PeaceJam Unites Youth with Nobel Peace Laureate

Apr 6 • 1401 Views • View Comments

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Nobel Peace Prize laureate Rigoberta Menchú Tum will address 400 high school students from across the Southeast during PeaceJam Southeast’s annual conference Saturday, April 9, and Sunday, April 10, in the Oglesby Union Ballrooms at Florida State University.

Menchú won the prize in 1992 in recognition of her work for the rights of the indigenous Mayan people of Guatemala.

Media are invited to cover events, workshops and service projects in the main ballrooms. On Saturday: The opening ceremony, 8:45 a.m.; Menchú’s address, 10:10 a.m.; on-campus service projects, 1:20 p.m.; and presentations/workshops, 5:10 p.m. On Sunday: The ceremony of inspiration, 8:30 a.m.; presentations/workshops, 11 a.m.; and teambuilding games at 1 p.m. Family group sessions are private.

During the conference, students will participate in workshops and service projects related to 10 key areas in the “Global Call to Action” goals for society to work toward in order to achieve world peace. The goals, developed by 13 Nobel laureates associated with PeaceJam, are education and community development, protecting the environment, alleviating extreme poverty, global health and wellness, non-proliferation and disarmament, human rights for all, ending racism and hate, advancing women and children, clean water for everyone and conflict resolution.

In addition to the workshops and community service projects, participants, known as “jammers,” will present their own service projects to Menchú.

In the classroom or in after-school clubs, students in grades K-12 study the PeaceJam curriculum and engage in service learning through PeaceJam’s Global Call to Action.

In Leon County schools, the groups are led by PeaceJam coaches, FSU students who volunteer time to lead the students in education and service around a chosen key issue area. Throughout the school year, coaches work with students to develop a service project to implement in their schools or the community and later present them to the Nobel laureate at the PeaceJam conference.

PeaceJam is an international education program that inspires a new generation of leaders to transform themselves, their local communities and the world. It is built around Nobel Peace Prize laureates who personally pass on their spirit, skills and wisdom to participating jammers.

Florida State’s Center for Leadership and Social Change serves as the headquarters for PeaceJam’s Southeast affiliate. The conference will be staffed by 90 FSU students serving as mentors and 70 adult teachers and advisers.

Reporters are asked to follow these guidelines:

  • PeaceJam is a safe space for students to confidentially share their experiences and views.
  • Students can only be quoted when asked specific questions about their conference experiences, but not about anything they share personally unless they give explicit permission.
  • Menchú will be available to speak with media on Saturday from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. in the Micco Room, Oglesby Union. To arrange an interview, contact Rody Thompson at or (850) 645-8782.

Paige Rentz
FSU Center for Leadership & Social Change
(850) 645-8780


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