The Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice center has honored Peers Building Justice (PBJ) for the Youth Peacemaker Award of the Year! Our youth have worked extremely hard in presenting social justice topics (prison industrial complex, rape culture, racism in our community, bullying, dress code, media literacy, and much much more) to the community through our annual Martin Luther King Jr. showcase and our May showcase. PBJ has been recognized because our youth are the leaders in identifying issues in the community and are the leaders in how to solve or engage in conversations so we can live in a just world for everyone. We are excited to continue our work and thankful that we have been recognized by community members.
If you are interested in our after-school program Let us know!!
PBJ is an organization where youth can tune into their lives and reflect on their History, Trauma and have tools to create change. We were honored with the knowledge from amazing facilitators Rick, Robert, and Pavlos. So join us if you are interested in engaging with Social Justice topics!
What: MLK Showcase and Community Conversation
When: January 16th, 4-6pm
Where: Alfalfa’s Community Room, 1651 Broadway St., Boulder CO 80302
Come attend and participate in our annual Martin Luther King, Jr Showcase led by and for youth, yet all members of the community are invited. This event will showcase the work Peers Building Justice (PBJ) youth have prepared for the community surrounding issues of race, identity, solidarity, and criminality. PBJ is a youth group committed to promoting social justice and resisting violence in our communities. Please come to this event on MLK day if you are interested in exploring student experiences and perspectives around race, racial justice, violence, and overall youth issues. Please spread this email and attached fliers with other community members who are also committed to supporting youth and ending violence. There will be light refreshments and heavy dose of education, conversation, and fun.
From Jennifer Newsom, director and writer of Miss Representation, “The Mask You Live In” documentary follows boys and young men as they struggle to stay true to themselves while negotiating US’s narrow definition of Masculinity. Please join Safehouse Progressive Alliance for Nonviolence (SPAN) and the Parent Engagement Network (PEN) on a screening of “The Mask You Live In” on Thursday, January 14th at 6pm at Centaurus High School. There will be a panel of community members, including faculty from Centaurus High and district attorney Stan Garnett, discussing the film and their experiences of masculinity afterward the show.
In preparation for MLK day,and with the support of the Youth Opportunities and Advisory Board, SPAN staff and interns, and a doctoral student from the School of Education at CU, Peers Building Justice is working with a team of youth and adults ranging from ages 12-35 on a Participatory Action Research Project looking at race and racial justice in Boulder County. The project started by establishing a research question to guide our work: How do our experiences and identities inform our approach to racial justice work? Youth, representing 6 Boulder Valley Schools, and adult partners from MESA, SPAN, CU Boulder, and Naropa, then determined research steps, established goals, selected data collection methods, and are collectively coding the data in order to compile findings in answer to their research question. Data sources include reflection from field journals, conversations with the group and with community members about race, racism, and racial justice movements, facebook posts, interviews from contemporary and historic racial justice advocates, such as MLK, and interviews with each other. The research team will compile their findings and present them in an interactive community event on January 18th at Alfalfa’s Community Room from 4-6pm. The event is open to everyone, with the goal of informing the audience members of the research findings and inviting them into conversation and action around racial justice issues in Boulder County and beyond.
After several meetings and discussions and an awesome retreat, Campus Organizers (members of PBJ) were out on a chilly Saturday morning standing between a guy making balloon hats and a pie stand at the Farmers’ Market in downtown Boulder. With a stack of handbills and some cameras, we got to work. We wanted to challenge people to confront the question- WHY do they love themselves? The response was interesting. Many people were startled that the question was harder to answer than they had thought it would be: many were standing there baffled, not knowing what to write for a while.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think those people were ignorant people who didn’t love themselves or had no self confidence. I think it points out a problem in our society. People are so busy day today with work, expectations, and responsibilities that they don’t have time to truly appreciate who they ARE, not what they have won or earned. I think a person should take more time appreciating the persistence and initiative they have than appreciating the fact that they won first place at a tournament. I, along with the rest of PBJ, believe that the ability to love oneself will allow a person to see the good in others, and thus appreciate the relationship between another person and himself/herself. It is only possible to have a sustainable, loving, healthy relationship if each person loves themselves first.
Fortunately, this campaign helped many people do exactly that today: to reflect on why they love themselves, and how that needs to come first before loving someone else. Once people knew what they wanted to write, their faces lit up and they were so excited to share what they love about themselves.
– Jennifer Jun
Fairview High School
*Stay tuned! The “I love Myself Because…” photo campaign will launch in January!*
In light of the flood emergency and the response that is being provided by many of our community agencies, Peers Building Justice will be extending our Campus Organizer application deadline until FRIDAY, SEPT 27th!
We hope that you and your families are safe and finding the resources you need. Click here for one page that has several links to valuable resources.
We send warm thoughts to all those effected by the flood, and we look forward to receiving the last of your applications!
“I got my start about sixteen years earlier at Fairview High School as an Interpersonal Non-violence Peer Educator with the Boulder County Safehouse. Now known as Peers Building Justice, my work with students to help stop dating violence inspired me to pursue an education and career in Social Work,” says Singer.