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Peace medal2019On Thursday, November 21, the YMCA of Owen Sound Grey Bruce presented this year’s YMCA Peace Medal to Sheatre.

Sheatre is a not-for-profit organization that was founded in 1985 by Joan Chandler, at the request of Huron County residents who wanted to tell their own stories and address rural issues using theatre. Since then Sheatre has reached 142,775 youth and adults in Canada, the U.S., and England through the creation and production of 112 original plays, employed over 500 unique artists, and engaged almost 9,900 people in 1, 240 workshops and events.

Sheatre inspires transformative learning and change through interactive theatre, music, music theatre, dance, writing, film, and visuals arts by, for and about communities specializing in Forum Theatre and Theatre of the Oppressed. Sheatre works primarily in rural and small urban communities with collaborative projects often engaging excluded populations and addressing high risk social issues.

The YMCA Peace Medal was developed in 1987 by the International Committee at the YMCA of Fredericton. That year, this committee of volunteers and staff was tasked with developing Peace Week support materials for YMCAs across the country. The YMCA Peace Medal is presented to individuals or groups who, without any special resources, demonstrate a commitment to the values of PEACE through contributions made within their local, national, or global community. Peacemakers are recognized for promoting and inspiring Participation, Empathy, Advocacy, Community, and Empowerment. The presentation takes place yearly during YMCA Peace Week. Since 1987, 22 people and 11 groups have been honoured from our community by our YMCA , who inspire us with their actions.

YMCA Peace Week offers activities that help children, youth and adults explore peace from personal, community, and global perspectives. Collectively, YMCAs in Canada ask people to: Build community. Act for peace. More than the absence of violence and conflict, peace is the ongoing work of building and maintaining conditions of fairness, inclusion, empathy, security, and respect for diversity. Peace-building is core to the YMCA’s commitment to strengthening the foundation of healthy communities and part of the YMCA of Owen Sound Grey Bruce’s year-round programs.