Published on June 10, 2016
This July 4th weekend, the Peace League of New Orleans will host its third annual Youth Peace Summit and Basketball Tournament. Modeled after the Chicago Peace Games, which began in 2012 to bring rival gangs together under one roof, the New Orleans Peace League offers a free basketball league for young men in combination with life skills coaching. Brother Lawrence Lewis, a mentor with the League, commented during the season,” These young men only want the chance to know that someone cares about them and loves them.”
The Youth Peace Summit and Basketball Tournament is the two-day culmination of this year’s season, mixing tournament-style playoffs with guest speakers, discussions and workshops. The event provides an opportunity for the young men to engage in dialogue with leaders in the community who are working to create positive change.
A collaboration of Catholic Charities’ Isaiah 43 Parenting and Mentoring Program, Temple of Praise Ministries and One Voice Louisiana, the Peace League of New Orleans was launched in 2014 to offer opportunities for young men to develop skills both on and off the court. It is their goal to develop the next generation of peacemakers and leaders. This spring, the Peace League of New Orleans engaged over 90 young men ages 15-19 in Saturday basketball tournaments and life skills sessions.
In addition to basketball practice, players participate in empowerment workshops addressing issues such as workforce development, education, nonviolent conflict resolution, health, and community leadership. Kristina Gibson, Isaiah 43’s Program Director, noted, “This program is so important because every day we hear the stories of young lives lost to violence. The Peace League of New Orleans is working to provide support and life skills to young men in our communities so they can lead successful, thriving lives.”
We are still in need of volunteers for this year’s tournament! To help with greeting, sign-in, serving snacks and drinks, set-up or clean-up, please contact Kristina Gibson at (504) 310-8772 or [email protected].