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One America - Help Increase the Peace Project

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One America

Program: Help Increase the Peace Project, Kansas City, MO
Contact(s): Ira Harritt, Program Coordinator, American Friends Service Committee: (816) 931-5256
Purpose: To increase the use of non-violent approaches to conflict, prejudice and violence, and promote involvement (especially among youth) in issues of social justice and peace

Background Program Operations Outcomes

Background

Help Increase the Peace (HIP) Project was developed in 1990 by the American Friends Service Committee staff in Syracuse, New York, to address violence in schools. The city of Kansas City adapted HIP to accommodate the needs of local residents. It is based on the conviction that conflict-resolution techniques can improve the lives of all individuals. Youth and adults take lessons in conflict resolution, community building and prejudice reduction to help build relationships across racial and class differences.

Program Operations

The HIP program provides several workshops. There are three primary workshop themes: options to violence; dealing with racism, prejudices and our differences; and community empowerment. HIP uses interactive techniques such as role-playing and games to engage program participants in the training sessions. Program training consist of six 2 -hour sessions over the course of three days with 15 to 20 youth and adults in the group. Follow-up training sessions for program facilitators are also available. The program is also offered at elementary and middle schools. Administrators, teachers and students participate in the training sessions to become conflict mediators. The overall objective of the HIP program is to teach leadership skills, build community efforts for better race relations and increase an individual's self-esteem and sense of empowerment.

Outcomes and Significant Accomplishments

The HIP project is recognized for bridging the communication gap between youth and adults in order to address issues of school safety as well as creating a forum for non-violent mediation in community environments.


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