Peace Jam USA

Inspiring photos and thought provoking reflections, below, from the Leeds Peace Jam trip to Los Angeles in 2008, taking 40 young students and their teachers from across Leeds to meet and be inspired by 10 Nobel Peace laureates at the international Peace Jam programme.

I had the best time: it was incredible! The most inspiring things were: Adolf Perez’s account of his experience being tortured and seeing the words ‘God does not kill’ written in blood on the wall; and Betty Williams asking if we could see her three angels – the children that died after the car bomb exploded. The weekend proved that anyone can change the world… and I also just had SO much fun!!!

– Yasmin Glover, Year 10


Peacejam was amazing and gave me a new outlook on life: I really want to try and make a difference, and can’t start wait to start!

– Natalie Wood, Year 10


Woah, what a trip, it was absolutely IMMENSE and I feel so privileged to have been a part of it. It really touched me when Charm Tong was speaking about Burma – it made me realise what a state the world is in and how much there is to be done. We think we have problems, but they seem small and petty in comparison. Someone needs to do something about this – and if we don’t, who will?! We’re the next generation, so we’d better start straight away.

– Alice Rowland, Year 11


Peacejam was amazing: it’s so inspiring to see how much positive impact youth bring to the world today. All the stereotypical views on youth today anger me, but I now know I can do more and am not at a disadvantage just because I’m young. Thank you: I have learnt so much from my experiences. PEACE!

– Bronte Pearson, Year 10


Peacejam was an amazing experience. The thing that most inspired me was Jody Williams: everything that she spoke about was true. And she used the term ‘peacefully violent’ – as human beings, we can be passionately peaceful, really speak up, and not be scared of mentioning that you are a PEACEMAKER!

– Elliot Archibald, Year 10


Peacejam was awesome: in a world with so many issues and problems, it’s nice to know that I’m part of something working towards changing it. When Desmond Tutu told us that ‘the world is in good hands’ (our hands!), it really made me want to help the world and make him proud: he has put his trust in us and I don’t think we have the right to let him down. And the Hollywood sign was cool too.

– Freddie Denton, Year 10


WOW! Meeting all the Nobel Peace prize winners was incredible and truly inspiring. I discovered that Nobel Laureates are not born, but that they become laureates by showing compassion and facing their own troubles, whilst simultaneously helping others to overcome theirs. The laureates’ courage and kindness are a massive source of inspiration to me, and it probably will be for years to come.

– Jenni Coutts, Year 10


Peacejam was amazing, and it’s not often I say that about things. It makes me want to really do something about the injustices of the world and try to help sort things out. I was so inspired and humbled by the laureates.

– J Hill, Year 12