Published on February 3, 2016
On Saturday, January 16, 2016, Isaiah 43 held their second annual Peacebuilders Brunch at Café Reconcile. The event brings the program’s participants from different schools and church parishes together, allowing to them to connect with each other and see the bigger picture of what Isaiah 43 is accomplishing as a program.
Isaiah 43 began in 2012 as a parenting and mentoring program with the goal of strengthening families in order to bring about change. Kristina Gibson, the program’s director, believes that Isaiah 43, now in its fifth year, has begun to evolve into much more than just mentoring. “It’s now more about how these children and parents can strive to be more active, connected, and peaceful participants within their community,” Gibson said. The program speaks to prevalent community issues such as violence and crime and the importance of the family unit in combatting these issues. Isaiah 43 is an engaging way to not only keep children out of trouble, but to also help them develop strong, peaceful leadership skills. The program also gives parents a platform to share their experiences and learn how to communicate openly and effectively with their children in order to create healthy relationships.
Just this past year, Isaiah 43 introduced the Young Peacemakers Leadership Council, a group of teens and young adults that has four main goals: to build leadership skills, to encourage peace, to promote advocacy and civic engagement, and to perform community service. The group had a successful first year, which included holding a peace summit in July and learning how to advocate for important issues in the community. They have also partnered with the Office of Justice and Peace and the Office of Racial Harmony to hold monthly peace prayer walks. “The prayer walks heed Pope Francis’ call to be out in the community, to step outside of the church and be engaged,” Gibson believes.
In the New Year, the program plans to focus on capacity building by partnering with schools and churches to serve even more children, parents, and families. By strengthening the family unit at its roots, Isaiah 43 hopes to promote peaceful leadership and positively affect the culture of violence that has become far too common in our community.