by Piece: Youth Take Action
Oregon Peace Institute, a non-profit organization, wanted to inspire
young people to work for peace and social justice, and to solve
conflicts non-violently. With funding made possible through the
generosity of a major donor, the Oregon Peace Institute planned
to produce a video program about historic Oregon peacemakers. The
documentary would screen at the May 14, 2001 Portland, "Youth
Summit" with the Dalai Lama.
Fire suggested that the documentary focus on young people in Oregon
who are working to break the cycle of violence, racism, and prejudice.
Teens would respond more enthusiastically to a program profiling
the exemplary efforts of their peers, rather than one focused on
lessons and stories from adults. Green Fire knew that to reach this
teen audience the program had to be authentic. We recruited teen
interns and formed a teen production team who worked alongside us
throughout the programs production. The result was a fast-paced,
engaging, and powerful documentary about critical issues confronting
young people, and what some of them are doing to make a difference.
May 14, 2001, after hearing the Dalai Lama speak, 10,000 teens watched
Peace by Piece: Youth Take Action on three screens in the
Portland Memorial Coliseum a hard act to follow! The audience
went wild as they connected with the personal stories that reinforced
what the Dalai Lama had shared. The excitement generated by Peace
by Piece, prompted teens, Green Fire, and the Oregon Peace Institute
to develop an entire Youth Take Action campaign, which includes
a local radio show, facilitated teen forums and an action tool kit.
As a result, youth have been empowered to take action in dismantling
the roots of violence, discrimination, and racism.
by Piece: Youth Take Action, with its gritty, in your face attitude
and very hip approach, grabs teen audiences and engages them immediately
on the very tough issues of racism, violence, and prejudice. Ive
watched it open up intense discussions everywhere we show it
from small gatherings to key note presentations for 400 middle school
students, from rural to urban its the ticket for us
to engage youth." Rachel ORourke, Oregon Peace