Date: Monday, March 20, 2017
It is with sincere appreciation that we thank our gracious donors from 2016. Thanks to your generosity, we will award grants to peacebuilding organizations working with youth in conflict-affected environments.
$2,000 or more
Thomas B. Etzel, CPA
William & Carole Markus
$500 - $1,999
DeGregorio & Frey Family Charitable Fund
John & Dana Fenner
Walt & Lynn Heintzleman
Orizon Consulting LLC
$100 - $499
Betty Lou Albright
John & Cynthia Daley
Leon & Emmy Lou Ducray
Scott Donaldson & Michael Hunter
Joseph & Janet King
C. Wesley Llewellyn
Reverend Dan & Beth Merry
David & Lota Mitchell
Mt. Lebanon Lions Club
Thomas P. O'Malley Jr.
Robert & Kathleen Orient
Rev. Frank Bates & Dr. Natalie Ozeas
Karen & Rob Rossi
$1 - $99
Elmer & Alice May Burger
William & Peggy Christopher
Frank & Deborah Delpercio
Reverend S. Allen & Miriam Foster
Danielle M. Lowen
Barbara & Donn Mielcarek
Robert and Deborah Mrazek
Albert & Sandra Odermatt
Richard & Dorothy Robinson
Terence & Janice Smith
Reginald & Lillian Tate
GPBF Issues Grant to PeacePlayers International
- Northern Ireland (PPI-NI)
In December 2016, Global Peace Building Foundation distributed a Precision Micro-Grant℠ to PeacePlayers International - Northern Ireland (PPI-NI) in support of their programs in Northern Ireland. This is the 5th grant that GPBF has provided the global organization.
Through sports, PPI-NI educates and unites young people in divided communities. PPI-NI’s programs are built on the belief that "children who play together can learn to live together." PPI-NI bridges divides, develops leaders, and changes perceptions in what continues to be a very segregated Northern Ireland.
Recent political actions in Northern Ireland are dividing people and forcing them back into traditional trenches. However, the efforts by PPI-NI at the grassroots level to convene young people, facilitate opportunities for regular and sustained contact, start important community relations conversations, and provide training and capacity building are making a difference. Between September and December 2016, PPI-NI worked with 1,056 Catholic and Protestant youth.
Since 2002, over 20,000 young people have participated in PPI-NI programs where sport is a unifier. PPI-NI is doing its part to build a generation of “Champions for Peace”, young leaders equipped with the experience and skills to have the conversations across divides and build relationships of trust.
In providing this latest grant, GPBF recognizes PPI-NI’s serious commitment to undo the hatred, fears, and violence that has passed down from one generation to the next in Northern Ireland. We support their work to help thousands of young Catholics and Protestants use sport to challenge sectarianism, prejudice and racism, while developing new friendships.
GPBF Issues Grant to Seeds Of Peace (SOP)
- International Peace Camp in Maine
In December 2016, Global Peace Building Foundation (GPBF) distributed a Precision Micro-Grant℠ to Seeds of Peace (SOP) International Peace Camp in Maine. This is the 5th Precision Micro-Grant that GPBF has issued to SOP. The grant recognizes the Peace Camp’s commitment to undo the hatred, fear, and violence that is passed down from one generation to the next in different conflict settings.
The International Peace Camp, a core SOP program, provides a safe space for teenagers and educators to come together across lines of conflict, in a traditional summer camp setting. Dialogue is central to the summer experience and creates an opportunity for participants to see the human face of those they may have previously viewed as ‘enemies’. Participants build relationships based on mutual trust and respect, perceptions and attitudes shift, and they gain insights into the root issues that divide them.
SOP’s network now encompasses over 6,000 alumni throughout the Middle East, South Asia, Europe, and the United States who are uniquely positioned to lead change in their home countries. SOP programming helps young people build the skills and relationships they need to accelerate social, economic, and political changes essential for peace.
Research demonstrates that SOP is having an impact. We honor their commitment to breaking the cycle of conflict and their contributions to building the sustainable peace that all youth and children deserve.
GPBF Issues Grant to Dancing Classrooms
In December 2016, Global Peace Building Foundation (GPBF) issued its 3rd Precision Micro Grant℠ to Dancing Classrooms Pittsburgh. Dancing Classrooms Pittsburgh is a program of the Pittsburgh Mercy Health System. Dancing Classrooms Pittsburgh offers a 10-week social development program for 5th and 8th graders, focusing on ballroom dancing as a vehicle to change the lives of children, "transforming lives one step at a time”. GPBF’s grant is in support of the "Colors of the Rainbow Spring Team Match", an exciting competition that showcases the skills of Dancing Classrooms students.
Dancing Classrooms Pittsburgh builds positive social awareness, confidence, and self-esteem in children through social dance and curriculum-based teaching. The dancing helps break down social barriers between children, educates them on honor and respect, serves to improve self- confidence, and facilitates communication and cooperation. On the dance floor, children learn to accept and embrace difference.
Pittsburgh Mercy Health System introduced Dancing Classrooms to Pittsburgh in 2009. To date, more than 3,300 children in Pittsburgh Public Schools, Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh/Extra Mile Education Foundation elementary schools, Urban League Charter School and Environmental Charter School at Frick Park have benefitted from this program.
GPBF honors Dancing Classrooms Pittsburgh for their work in creating a culture of peace and acceptance amongst our city’s children.
GPBF issues grant to Dancing Classrooms – Pittsburgh
Dancing Classrooms Pittsburgh is a program of the Pittsburgh Mercy Health System.
With a 10-week, 20 session social development program for 5th and 8th graders, it utilizes ballroom dancing as a vehicle to change the lives of children. The tagline is "Transforming lives one step at a time."
In Dancing Classrooms, the dance is a tool for getting the children to break down social barriers, learn about honor and respect, treat others carefully, improve self- confidence, communicate and cooperate, and accept others even if they are different.
The Precision Micro Grant℠ issued by GPBF to Dancing Classrooms helped to support the "2016 Colors of the Rainbow Spring Team Match". GPBF is thoroughly pleased to be involved in supporting an organization devoted to building peace!
GPBF Issues Grant to Seeds of Peace (SOP)
GPBF recently distributed a Precision Micro-Grant℠ to SOP to help support their International Peace Camp in Maine.
A significant goal of SOP is to enable dialog program participants to see the human face of their enemies, and from that experience build relationships based on mutual trust and respect. Since 1993, more than 6,000 graduates of the program, referred to as "Seeds," are becoming today's politicians, journalists, teachers, business leaders, community organizers, and above all, peacemakers.
GPBF recognizes SOP's outstanding efforts to undo the hatred, fears, and violence that have been passed down from one generation to the next. We are grateful that SOP is working so diligently to break the cycle, and by doing so, contribute to the building of the sustainable peace all youth and children deserve.
GPBF Issues Grant to PeacePlayers International (PPI)
GPBF recently distributed a Precision Micro-Grant℠ to PPI to help support their programs in Northern Ireland and South Africa.
PPI is a global organization that uses sports to unite and educate young people in divided communities. PPI operates under the premise of "children who play together can learn to live together." It is a great example that you destroy your enemies by making them your friends. Since 2001, PPI has successfully offered joint sports training, peace education and life skills activities to over 69,000 youth from 15 countries.
GPBF recognizes PPI's outstanding efforts to undo the hatred, fears, and violence that have been passed down from one generation to the next. We are grateful that PPI is working so diligently to break the cycle, and by doing so, contribute to the building of the sustainable peace all youth and children deserve.
September 11, 2001, was a tragic day for the entire world and for me personally. My 25-year-old niece, Katie McCloskey, was working on the 97th floor of the World Trade Center when American Airlines Flight 11 struck the North Tower. My high school friend, Ken Waldie, was aboard that jetliner. Both perished that morning. In the following days I began to consider how peace might be achieved if people could begin to see each other as human beings, as opposed to “the scary other” that was being broadcast on every major U.S. news station. Through my research and studies, I discovered the Contact Theory, a central tenet of peace building.
Contact Theory was first developed in the 1950s by renowned researcher Gordon Allport, and is based on the belief that separation and unfamiliarity between conflicting groups can, and often does, breed negative attitudes such as stereotypes and prejudices which can potentially escalate into hostility and violence. Contact Theory posits that these negative attitudes can be reduced by promoting contact and familiarity between the conflicting groups. It emphasizes the development of personal relationships on a more intimate level. Contact Theory works best when it is applied to youth and children’s peace building programs. The change in attitudes and beliefs, which happens in the formative stage of a young person’s life, creates the conditions necessary for youth to form lasting relationships built on mutual trust and respect. Sustainable peace is rooted in relationships that maintain a sense of connectedness, trust, and the ability to communicate in a nonviolent manner.
PeacePlayers International (PPI), Seeds of Peace (SOP) and Dancing Classrooms – Pittsburgh (DCP) are examples of organizations that successfully operate under the principles of Contact Theory.
PPI is a global organization that uses sports to unite and educate young people in divided communities. PPI operates under the premise of “children who play together can learn to live together.” It is a great example that you destroy your enemies by making them your friends. In Northern Ireland, for example, PPI uses the game of basketball to unite, educate and inspire Catholic and Protestant young people. A formal peace accord between the Catholic and Protestants was signed in 1998, but tensions remain. The schools and neighborhoods are highly segregated. Less than seven percent of Northern Ireland’s pupils attend integrated schools. It will likely take many generations to erode these long-standing barriers so that Catholics and Protestants no longer view each other as the “other side.” Since 2001, PPI has successfully offered joint sports training, peace education, and life skills activities to over 65,000 youth from 12 countries.
A significant goal of SOP is to enable their dialog program participants to see the human face of their enemies, and from that experience build relationships based on mutual trust and respect. SOP operates a camp in Otisfield, Maine that serves as its programming foundation. Israeli and Palestinian youth, for example, spend three and a half weeks together in intense dialog and recreational and team building activities. The experience is transformational. Since 1993, more than 5,000 graduates of the program, referred to as “Seeds,” are becoming today’s politicians, journalists, teachers, business leaders, community organizers, and above all, peacemakers.
Respect and compassion are the guiding principles of DCP. DCP uses ballroom dancing as a tool to break down social barriers, teach about honor and respect, treat others carefully, improve self-confidence, communicate and cooperate and accept others even if they are different. Since 2009, more than 3,300 Pittsburgh children in 234 fifth and eighth-grade classrooms have benefited from DCP.
The impact of the PPI, SOP and DCP programs can be seen, both anecdotally and through independent studies. PPI, for example, has completed the first year of a three-year Randomized Control Trial (RCT) led by New York University Researchers and funded by USAID and the United States Institute of Peace. Initial data is showing that intergroup attitudes of participants are improving significantly as a result of participation in the program. The longer the participant had been in the program, the greater the improvement in attitudes. SOP conducted a similar study through the University of Chicago that has shown similar results. DCP research findings indicate significant improvement regarding student’s perception of social support, diversity interaction, self-worth, and school success.
The process of peace building is complex. Attitudinal change is just one component in this process. It requires a long-term commitment with the realization that it may take many generations to undo the hatred, fears, and violence that have been passed down from one generation to the next. The aim of using Contact Theory is to break the cycle, and by doing so, contribute to the building of the sustainable peace all children deserve.
The Peace Worker
Rise Up Times
Alliance for Peacebuilding
Gilmer Free Press http://www.gilmerfreepress.net/index.php/fpopin/breaking_the_cycle_how_to_build_sustainable_peace_using_the_contact_theory/
Publish Dates: September 11, October 2,7,2015