The Birth Of Peacejam
PeaceJam has been nominated EIGHT times for the Nobel Peace Prize
PeaceJam was launched in the USA in 1996. Ivan Suvanjieff, an artist and musician, had been talking with some gang members in North Denver, when he discovered that these young men with guns greatly admired Archbishop Desmond Tutu for his non-violent efforts toward social change. He then realized that Nobel Peace Laureates could act as alternative role models for disaffected youngsters. His colleague, Dawn Engle, helped him contact the Dalai Lama, whom she had met during her years of work for the U.S. Congress. His Holiness loved their idea and helped them set up PeaceJam as a vehicle to enable his fellow Laureates to teach young people the art of peace.
Peacejam in the UK and Around the World
The PeaceJam Foundation office is based in Denver, Colorado, with affiliates in several regions of the USA, in the countries of origin of the participating Nobel Laureates (Argentina, Guatemala, South Africa, the Tibetan Children’s Village in Dharamsala India, and East Timor), and is open new chapters all the time around the world, for example in Ghana. The UK has been part of this global network since 2006. The PeaceJam annual Youth conference was hosted for 7 years by the University of Bradford and its Peace Studies Department, and is now hosted by the University of Winchester. PeaceJam UK works with schools and youth groups all around the UK.
List of our Laureates
PeaceJam is the only educational organisation in the world to have so many Nobel Peace Laureates working together closely and continuously. They are: His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Rigoberta Menchú Tum, Dr. Oscar Arias, Adolfo Pérez Esquivel, Máiread Corrigan Maguire, Betty Williams, José Ramos Horta, Aung San Suu Kyi, Jody Williams, Shirin Ebadi, and Leymah Gbowee. The late Sir Joseph Rotblat was also a tremendous supporter of PeaceJam and instrumental in bringing this exciting programme to the UK. PeaceJam remains an independent peace education body, and does not have a political or religious affiliation. The 13 Nobel Peace Laureates who support PeaceJam are from different countries, and have differing spiritual and political views. But they all agree on one thing, that it is vital to teach peace, conflict resolution, tolerance, and acceptance to young people around the world.
The Dalai Lama
His Holiness the Dalai Lama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989for his non violent efforts to resolve the Tibetan conflict and for his worldwide role as a man of peace and advocate for the environment.
Betty Williams was presented with the Nobel Peace Prize in 1977 for her efforts to create a grassroots movement to end the violence in Northern Ireland.
Máiread Corrigan Maguire
Máiread Corrigan Maguire was also presented with the Nobel Peace Prize in 1977 for her efforts to create a grassroots movement to end the violence in Northern Ireland.
Rigoberta Menchú Tum
Rigoberta Menchú Tum was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1992 for her work as a peaceful advocate of native Indian rights in Central America and for her leadership among indigenous peoples worldwide.
Jody Williams of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL) was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1997 for her work in creating an international treaty to ban landmines and for the clearing of anti-personnel landmine fields.
Oscar Arias, twice President of Costa Rica, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1987 for his efforts to negotiate a peaceful resolution to the years of conflict and war in Central America.
Archbishop Desmond Tutu
Archbishop Desmond Tutu was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984 for his courageous leadership in efforts to find a nonviolent solution to the conflicts over the policy of apartheid in South Africa.
Aung San Suu Kyi
Aung San Suu Kyi was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991 for her nonviolent leadership of the democratic opposition in Burma, where she was held under house arrest from 1989-2010.
Adolfo Pérez Esquivel
Adolfo Pérez Esquivel was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1980 for his leadership for human rights and true democracy for the people of Latin America, especially in his native Argentina.
José Ramos-Horta was presented with the Nobel Peace Prize in 1996 for his sustained efforts to end the oppression of the East Timorese people. He served as President of East Timor from 2007-12.
Laureate Emeritus Sir Joseph Rotblat
Laureate Emeritus Sir Joseph Rotblat was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1995 jointly with the Pugwash Conferences, which he founded as a forum for scientists to work for the elimination of nuclear weapons in international politics.
Shirin Ebadi was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2003 for her efforts for democracy, peace, and women’s rights in the Middle East. She was the first ever woman judge in her native Iran.
Leymah Gbowee was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2011 for her non- violent struggle for the safety of women and for women’s right to participate full in peace-building, after she led other Liberian women in the movement to support that country’s peace process.
Keep in touch
Find out how Peacejam is changing the world and how you could be a part of it.