Congratulations to James Portis
on being named PeaceMaker of the Year at the 2012 Global Youth Service Day Awards ceremony
held at the Main Library in April.
James volunteers for several community
organizations through his membership with the Akron PeaceMakers program. He also
advocates for non-violence amongst his peers and in his community. He assists as
set-up and clean-up person, greeter, runner, spokesperson and peer advocate for Victim
Assistance, National Night-Out, United Way, Summit for Kids, City of Akron, Akron
International Friendship, Community Action Agency and many more.
James is dependable and keeps his word and commitments. He doesnt hesitate
to jump in and start working without being asked and is a great example of youth committed
to serving others.
The Akron PeaceMakers have hosted a series of meeting with
international guests from many different parts of the world. The PeaceMakers, in
partnership with Akron International Friendship, hosted various international visitors
discussing world issues from a youth, Akron and American perspective. The program is
sponsored nationally by The Office of International Visitors, Bureau of Educational and
Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State.
The first meeting was held on April 22 when PeaceMakers hosted a
gentleman from the country of Seychelles, an island nation in the Indian Ocean, off the
east coast of Africa; and a young man from the Palestinian Territories. The topic of the
meeting was "Peace in the World" and what the Akron PeaceMakers are doing to
promote peace in Akron.
Our second facilitation was on June 8 with university students from
the African country of Kenya. The group came to the United States to meet with
universities and colleges to discuss conflict resolution. It seems that student unrest at
Kenyan universities have taken to violent demonstrations resulting in destruction of
property and student deaths.
The group meet with the Akron PeaceMakers to get a youth perspective
on how Americans deal with issues and how we are able to, in most cases, come to a
peaceful resolution on differing opinions.
And, on Monday, August 16, the Akron PeaceMakers hosted yet another
group of international guests. Our visitors were four young women who were on a mission to
the United States to talk to various groups about human rights as well as other issues
affecting people all around the world.
Our visitors, Anna from Sweden; Ioana, from Romania: Fausta from
Lithuania; and, Christina from the Ukraine; were interested in how the PeaceMakers were
created and what we do as a group to make things better for our community and for other
The PeaceMakers are proud to represent Akron youth in these
important international exchanges of ideas and philosophies and look forward to future