Since 2004, Peace it Together has been uniting Palestinian, Israeli and Canadian youth leaders in its unique and impact-oriented program that advances peaceful, and reconciliatory approaches to ending the conflict. After a four-week summer intensive of facilitated dialogue and collaborative filmmaking on Canada’s West coast, young leaders are trained and supported for up to two years to use the short films they co-created to motivate others to become engaged in peace building. Alumni then become part of a community that actively supports them in the change they choose to make in the world.
- Peace it Together has produced 25 youth-made films that have been screened in 22 film festivals and have won multiple awards.
- Israelis and Palestinian participants from our most recent program have so far, facilitated dozens of film screenings in their communities, to more than 1,000 people.
- Canadian participants from the most recent cohort have reached audiences of over 900 people in their communities and on university campuses and aim to screen their films and host workshops for hundreds more by the summer of 2013.
- The films have been viewed 20,000 times on our YouTube channel by people around the world.
Impact of the program on our youth
- Data collected from questionnaires completed by the Israeli and Palestinian youth at the end of the summer program and a year later reveals that most of the youth have maintained or increased their level of motivation to engage in peace-building activities.
- After screening their films and engaging with other community members through screening
workshops, participants have strengthened their belief that film is an important media for peace-building.
- One year after the summer intensive, participants on both sides were more aware of how 'their own side' contributes to sustaining the conflict, thereby increasing their level of commitment to create change.
- Many participants say that screening their films and facilitating dialogue in their communities made the experience in the summer intensive much more significant and impactful.
Impact of the films on audiences
The films serve as testimonials of what is possible when adversaries unite in an equitable and
productive way. They show that negotiation and collaboration can result in a positive outcome.
- Audience feedback forms at the youth-led screenings to Palestinian and Israeli audiences reveal that close to 60% of audience members wanted to learn more about 'the other side' as a result of seeing the Peace it Together films.
- In an online survey of those who have seen Peace it Together films, 73% of Canadian respondents strongly agreed with the statement, “As a result of watching one or more Peace it Together films… I discovered the human face of the conflict.”
- Over one-third of those surveyed (35%) agreed or strongly agreed that watching Peace it Together films helped them to “let go of some of the negative images or stereotypes [they] held about Israelis,” while 58 per cent said the same thing of Palestinians.
- The films have catalyzed nuanced and heartfelt discussions among Israeli and Palestinian community groups, surprising even the group members who had been meeting regularly for years. The films and the workshops reportedly took some group dialogue to a significantly deeper level.