University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT., March 17, 2014 – This past weekend, three Hoboken Charter High School PeaceJam members attended the 14th annual New England PeaceJam Conference. The PeaceJam Foundation is an international organization whose mission’s statement is “to create young leaders committed to positive change in themselves, their communities and the world through the inspiration of Nobel Peace Prize Laureates who pass on the spirit, skills, and wisdom they embody.” The PeaceJam program was launched in February 1996 by co-founders Dawn Engle and Ivan Suvanjieff to provide the Nobel Peace Prize Laureates with a programmatic vehicle to use in working together to teach youth the art of peace.
To date, thirteen Nobel Peace Prize Laureates, including the 14th Dalai Lama, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Rigoberta Menchú Tum, President Oscar Arias, Adolfo Pérez Esquivel, Mairead Corrigan Maguire, Betty Williams, José Ramos-Horta, Aung San Suu Kyi, Sir Joseph Rotblat (Emeritus), Jody Williams,Shirin Ebadi and Leymah Gbowee, serve on the Board of Directors of the PeaceJam Foundation.
Each year, the Laureates take turns attending PeaceJam Conferences, inspiring and educating young leaders around the world. Hoboken Charter High School PeaceJam members Romanda Abedair, Mariam Ahmed and Emily Wojcik joined hundreds of PeaceJammers in presenting their Global Call to Action Project to former Costa Rican President and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Oscar Arias.
Our Global Call to Action Project is being funded by a grant from the Young Audiences of New Jersey & Eastern Pennsylvania through which our students are working with their school PeaceJam advisor, Mira Septimus, Young Audiences staff representatives and Hoboken artist Zach Green twice a month. Through collaborative art, writing, and thought-provoking workshops, our PeaceJam group is leading the school in a citywide Hurricane Sandy Relief Initiative. Students are delving into the thoughts and feelings of those affected by the hurricane through the arts. Our goal is to ultimately choreograph a multimedia performance, which will include dance, art, music and video, for our school, community and the City of Hoboken, with the end result of bringing healing and support around one of the most devastating events in Hoboken’s history.