Creative Peacebuilders are at the core of all our leadership development programs for performing and visual artists, journalists and media-makers, and other restorative storytellers interested in promoting peace and social justice through their work. The program, which took place in January 2021, focused on building community and a set of resources around the artists commissioned in the 100 Offerings of Peace campaign in 2020.
It was an extraordinary opportunity for creatives, ages 18-30, to engage with a community of peers from 10-15 countries worldwide. The Creative Peacebuilders attended monthly virtual workshops and webinars hosted by renowned guest speakers, from NYT Best-Selling Author and Meditation Teacher Tara Brach to our very own co-founder, Dr. Maya Soetoro. Each session covered a different topic, including reflective practice, Restorative Narratives, trauma-informed approach to storytelling, peace and peacebuilding, and more. Additionally, all Creative Peacebuilders received a $250 micro-grant for a proposed project based on their learnings from each of the four modules in the curriculum.
There was also a $1,500 collaboration grant given at the end of the year for those Creative Peacebuilders that found themselves wanting to collaborate on a project with one of their cohort peers.
The Youth Ambassadors program serves as an opportunity for 14–18-year-old creatives to serve as Peace Studio leaders in raising awareness and support for peacebuilding efforts around the world. Ambassadors combine their passion for culture, journalism, arts, food, and stories to bring new, youthful energy to a global peacebuilding movement. We piloted this program in 2021 with Evan Sulpizio-Estrada of San Diego, California. Evan is a young leader with an incredible passion for languages, culture and human connection.
Following the program, Evan started an award-winning podcast called “Evan Worldwide,” which allowed him to be in conversation with other young people from around the world. Evan has traveled internationally to meet indigenous people, uplift refugee chefs, and document youth perspectives from all over.
He is in the process of writing his first book, and is donating all proceeds to The Peace Studio.