Peace by Piece Slide Show

Monday, March 16, 2015

Happiea Martin
My name is Happiea Martin I'm currently a sophomore at  Dillard University in my hometown New Orleans. I major in psychology with the dream of becoming a child psychiatrist. I have a passion for working in my community to make it better for the generations after me. After graduating from Dillard University with a psychology degree I plan to continue my work in the community by restoring the mental health in New Orleans.
D'Adrian Wilson
My name is D’Adrian Wilson. I am 17 years old and a current senior at Landry-Walker high school. In the fall of 2015, I plan to attend the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising (FIDM) in Los Angeles, Ca to become a fashion designer. I also plan on achieving a degree in law, business and criminal justice. I decided to become a Peace by Piece intern to learn about ways we, as young people, can help raise awareness of violence in the community and incorporate nonviolence to bring New Orleans, as well as other places, more peace. I would love to bring my hidden talents to American Friends Service Committee and in addition see what I can learn from them.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Peace By Piece

A.F.S.C New Orleans, La


For the past three years, New Orleans has seen a decline in the city’s murder rate for the first time in almost 30 years.  Sources credit social programs, changes in ER procedures, a gang task force, effective prosecutions and a variety of other factors for the three-year decline.  Despite the dip, the city’s murder rate still remains above the national average according to 

Since 2010, Peace by Piece has been working to do its relatively small part (amidst countless local efforts) to reduce the incidence of crime in the city.  Facilitating conflict resolution workshops for youth; hosting community events that give young people artistic outlets as alternatives to violence; and organizing the Transforming Oppression Fashion Show, a platform for young people to creatively write their own narrative about injustice and its impact on their lives, collectively represent our traditional approach to promoting peace building and nonviolence.   

One event that attempts to rally the community around peace and nonviolence is the Peace is Power Parade.    On Saturday, September 20, 2014, Peace by Piece hosted its third annual parade.  The event featured a parade through Central City (one of New Orleans’ most affected crime areas) and a youth talent showcase in a park next to City Hall.  The parade is a community-wide event and a public pledge to make New Orleans safer for its young people. 


The fall event commemorates International Day of Peace in September.  International Day of Peace was established by the UN in 1981 to strengthen the ideals of peace around the world.  In 2001, a resolution declared it an annual day of cease-fire and non-violence.   

With the annual event, Peace by Piece intends to bring people together as a call to end the violence that affects the entire city, especially young people.  This year’s goal was to have 500 people pledge their commitment to a safer New Orleans.   New Orleans is a city that rallies around its sports teams, cultural traditions and rich heritage.  The parade and youth showcase are efforts to rally our community in the same spirit around peace and nonviolence.

Thanks to incredible weather, some willing community organizations, a host of volunteers and several committed residents of New Orleans, the parade was a moderately successful feat full of learning opportunities for next year.  Working with organizations like Cease Fire, Families and Friends of Louisiana’s Incarcerated Children (FFLIC), Break Out, Grow Dat!, Rethink, Dillard and Tulane University students and The Center for Ethical Living and Social Justice Renewal, will inevitably broaden the reach of the parade, increasing turn out in the future. 
Tragedy surrounds our city daily, sometimes several times a day.  A month after the event, the youth activist community lost a young comrade to gun violence.  A parade participant, George Carter’s 15-year-old body was found just blocks away from his home near Sampson Park where Peace by Piece interns work with youth from the Desire community. 



 George’s death and the insufferable deaths of so many African American boys and men speak to the needs of a demographic that is figuratively and literally dying.  Inevitably, Peace by Piece won’t facilitate, program or parade an end to violence, but will leverage opportunities like the Peace Parade to raise awareness, organize and influence local policies to create a safer New Orleans where young people don’t simply survive, they thrive. 

Friday, July 11, 2014

Peace By Piece In Washington, DC On Capital Hill

Peace By Piece Visits Dew-More in Baltimore, MD

Tuesday, July 8, 2014


GLENN SULLIVAN is published in The Washington Post!!
Glenn Sullivan recently graduated from Lake Area High School in New Orleans.  During his senior year, he wrote an essay entitled,
‘’New Orleans schools should stop hiring so many teachers who don’t understand the students’ culture or backgrounds.”  Glenn completed the spring semester internship with American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) in New Orleans.  As a result of his hard work, he not only got his essay published in The Washington Post and Times-Picayune, he will be returning to AFSC for a year-long internship in the fall. Glenn is a phenomenal young man! Please go read his article & leave a comment. I have copied the link here.

It was Easter weekend, specifically a balmy sun soaked Saturday in Sampson park. We entered with the creative determination, associated with the AFSC intern experience, to have a great time with the youth and foster positive vibrations with other booths on such a celebratory day. Within due time our respective tables spilled over with youth drawn to the assortment of colorful options presented to them, many finding attraction to the “Call me Queen” and “Call me King” stencils. Now admittedly it would have been great to have a more official set up beyond the use of a park table and one other fold out table. Also, it would have been great to have a more central role in the festivities. However, the overall engagement was about fostering community connection, family, peace, love and happiness-- all things that we support individually and that together encourage nonviolence as a way of life and conflict resolution.

            Personally, in the general sense, I had an enjoyable time hanging with park attendees and working alongside my fellow interns. But I realize that I could have been more invested in the proceedings if I had constructed an activity for the youth myself instead of being back up for others. But as I mentioned above it felt as if we were squeezed in pretty tight with not of room to wiggle. Speaking of happy movements, there were many people running, playing basketball and dancing-- all good things to get your heart pumping and muscles working. But such enthusiasm made me contemplate the candy coated nature of this holy yet commercialized holiday. What I instead of processed sweets we (both AFSC and other contributors) distributed fruits in order to encourage healthier more nutrient rich dietary habits. Though I know such a task would be more expensive due to the way certain agricultural products are subsidized by the government or not which calls into question the really that living in a food desert is an institutionalized form of violence against certain parts of the city and the inhabitants in those areas. As the local New Orleans artist Ra Yoseph King Supreme says, “Your health is your wealth”.

            Therefore, I believe that doing a comprehensive food map of the 9th ward and the surroundings wards (if not the entire city) showing locations that sell food items and what they generally carry would be a valuable tool. On top of that t would provide clear visuals to organize around in order to build the voices of the community into an even stronger unified front to ask for better options closer to home. In a larger scale project it could also be used to push for the building of community farm(s), a farmers market and/or a well stocked grocery store. Now these options may already be available, but if not there's certainly a powerful vision to be realized in their construction.


Miles Jones

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Sampson Park OR-NAH! Reflections

I did an activity, “Peace Tees,” that had youth express what peace meant to them through painting pre-stenciled shirts that had phrases such as, “Call Me Queen”, “Leader”, and “Call Me Smart” on the front of the shirt.  I truly think this was powerful because the kids responded so well to it.—Breial Kennedy

I liked the positive reactions from the kids at Sampson Park while I was MC-ing and helping to facilitate different activities.  I wish more parents were participating and being present for the event.—Glenn Sullivan

The overall day at Sampson Park was a huge success—kids were engaged and activities ran smoothly.  The kids really loved the Peace Tees activity.—Kendall Santacruze

The event at Sampson Park was very interesting and eye opening.  We used the least expensive, least elaborate activities and the kids loved it.  It was for both the interns and the youth.  I can’t wait to see how the kids respond to our next series of activities.—Brandon Bigard

I loved the interaction between the interns and the children during peace games at the park.  I loved all of the positive energy that was present especially during Isaiah’s “Umoja Says” activity.  My main focus was to see the kids have fun and we made that happen.—April Stewart

One interaction that I remember the most was one between interns and kid wandering around the park after the event.  He was walking around with his pants on low, flashing a BB gun, holding an extra clip in the pocket.  According to him, his behavior was appropriate and was a normal everyday thing.  This stuck out to me because we come in the park to increase the peace and promote nonviolence.  I’m anxious to change this type of behavior.—Austin Smith

The activities that we chose were a good time especially the shirts which flew off the table into hands as if they had been given life themselves. This and other things including the Mardi Gras Indian parade made the day a swirl of bodies and colors in our section of the park.—Isaiah Jones