Community Outreach

Intention: To create dialogue, starting with our youth, on peace, nonviolence, social justice and an eco-balanced world.

Goals: To stimulate youth, as well as people of all ages, to tell their own stories, while at the same time, honoring another’s story. In this way participants begin to see that their personal stories have qualities that are universal. We believe this universality is at the heart of learning and tolerance, and opens channels of greater communication and dialogue. To see and hear another’s story, yet know it is your own, awakens understanding and leads to dialogue. This is the beginning of peace.

You can’t hate the one whose story you know.

Margaret Wheatley


Student Voices for Peace Showcase

Held annually on the first day of the POEFF, Student Voices for Peace Showcase is FREE, but seating is limited and reservations are required. Please call the POEFF at 773.273.1598 if you are interested in booking your school or community organization.

Chicago Cultural Center, Claudia Cassidy Theater, one session held on both Thursday (grades 6th – 8th) & Friday (grades 9th – 12th) mornings of the festival weekend from 10:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

  • Target Grades: 7th – 12th. Theater capacity: approximately 275.
  • 3 – 5 selected films in competition at the festival are shown, followed by an interactive discussion of each film with the student audience. The discussion includes POEFF Directors, as well as filmmakers in attendance whose films were selected for the Showcase
  • Films for the student audience are selected on relatable themes specific to young people on peace, nonviolence, social justice and an eco-balanced world. Dialogue and discussion includes: establishing best practices of listening to and honoring another’s story, sharing challenges to peace in the students’ own lives, and exploring assumptions and attitudes.
  • To ensure that every student can share their voice, each is provided a voting/comment card and pencil. After seeing the films and participating in the discussion, the students vote (and may include personal comments on the films/discussion) for the following award: “Student Choice Award for Most Inspiring Story”
  • This special award, voted on solely by the students and staff attending the Student Voices for Peace Showcase, is presented to the winning filmmaker along with the other festival awards at the gala closing ceremony on Sunday evening.


Dialogue for Peace Outreach Program

This FREE program is presented throughout the year. If you wish to book your school or community organization, call 773.273.1598. Designed for Grade 7 (age 12) and up. Appropriate for groups comprised of all students, mixed age groups (comprised of students and adults), or groups comprised of all adults.

  • POEFF Dialogue for Peace Outreach brings the Peace On Earth Film Festival into diverse communities and economically challenged neighborhoods of Chicago. This dialogue-focused outreach program begins with young people, who are often the most affected by neighborhoods rife with violence, and communities where poverty is most prevalent. The program is designed to stir interest in films set in the various modalities of peace, engaging Chicagoans of all ages in dialogue on alternatives to violence, creating an environment of listening, sharing and honoring each others’ stories.
  • With the filmmakers’ approval, selected POEFF films are brought into Chicago communities, along with tested programming to stir dialogue on peace. Dialogue for Peace Outreach was successfully piloted in over 6 Chicago Public Schools between April and June 2010, covering grades 7th – 12th, and has also been presented at the college level as well as to community organizations.


Season for Nonviolence – Chicago Youth

Chicago Access Television, Channel 19
Nine Week Mini Series

With all the violence and injustice permeating our diverse Chicago neighborhoods, there are positive and powerful stories happening in each. Stories of youth reaching beyond the conditions which surround them. In many cases situations of direct involvement – stories of determination in the face of danger, direction in the quest for sanity and safety, reaching out beyond the apparent, stories of struggle to quell the violence, finding alternatives and opportunity to change the circumstances, which have previously held them a prisoner in their own community.

Along with the financial support of Transcendence Global Media and the Direction of Nick Angotti, Chicago Partners for Peace and Nonviolence, the Committee for the Gandhi King Chavez Season for Nonviolence and with support and involvement of numerous Social Service Organizations, an amazing Production Team crafted a CAN-TV Mini-Series hosted and paneled by youth: A Season for Nonviolence – Chicago Youth television show so that our youth might tell their stories.

A Season for Nonviolence – Chicago Youth, a Nine Week Mini-Series, belongs to the youth – featuring their stories, being hosted by one of their own. Nine different youth-hosts, with nine three-member guest panels.

Produced: January through March 2009
Screened: CAN-TV, Ch 19, February through April


Organizations and Youth Participants

Feb 4 – Maywood Youth Council
Host: Derion Scruggins
Guests: Caitlin Williams, Chanal Coughlin, Mahogany Williams

Feb 11 – Evanston Township High School, Peer Jury Members
Host: Noah Silver-Matthews
Guests: Sara Pitt, Raquel Levy, Kaylee Coughlin, Martrell Davis

Feb 18 – Maywood Youth Council
Host: Derion Scruggins
Guests: Jack Smtih, Cameron Stokes, Remington Stokes

Feb 25 – Union Impact Center / Safety Network of Auburn Gresham / I.C.P.G.V.
Host: Christopher Hightower
Guests: Christine Goggins, Juan Vargas, Edwin Gonzalez

Mar 4 – Latino Organization of the Southwest
Host: David Villanueava
Guests: Jonathan Suarez, Guillermo Parada, Alfredo Borraza

Mar 11 – Live the Peace / Southwest Youth Collaborative
Host: Christon Bufford
Guests: Christopher Hightower, Justin Richardson, Jonathan Richardson

Mar 18 – Chicago Urban League
Host: Tyreeshaw Owens
Guests: Shawn Kimmons, Yazzmine Dixon, Darlene Brown

Mar 25 – Southwest Youth Collaborative
Host: Arthur McGraw
Guests: Nathaniel Bacon, Jasmine Ortiz, Victor Trinidad

April 1 – Latino Organization of the Southwest
Host: David Villanueava
Guests: Jonathan Suarez, Guillermo Parada, Alfredo Borraza


Production Team

Producer: William Gadomski

Supervising Producer/Director: Nick Angotti

Talent Coordinator: Julie Pottebaum

SNV Illinois Coordinator: Gina Harris

In parnership wth Chicago Partners for Peace and Nonviolence, Executive Committee: Karen Johnson, Wendell Grandville, Gina Harris and Nick Angotti