Youth and Community Conflict Resolution – A Project for Brazil

Project Overview

Participants taking part in a community service activity at the Open Roads Bike Program in Kalamazoo, MI

The International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP), "Youth and Community Conflict Resolution," brought together 8 Brazilian participants to address efforts to foster civic responsibility among young people with a focus on dispute and conflict resolution. Participants were also able to examine strategies to nurture respect for the rule of law and explore the role of community mediators in addressing violence. Their three week-long program to several cities including Baltimore, MD; Chicago, IL; Kalamazoo, MI; Los Angeles, CA; and New Orleans, LA.

Highlights from Washington, DC included a site visit to the Lafayette Elementary School, where 5th graders performed skits on mindfulness and conflict resolution; a tour and professional appointment at the Anacostia Community Museum; and a visit to the Town Hall Education, Arts and Recreation Campus (THEARC) in Anacostia, which demonstrated the importance of public-private partnerships in providing services and engaging the community in disadvantaged neighborhoods. In the following city stop of Baltimore, the group engaged with local officials and discussed methods of community conflict resolution that were used in the aftermath of the shooting of Freddie Gray.

In Chicago, the group took part in a peace circle training session with Circles & Ciphers and engaged with community members at Community Builders, which involves the residents in the management of their own buildings. In Kalamazoo, the group volunteered alongside youth involved in the Open Roads Bike Program, a local initiative that offers a socio-educational environment for youth as they work on bikes and build their own social skills. The founders of Peace During War engaged in an emotional conversation with the participants as they shared their experience as former members of rival gangs who now work together to change the direction of young people’s lives toward the positive. In Los Angeles, the group met with an officer from the LA Police Department to discuss youth programs; ate lunch at Homeboy Industries, served by youth in the program; and examined the youth mentoring model of the Youth Mentoring Connection. Their final stop in New Orleans provided opportunities to tour diverse neighborhoods of the city, observe Café Reconcile’s program for at-risk youth, and examine the Youth Empowerment Project’s programs for young people just released from correctional facilities. At the end of the program, the participants were deeply impacted by what they observed and expressed a desire to replicate many of these programs back in their own countries.


International Visitor Leadership Program, U.S. Department of State
U.S. Department of State

Project summary

Youth and Community Conflict Resolution – A Project for Brazil | April 2017
Number of Visitors: 8
Regions: Western Hemisphere
Countries: Brazil
Impact Areas: Human and Civil Rights
Program Areas: Global Leadership
Partners: NGOs, Private Sector, Public Sector