Global Majority Peacemakers Program

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Global Majority Peacemakers Program : Youth Conflict Management Education

SalinasMonterey
Year Founded:
2004
Organization type: 
nonprofit/ngo/citizen sector
Project Stage:
Growth
Budget: 
$50,000 - $100,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

Global Majority Peacemakers Program works with at-risk youth at Rancho Cielo Youth Campus and Salinas Community School. By teaching interpersonal communication, conflict management and philanthropy, students develop skills to promote empathy and act as agents of peaceful change in their communities.

WHAT IF - Inspiration: Write one sentence that describes a way that your project dares to ask, "WHAT IF?"

What if teenage gang members were positive role models for other youth and educate them on non-violent conflict management?
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

Salinas youth are at high risk of participating in violent, gang-related crime. For some, recruitment begins in elementary school. Increased risk can be due to insufficient intervention programs to redirect youth into positive alternatives and create trusting and respecting relationships between youth and adults. While strategies to curb adult violence are active, there is a need for preventative youth programs that focus on behavioral growth.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

Global Majority's Peacemakers Program is a preventative approach to addressing youth violence in Salinas. Through hands-on classwork and a service project, students experience transformative change through social/emotional learning and by developing critical skills to effectively manage everyday conflicts. The program aims to build trust and personal relationships between teachers, peers, and other adults (e.g. probation officers) to provide a safe space for students to openly reflect and analyze their life choices. Nonviolent conflict resolution methods are taught through storytelling and simulations of real-life conflicts. The service project creates positive youth role models where high school students mentor younger at-risk youth.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

Cristina, age 16, has a bad reputation - gang member, criminal - just because she is a Salinas youth. She wants to break this stereotype utilizing what she learned during Global Majority’s Peacemakers Program. Thanks to the new interpersonal communication and conflict management skills she gained in class, Cristina better understands her emotions and feels more comfortable talking with her teachers, parents, and even local police. When she gets angry and wants to physically react, she remembers her lesson on impulse and techniques that can help her solve issues through words, not force. This class helped Cristina discovered that she can be a leader in her community, helping younger students stay out of trouble through sharing her story.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

To date, Global Majority has completed two semesters of the Peacemakers Program, impacting 30 Rancho Cielo and 15 Roosevelt Elementary Schools students. A third semester is scheduled for Fall 2014 and will expand to the Salinas Community School increasing program reach to an estimated 90 high school and elementary students. In Fall 2013 exit surveys, students noted they are “more self-aware and conscious of the conflicts in their personal and community lives, learned techniques to assist them in effective communication, and that the class had helped them find better ways to solve problems peacefully and effectively.” From pilot program surveys, 69% the students said their relationship with their probation officer changed positively from using course skills, and 85% of students were inspired continue volunteering in the community after the service project.

Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?

Global Majority intends to increase the number of participating classes within Monterey County from 2 to 10. Our goal is to work with youth at all levels of risk on nonviolent conflict management and provide them an avenue to give back to their community. We plan to increase the number of local partnerships, with hope they will empathize with our students and alter the negative stereotype of Salinas youth today.
Sustainability

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

During its first year, 3 local foundations committed to fund the program’s continuation and expansion. Monterey County Office of Education invests 30% the program’s current budget. Global Majority has a decade of committed contributions from private donors and an increasing community of supporters through the Monterey Gives Campaign. Our sustainability is enhanced by volunteer interns from the Monterey Institute who serve as the teaching team.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

There are organizations in the county that specialize as resource centers for individuals and families of gang members, such as 2nd Chance Family & Youth Services, but there is a lack of educational programs for behavioral changes. The GM Peacemakers Program fills this gap by delivering semester-long comprehensive coursework, space for a student-led service project and a chance for personal growth through hands-on adult mentoring. In this learning environment, students critically analyze their life, gain empathy for their school, home and greater communities, and then take peaceful action.
Team

Founding Story

Professor Bill Monning had been teaching negotiation and mediation skills to students at the Monterey Institute of International Studies for several years when he had the idea to form Global Majority. After graduation, his students--who came from all over the world--would return home and he realized that they could form the nucleus of an international network of conflict resolution practitioners who could promote non-violent conflict resolution through education and training, networking, advocacy and negotiation/mediation services. Ten years later his vision has become a reality and Global Majority has an International Advisory Board with over 30 members, and has implemented programs on four continents and across Monterey County.

Team

Global Majority's Peacemaker Program is led by our Executive Director, Board of Directors, 2 paid work-study students and 6 unpaid interns from the Monterey Institute of International Studies (part-time during the academic year), and 1 unpaid, part-time, college summer intern. The time is ripe to solidify our team and bring consistency to the program with the addition of a full-time coordinator. We are a creative mix of passion and peace.
About You
Organization:
Global Majority
About You
First Name

Gabby

Last Name

Abrego

About Your Project
Organization Name

Global Majority

How long has your organization been operating?

Project
Organization Country

United States, CA, Monterey

Country where this project is creating social impact

United States, CA, Salinas

What awards or honors has the project received?
Funding: How is your project financial supported?

Friends and family, Individuals, Foundations, NGOs, Businesses, Other.

Supplemental Information
On which of the following California counties does your project focus its impact? (check all that apply):

Monterey.

How does your idea help cultivate empathy skills to strengthen communities and equip young people to become leaders of change?

Empathy is the core tenet of Global Majority's (GM) Peacemakers Program. Throughout the course students: improve interpersonal communication; cultivate self-management and social awareness skills; and, learn positive conflict management techniques to successfully promote peace in their daily lives. A key part of the program involves students completing a service project during which they visit elementary school students and teach them conflict management and good decision-making. This interaction requires empathy and leadership. The GM Peacemakers Program enables at-risk students in Salinas to experience emotional growth by providing them with the knowledge, skills, and confidence to be positive role models and community leaders of change.

Needs/Offers
Need

Local partners for service projects

Offer

Technical support on youth conflict management curriculum, youth philanthropy education

Tell us about your partnerships

Our partners: Monterey County Office of Education, Rancho Cielo Youth Campus, Salinas Community School and Roosevelt Elementary School all have expressed a need for a comprehensive educational approach to curb violent behavior among their students. Our rotating teachers come from the Monterey Institute of International Studies; they gain NGO experience working with real-life conflict and inspire students to pursue higher education.

Challenges

Major challenges to the program's success are: 1) consistent high quality staff to facilitate the program; 2) funding to implement the program in multiple schools. Our strong tie with the Monterey Institute will continue to provide high quality teachers, but in order to ensure positive programmatic growth, it's desirable to hire one full-time staff within the next year. By increasing awareness around the program's positive impacts, we hope to see a rise in community support and funding. We do this by holding public events about the program, such as thematic panels that students speak on.

Does your project use any of the following approaches to cultivate community members as empathetic and collaborative leaders?

encouraging philanthropy, creating a safe space, developing emotional competency, building leadership skills, group play, storytelling, collective problem-solving, identifying shared values and differences, instilling courage, enabling action.

Target Age Group(s)

6-12, 13-17, 18-35.

Comments

Tom Nelson's picture

Wonderful idea here. Working with Rancho Cielo is a good match. Recommend outreach to Salinas Innovation Cluster (Dennis Donohue) to establish service project contacts. If our proposal is funded we may be able to collaborate/offer staff development on use of the design thinking model for your service projects.

Deb Levine's picture

Excellent programming that addresses a deep need for empathy within the Latino community in Monterey Bay county. It would be wonderful if this project had the support of senior advisors who would help them scale nationwide!

Global Majority's picture

Thanks for your support Deb! We are aiming to start scaling up throughout the county and then see where we can go from there! We are gaining some traction within Salinas, but it would also be interesting to pilot the program in other cities with similar issues, such as Stockton or even Chicago. Hopefully one day soon!

Global Majority's picture

Thanks Tom for you advice and we are very open to collaborate! Let's talk more on how we might be able to work together in the next coming months.

Deb Levine's picture

Bravo. Let me know if there's any way I can help.

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