A week of high-profile events planned to honor Joe Biden and alumni, showcasing young leaders and changemakers
NEW YORK | Seeds of Peace, a nonprofit organization dedicated to inspiring and cultivating the next generation of global leaders poised to transform conflict, is celebrating its 25th Anniversary in recognition of the social, economic, and political impact that its alumni are having around the world.
The mission began in 1993 as an audacious experiment: 46 Arab and Israeli teens came together at a summer camp in Maine in order to share bunks, meals … and competing historical narratives. For most, it was the first time they sat face-to-face with the opposite side. But soon they began to hear each other. They began to trust each other. And they left Camp committed to no longer accepting the world as it is, but rather working towards what it could be.
A quarter of a century later, this dream has firmly taken root, and the organization boasts a network of nearly 6,700 alumni from 27 countries who are leading change as NGO founders, educators, journalists, business entrepreneurs, artists, and diplomats. These emerging leaders are influencing communities around the world with the lessons they learned through Seeds of Peace’s programs.
“As we mark this milestone, the need for leadership with the skills and empathy that is required to work across lines of conflict has never felt more important,” says Seeds of Peace Executive Director Leslie Lewin. “We are proud of the courage our alumni show in leading change.”
A recent alumni survey guided by the University of Chicago Booth School of Business shows that of respondents:
- 76% are actively working to create change and transform conflict through their professional work or volunteer efforts.
- For those whose work contributes directly to conflict transformation, alumni reach and impact an average of 1,893 individuals each, with 29% reaching 5,000 or more.
- 61% contribute to conflict transformation outside of their work, collectively spending up to 1,500 volunteer hours per week.
- 89% describe themselves as active supporters of Seeds of Peace, even 10-25 years after attending Camp.
The organization is hosting a week of events to mark its anniversary and achievements:
Symposium | 8-11:30 a.m. — Tuesday, May 8, Facebook Headquarters in New York City
Seeds of Peace will showcase the role of social entrepreneurship and its social, economic, and political impact in communities divided by conflict through moderated conversations and an alumni showcase. A distinguished group of Seeds alumni from the Middle East, South Asia, Europe, and the United States will present alongside notable media, philanthropic, and business leaders including Ali Velshi (MSNBC), Georgia Levenson Keohane (Pershing Square Foundation), Yadin Kaufmann (Sadara Ventures), Lisa Conn (Facebook), Nina Nieuwodt (Mastercard), and Christopher Schroeder (author, Startup Rising).
Spring Dinner Gala | 6-10 p.m. — Wednesday, May 9, Pier Sixty at Chelsea Piers
Vice President Joe Biden will receive the John P. Wallach Peacemaker Award, and Late Night host Seth Meyers will help host more than 850 supporters and friends, including diplomats and leading members of New York City’s business and philanthropic communities. Mandy Gonzalez from Broadway’s Hamilton will perform, and five outstanding Seeds of Peace alumni from Israel, Palestine, Afghanistan, and Pakistan will present.
The evening’s host committee includes four past U.S. Secretaries of State (Kissinger, Baker, Albright, and Kerry) as well as U.S. Senators Susan Collins, Kirsten Gillibrand, Angus King, and Chuck Schumer.