Center for Peacemaking awarded grant from Congregation of St. Joseph

News Release

Nov. 1, 2019

Nonviolence educator with studentsMILWAUKEE — The Marquette University Center for Peacemaking has been awarded a one-year Generous Promise grant worth $50,000 from the Congregation of St. Joseph’s to expand Family Focus in Milwaukee Catholic Schools. This is the second year of a three-year renewable grant. Previously, the Congregation of St. Joseph provided three years of funding to support the Center for Peacemaking’s Peace Works program.

In addition to Peace Works and Family Focus, the Center for Peacemaking has leveraged the funding from Generous Promise to develop a new initiative that supports Milwaukee Public Schools – the S.M.A.R.T. program (Success in MPS through Academic achievement, Restorative practices, & Therapeutic services). This innovative new program was developed in collaboration with Lutheran Social Services, Bloom Center for Art and Integrated Therapies, Inner Light Yoga School and Studio, and Bembé Drum and Dance Company and implements elements of Peace Works and Family Focus.

Peace Works, a nonviolence, peace education program, utilizes a social-emotional curriculum, restorative practices, and peer mediation to teach youth communication skills, critical observation skills, mediation techniques, anger management skills, self-reflection, and problem-solving through practical skill building exercises, group interaction, role play, games, reading, writing, art and reflection. Family Focus is a collaboration between students, teachers, parents, and the wider peacemaking community to create educational systems that empower families to heal and transform communities harmed by violence, poverty, and injustice. Family Focus seeks to build sustainable partnerships built on a shared culture of nonviolence that grows to form an ever-expanding network of awareness, healing, and lasting change within neighborhoods.

“Peace Works and Family Focus, by working with both students and families, have helped students modify behavior, improve attendance, decrease suspensions, explore decision making, and develop peaceful relationships," said Patrick Kennelly, director of Marquette’s Center for Peacekeeping.

About the Center for Peacemaking

Housed within the Helen Way Klingler College of Arts and Sciences, the Center for Peacekeeping contributes to instruction, research and community engagement at the university. The Center, through its Peace Works and Family Focus programs, has helped behavioral reassignment schools, traditional schools, Catholic schools and youth-serving agencies teach young people to modify behaviors while working to increase young people's connections to their schools and protective factors from violence.  

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