Peace isn’t just the absence of violence or war. It’s a way of being in the world. It’s the enactment of compassion, kindness, and love. It includes all the small concrete steps we can take individually and collectively to pursue justice, protect human rights, and help others facing hardship, oppression, or other adversity. If “peace” is a noun, “peacebuilding” is the verb that means everything people, communities and nations can do to ensure and preserve peace. Some of the peacebuilding our organization focuses on includes:
teaching and practicing mindfulness, empathy, and kindness in ourselves and others
leveraging the power of storytelling to bring awareness to injustices that have not been fully addressed
organizing and supporting community-based artistic collaborations and events to foster lifelong social-emotional learning for all
giving inspiring performances, publishing original works, and hosting conversations to help communities heal past traumas, and discover their shared humanity across ethnic, religious, and other differences.
By investing in a generation of peacebuilding culture creators, we will shift public dialogue from fear and conflict to hope and possibility and inspire people everywhere to pursue justice, protect fundamental human rights, and show compassion across differences.
In December of 2019, The Peace Studio officially merged with Images of Voices of Hope. Images of Voices and Hope began in 1999 when nearly two hundred media professionals gathered to discuss the media’s impact on society. Realizing that existing media content often had negative effects on the public, ivoh was founded to promote and produce storytelling that builds empathy and compassion, connecting us across differences and to “restore the world with story.” The Peace Studio and ivoh recognized that both organizations were deeply aligned in their missions, in understanding the urgent need for restorative narratives and for developing and amplifying the voices of thought leaders, artists and storytellers whose work promotes peacebuilding, social justice and community.
THE HUMANITY PROJECT - 2019
A cross-cultural theater exchange between young American and Rwandan artists in remembrance of the 25th anniversary of the Rwandan genocide and in a call for an end to violence worldwide.
The piece we created was premiered at the Ubumuntu Arts Festival at the Kigali Genocide Memorial on July 14 to a lengthy standing ovation. A documentary about the project will be released in Fall 2020.
PEACE FIRST SUMMIT-2018
Held at Florence Gould Hall in NYC and in partnership with the youth-based group, Peace First, the summit celebrated the courage and innovation of young peace-builders and artists. Presenters featured leaders from the Obama and Gandhi families as well as from March for our Lives, the National School Walkout, BuildOn, and Do Something.
GULALAI ISMAIL - NY TIMES
Helped advocate on behalf of Peace Studio participant Saba Ismail and her sister, feminist hero Gulalai Ismail, who was on the run in Pakistan – and whose life was on the line – because of her remarkably courageous advocacy on behalf of girls and women in that country. The article, by Jeffrey Gettleman, another Peace Studio participant, helped draw international attention to Gulalai’s story which, in turn, led to local police who were torturing her family to stop doing so. Gulalai is now in a safe place.
LEADERSHIP SPA - 2017
A two-day event at Auburn Seminary in NYC that focused on stories of those affected by violence including Scarlett Lewis, who lost her son at Sandy Hook; Kathy Eldon, whose 21-year-old photojournalist son Dan was killed by an angry mob in Somalia; and Pulitzer Prize administrator and former New York Times reporter Dana Canedy (pictured above), whose husband, First Sgt. Charles Monroe King, was killed serving in the Iraq War.