Interfaith Youth Group Brings Message of Peace to Washington, DC

Youth Advocate for Israeli-Palestinian Peace at 14 Congressional offices 
UPDATE: 

August 2, 2016 – Washington, DC:

Today, 28 young leaders from Kids4Peace will take to Capitol Hill, to support US efforts to achieve peace between Israelis and Palestinians.

The interfaith group includes Muslim, Christian and Jewish teenagers from Jerusalem and across the United States.  They will visit 14 House and Senate offices and the staff of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

They will encourage support for HR 1489, a bill to create an International Fund for Israeli-Palestinian peace that will expand grassroots, people-to-people efforts to build peace from the bottom up.

We invite you to interview these youth tonight at 6:30pm at Mount Vernon Place United Methodist Church (900 Massachusetts Ave NW).  Two participants, both named Omri (one Jewish Israeli and one Palestinian Muslim) will share their stories.
Event Information: k4p-voicesofhope.eventbrite.com
Contact: Fr. Josh Thomas, Executive Director, josh@k4p.org | @frjoshthomas | 617-717-9305

Background: This week, these leaders have been learning skills in faith-based advocacy and social action, and they have visited the US State Department, USAID, the Washington Institute for Near East Policy and the United States Institute of Peace.
They have met with religious leaders and grassroots activists, including alums of Operation Understanding DC.  Tomorrow they will bring their message of grassroots peace building to the White House.

 

Washington, DC, July 21, 2016 – Kids4Peace International, a fast growing interfaith youth movement, will bring a delegation of 30 Israeli, Palestinian and American teens to Washington, DC for its inaugural Global Institute from July 27-August 3.

The delegation will meet scholars, grassroots activists and policymakers on Capitol Hill, at the State Department and the White House to encourage greater investment in interfaith cooperation and peacebuilding, both in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and here at home.

“Despite the breakdown of negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians, and the rise of hateful rhetoric in our own country, these youth believe peace can be built from the bottom up, said Fr. Josh Thomas, an Episcopal priest and Kids4Peace’s Executive Director.

“Our societies are divided. No one is showing them a way to peace.  So they are creating it themselves. They have a powerful vision for the future, and their voices need to be heard.”

The delegation includes Jewish, Christian and Muslim youth from Jerusalem, Boston, Seattle, Vermont and Connecticut.  These young leaders will speak on behalf of more than 500 youth who participate in Kids4Peace programs around the world. These programs equip youth to be peace leaders, who build bridges with those who are different, resolve conflicts nonviolently, and raise their voices for justice and peace in the world.

“These teenagers are a symbol of hope,” Thomas said. “They are proving that religion, culture and conflict do not need to divide us.  With their leadership, a new generation can emerge where cooperation, equality and justice are the norm.”

After the program, Israeli & Palestinian youth will return to Jerusalem and continue their activism through year-round community projects and town hall meetings with local leaders.  American participants will learn about the U.S. role in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and how to take action on issues of discrimination, inequality and division in their own communities.

Kids4Peace is a member of the Alliance for Middle East Peace, a coalition of more than 90+ organizations working to bring together Israelis and Palestinians to advance a just and sustainable peace.  

The July 1 report of the Middle East Quartet called for Israelis and Palestinians to “foster a climate of tolerance, including through increasing interaction and cooperation in a variety of fields – economic, professional, educational, cultural – that strengthen the foundations for peace and countering extremism.”  

Kids4Peace operates after-school and summer programs for youth age 12-18, through a network of local chapters and an overseas office in Jerusalem.  Activities include team building, dialogue, leadership training, and learning about diverse religions and cultures.

Contact

Fr. Josh Thomas, Executive Director, josh@k4p.org | @frjoshthomas | 617-717-9305
Kids4Peace International | k4p.org | @Kids4Peace