What We Do
Peace it Together empowered youth to work in equitable partnerships as media makers and cultural, social and political change agents. In our program youth had frank and informed discussions on the realities of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and co-created provocative and shareable short films that explored the complexities of the conflict and the pursuit of peace. Youth used their films to host courageous conversations about the conflict in their own communities, inspiring others to take action and build peace.
Throughout this process, youth deepened their critical awareness about the systems that perpetuate the conflict. We supported youth to take action towards changing these systems in the long term, and inspired others to do the same. Peace it Together helped equip the next generation of young peace builders in their pursuit of a just, secure, and sustainable peace.
With each program up to 10 Israeli, 10 Palestinian, and 10 Canadian youth leaders developed the capacity to become innovative and intrepid peace builders. The 12 month program began when youth in the three respective regions met and began the process of exploring their own experiences, views of the conflict, and intentions for the program. All three delegations then gathered for a 3-4-week summer intensive on Canada’s West Coast. During this time youth formed authentic connections and learned how to work in fair and inclusive ways together, developing a deeper understanding of each other and their needs.
3-Week Dialogue and
Led by professional facilitators, participants:
- had frank and informed discussions of the realities of the conflict
- explored key concepts like narrative, cultural identity, history and human rights
- watched, analyzed and discussed films about the conflict.
Throughout the program youth deepened their understanding of the institutions and systems that perpetuate the conflict, while also developing their leadership skills and knowledge of peace building theories, social, political, and cultural change.
Youth then practiced working in equitable partnerships as they:
- negotiated the filmmaking process in small groups (each group containing Israeli, Palestinian and Canadian youth)
- developed, shot and edited short films that explored unsettling questions about the charged and complex realities of conflict and peace building.
- The films offer nuanced portrayals of the conflict, contrasting the stereotypical and inflammatory narratives dominating the mainstream.
When they returned home, youth designed and facilitated creative workshops for wider audiences in their communities throughout Israel, Palestine and Canada.
In these workshops youth:
- used discussions about their films as an accessible way to facilitate deeper discussions about challenging and often uncomfortable topics about the conflict
- encouraged workshop participants to examine their own assumptions and consider what actions they might take to transform the conflict and build peace.
Throughout this process, youth leaders:
- learned how to become resilient peace builders; inevitably they do this work in the midst of violent outbreaks and breakdowns in diplomatic relations.
- continued to work to strengthen relationships with their peers in other delegations in order to hone their strategies for inspiring others to take action.
- explored their own interests, passions and initiatives to transform the conflict in other ways, helping solidify their commitment to peace building over the long term.