Unity College will host the annual PeaceJam Maine Slam, a one-day youth leadership conference for energetic students and community leaders from across the Northeast on Saturday, Oct. 17.

The purpose of the conference is “to inspire and equip youth to step up and actively engage in creating a future they can be proud of – a peaceful, just world, full of hope and opportunity.” Students will engage in presentations, workshops, service projects, and family groups led by trained college mentors.

The PeaceJam Foundation provides five curricular programs that explore the stories of 13 Nobel Peace Laureates and the ways they overcame problems in their communities. Participants study the personal experiences of these world leaders, then engage in service learning activities that address local and global needs.

“We believe the inspiration of Nobel Peace Laureates, combined with the education and action components of PeaceJam programs, serve as a catalyst for a new generation of young leaders to commit to personal change, and become a force for change in their communities and the world,” said Cathy Roberts, of Montville, a PeaceJam organizer.

“The mission of the PeaceJam Foundation is to create young leaders committed to positive change in themselves, their communities, and the world through the inspiration of Nobel Peace Laureates who pass on the spirit, skills, and wisdom they embody,” Roberts said.

“It is with wide arms and open hearts that we welcome PeaceJam at Unity College,” Unity College Student Government Association John Karyczak said. “In today’s great political and societal strife related to sustainability, we forget that the underlying values of change toward a sustainable future should not be centered on conflict and self-interest, but on peace and compassion for all living things. PeaceJam offers students the opportunity to open their minds and hearts to a peaceful way of being – one that is usually more productive.

“The students in grades 8-12 who will be a part of the 2015 PeaceJam Slam are sure to find themselves so inspired and motivated to change themselves and the world for good. Their momentum will be contagious,” Karyczak said.

Unity College President-elect Dr. Melik Peter Khoury will deliver a keynote address outlining his personal experiences with bystander intervention and offering tactics and responsibilities for students and educators.

“Unity College is dedicated to an atmosphere of inclusivity, diversity, free speech, and tolerance for all racial, ethnic, political, and intellectual beliefs and lifestyles,” Khoury said. “That’s why we’re delighted to host this event, to provide a forum where the highest ideals of the maintenance and renewal of civilization can take root and flourish in our next generation of environmental leaders.”

The event is open to students in grades 8-12. Registration is $25 per person, with group rates available for groups of 10 or more.

Limited scholarships for students are available; call 589-3451 for more information, or email maine@peacejam.org. For more information, or to register for Peace Jam Maine Slam, click here.

Thursday, October 01, 2015