Peacebuilding Academy

Our Work

The Peacebuilding Academy is an initiative by GFP USA to provide peacebuilding training, mentoring, and technical assistance to organizations in select US cities to help them better address issues of conflict and violence in their communities and strengthen youth resilience to violence. Each Fall we issue a call for applications for interested organizations, and the Peacebuilding Academy runs from December through August. 

Key activities include:

  • Assessing and analyzing the peacebuilding technical assistance needs of participating organizations through:

    • Learning needs assessments

    • Discovery/scoping calls

    • Baseline and endline staff surveys

    • Participatory community needs assessments and conflict analysis

  • Providing individualized technical assistance to participating organizations through:

    • Virtual training

    • 1:1 mentoring support

    • Youth check-in surveys

  • Nurturing a sustained community of organizations locally, nationally, and internationally through:

    • Monthly sharing and learning calls with other Peacebuilding Academy members

    • Virtual exchange between participating organizations and GFP's global network

    • Enrollment in GFP’s global Mighty Networks platform

    • Participatory planning for the next year's Peacebuilding Academy

    • Showcase event 

2024 Peacebuilding Academy

Breakthrough is a faith-based, non-profit organization that partners with people to build connections, develop skills, and open doors of opportunity. With a hyperlocal focus in Garfield Park, Breakthrough provides a myriad of services focused on a profoundly simple formula: people first.

The 2024 Peacebuilding Academy is running from January through August 2024 under the theme “Sport For Peace.” It is being offered free of charge to 5 youth sport organizations in greater Chicago and DC.

Both cities are experiencing crises of youth violence despite significant investments in youth development. The Peacebuilding Academy offers a new and innovative solution to this challenge by strengthening the capacity of reputable youth organizations to use sport to achieve peacebuilding outcomes, such as a decrease in violence and increase in feelings of trust and understanding of others. It also offers opportunities for the participating organizations to share experiences with one another and other overseas organizations in Generations For Peace’s global network, and for youth and adults to work together in advancing peace, safety, and inclusion in their communities.

The five organizations participating in the 2024 Peacebuilding Academy include:

The 2024 Peacebuilding Academy is generously supported by:

Chicago Adventure Therapy seeks to create pathways and access whilst seeking diversity in the outdoor sporting communities. Using outdoor adventure sports like paddling, camping, cycling, hiking, and rock climbing, Chicago Adventure Therapy works with Chicago children, youth, and young adults to have a lasting positive impact on their communities and become healthy adults by teaching effective social skills and strong leadership skills, increasing participants’ sense of possibility, and fostering a sense of empowerment and personal responsibility.

Chicago Lions Charitable Association (CLCA) is a nonprofit organization that strives to positively impact the lives of members in our local community. In addition to promoting the sport of rugby, CLCA engages with nearby schools and partners with community leaders to help bring about change in Chicago’s Near Westside.

Junior Tennis Champion’s Center (JTCC) is a nationally recognized tennis training organization dedicated to providing accessible tennis opportunities for all. Through various programs, including free youth instruction in low-income communities and adaptive clinics, JTCC has impacted over 7,500 youths. The Game On! program, launched in 2009, includes 35 schools and recreation centers, fostering players who excel at high school, college, and professional levels.

So Kids SOAR provides life-changing programs that empower youth with physical and developmental disabilities to Strive, Own, Achieve, and Realize their potential. We enable participants to SOAR through a suite of adaptive programming that includes athletic, recreational, and skill-building activities. The self-confidence and skills gained through these programs inspire each child to realize that their disability will not prevent them from fulfilling their potential.

Laureus USA is a non-profit, grant-making organization that works to improve the lives of youth and unite communities through the power of sport. Since 2012, we have impacted the lives of over one million youth by investing $20 million in sports-based youth development organizations around the country that unleash the power of sport to enhance physical and mental health, improve educational and employment outcomes, and address critical social justice issues. Laureus USA is a member of the global Laureus network, which includes 7 National Laureus Sport for Good Foundations, 1 Global Foundation, the Laureus World Sports Academy (and Ambassadors), and the Laureus World Sports Awards.

Fight for Children was founded in 1990 by the late Joseph E. Robert Jr. to improve the lives of children in the nation’s capital. Fight for Children has impacted the lives of more than 400,000 children through improvements in healthcare, education, and policy. Fight for Children’s mission is to help individuals, organizations, and communities leverage the power of sports to improve the lives of underserved youth. Fight for Children achieves this through the Fight For Children Youth Development Institute, the region’s first and only sports-based youth development collaborative, and the Fight For Children Sports Medicine Center at Children’s National, the region’s first and only pediatric sports medicine facility.