Since 1993, Seeds of Peace has cultivated and inspired new generations of leaders who refuse to accept the world as it is and sets them on a path to creating the world that could be.
While our work initially began with youth from the Middle East, we recognized that our immersive programs centered around engaging meaningfully across lines of conflict or difference also applied to the many divisions we see in the United States today and throughout our history.
Responding to Today’s Realities
The United States Program at Seeds of Peace responds to structural oppression, exclusion, polarization, and lack of belonging of individuals and communities in the US through a leadership development program for youth that is rooted in dialogue, community, leadership development, and action-taking.
Through dialogue across lines of difference, participants make systems of power personal by connecting an individual’s experiences to the larger structures and patterns of power that they are nested in.
Through inviting youth into the Seeds of Peace community, we are giving them the opportunity to engage meaningfully with other young people they might otherwise never have the chance to meet.
By teaching the skills necessary to affect change, we are preparing youth to assume real leadership roles. It is through assuming these leadership roles that we see youth mobilizing and taking action for change.
Seeds of Peace strives to create communities that are diverse in every respect possible, with participants from different cultural, political, ethnic, racial, socioeconomic, religious, geographic, and educational backgrounds. Together, we explore different concepts of identity and work to understand the issues and realities of our communities. We build trust, address biases and misconceptions, share stories, and form bonds that would otherwise be impossible.
What happens next?
When youth complete our summer programs, they will hold a complex understanding of the problems facing their community, country, and world. They will have the skills and experiences that will prepare them to meaningfully participate in and lead efforts aimed at resolving geopolitical conflicts, addressing urgent international issues, and promoting more just and inclusive societies.
Following involvement in our summer programs, Seeds will go on to participate in our many year-round program opportunities, including dialogue sessions, advanced certification opportunities, and many other youth leadership opportunities in connection with locally rooted programs in the regions in which Seeds live.
“Seeds of Peace gave me the confidence to believe that I can do something for the world. Every one of us has the ability, but very few ever use it. I want to be one of those few.” — Jack (Maine)