Peace by Piece (PxP) is a collective of young Black activists dedicated to being a force for social justice in communities of color. PxP uses urban agriculture and grassroots organizing to confront systems that engender inequality, poverty and violence. The Peace by Piece Sustainable Communities Project works with local youth to build neighborhood gardens that serve as outdoor teaching spaces and create an alternative food source for communities of color.
Building peace one young person at a time
The mission of Peace by Piece is to support and mobilize Black youth and young adults through political education and community organizing in order to realize sustainable, sovereign and equitable communities rooted in Black love.
Peace by Piece Membership & Youth Organizing
Now a regional and national collective of young organizers, Peace by Piece began as an arts and nonviolence program in New Orleans. For the past year, Peace by Piece has been engaging New Orleans youth to advocate for systems change. January’s, A Day of Action Against Police Violence, hosted by several American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) youth programs in the South Region and beyond, sparked an interest in Peace by Piece members to confront systems and institutions that engender inequality, poverty and violence.
AFSC’s South Region has built a local, regional and national Peace by Piece membership. In New Orleans, participants, ages 16-24, meet weekly to build solidarity, receive popular education, heighten awareness of local and global socio-political affairs and identify issues for which campaigns might be developed.
Sustainable Communities Project
This project has an emphasis on grassroots community organizing and sustainability through urban farming and other green projects. This is an expansion of our work focusing on two neighborhoods, Hollygrove and Desire.
The Peace by Piece internship program, trains young people to share tools that teach nonviolence and principled solutions to conflict. Working with youth up to 24-years-old, Peace by Piece offers workshops on self-identity and conflict transformation; action planning for community-wide events supporting alternatives to violence and training and mentorship to youth who share an interest in social justice and leadership development. These paid internships are available to New Orleans youth, ages 16-24.
Using the visual arts, spoken word and dance, among other art forms, interns work in spaces intended for youth to explore themes of self-identity, root causes of conflict and alternatives to violence that teach the principles of nonviolence as a lifestyle. Peace by Piece works in afterschool programs, schools and community-based organizations to host dialogues and activities that endorse nonviolent solutions to conflict.
Designing Our Freedom Series
Designing Our Freedom Series is an annual art and fashion show that gives young people a platform to tell their stories of injustice that take place throughout schools and communities in the city. Youth are invited to create and display fashion, performance pieces and works of art that directly reflect how violence and oppression shape their lives.
Peace is Power Parade & Youth Showcase
Lyndon B. Johnson said, “Peace is a journey of a thousand miles and it must be taken one step at a time.” Each year, Peace by Piece renews its community pledge to promote peace and nonviolence for youth in New Orleans by hosting a Peace is Power Parade commemorating International Day of Peace in September. This is a community-wide event celebrating the art of parading in one of New Orleans’ most affected neighborhoods and showcasing young performers sharing their artistic gifts with the community. Peace by Piece uses the tradition of parading as a call to end the violence that plagues our entire city. We invite our neighbors to join us as we reclaim our streets and our lives from anti-Black and anti-peace oppression.
Peace by Piece is a program of The American Friends Service Committee, a 100-year-old Quaker organization that promotes lasting peace with justice, as a practical expression of faith in action. The organization includes people of various faiths who are committed to social justice, peace and humanitarian service. Its work is based on the belief in the worth of every person and faith in the power of love to overcome violence and injustice.