos that provide overviews of each stage and an online group where you can get support from other facilitators and Peace First staff. The first step is to register your teams! See other roles for adults and more resources.

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What is a mentor?

A mentor is usually an adult that provides guidance to young people to help them complete the Peace First Challenge. If a young person cannot find a mentor in their community, Peace First will assign them to an online mentor.

What happens after the Challenge finishes?

Projects that are posted in the Peace First Challenge website stay on the website and they can continue being part of the community. There are other similar challenges that will be launched later in the year and mini-grants are also available for teams of young people that are not part of this challenge in case they can’t complete their project in time.

What other organizations partner with the Peace First Challenge?

Peace First has national partnerships with leading youth development organizations, including: Girl Scouts, Boys and Girls Club of America, YWCA, City Year, generationOn, Global Citizen,
MENTOR, Teach For All, and The Bully Project. See a full list of our partners.

What types of projects are young people working on?

Projects can be big or small. They can also address any injustice, as long as they use a peacemaking lens of courage, compassion, and collaboration. For example, Matthew Kaplan started The Be ONE Project to encourage empathy among young people and end bullying. Amanda Matos started the WomanHOOD Project to empower young women of color to become more engaged with politics and community leadership. While Danielle Liebl started DIFFERbilities, an experience to build positive relationships between students with and without disabilities. Meet peacemakers and learn about their projects!