Since 1984, YMCAs across Canada spend the third week in November organizing special activities engaging children, youth and adults in exploring peace from a local and global perspective. Annually, YMCA Peace Week brings Associations together with international partner YMCAs and hundreds of school and community partners in a program that highlights our common interest in creating a more just and peaceful world.
The YMCA believes peace is more than the absence of violence and conflict. Peace is the ongoing work of building and rebuilding conditions of fairness, inclusion, empathy, security, and respect for diversity.
P = Participation – getting involved and encouraging others to get involved in community-building activities
E = Empathy – listening and understanding diverse perspectives to create a sense of belonging for all
A = Advocacy – making the case for positive change in the community
C = Community – building and strengthening community connections and capacity
E = Empowerment – inspiring others to foster peace and helping them gain the skills and tools to succeed
For the thirtieth successful year in a row, YMCA Peace Week has celebrated the way PEACE can improve the lives of others from a local or global perspective.
Peace Medallion Awards
The YMCA Peace Medallion, introduced in 1987, offers a reminder that it is possible to build a more peaceful world, community by community, and that everyone can be engaged in these efforts. By highlighting peace concerns and celebrating others who share these values and are engaged in similar work, we remind the wider community that these concerns are a core part of the YMCA’s work.
As part of Peace Week, the YMCA awards Peace Medallions to remarkable individuals or groups who, without any special resources, status, wealth or position, have demonstrated a commitment to building peace within their community or in communities elsewhere in the world. Peace Medallion recipients can be parents, students, community groups, people who have given freely of their time and talent to make local and global communities more peaceful places to live.