About the Conference
The Annual Youth and Peace Conference (YPC) is a unique Tucson event empowering youth to become courageous leaders and creative peace builders in our community. Youth violence is still considered by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to be an epidemic problem in America. Arizona’s youth violence and homicide rates are higher than the national average. The conference started in 2011 as a community-based prevention project to help educate and inoculate youth against violence (e.g., bullying, relationship violence, sexual assault, hate, bigotry, negative self-talk, suicide, gun violence) and to empower youth to make healthy, life-affirming choices.
Structure of Conference
YPC’s core mission is creating a conference for youth and by youth. Therefore, each year our planning process includes a Youth Leadership Team, which identifies both the focus and title of the conference, as well as being involved in key aspects of the planning process (e.g., selecting workshops and organizing the Opening & Closing Ceremonies to highlight the conference title). The YPC Adult Logistics Team serves the Youth Leadership Team by supporting them in creating a conference that embodies their vision. YPC is a true collaborative community effort where youth voices are centered and empowered.
Culture of Peace Alliance (COPA)
The Culture of Peace Alliance (COPA) operates as a nonprofit umbrella for various affiliated and fiscally sponsored groups that work to build peace, empower youth, and create a cultural shift towards compassion, nonviolence, civility, and sustainability in Tucson and beyond. COPA provides 501(c)(3) coverage for these groups to build the synergy of working cooperatively with other organizations. The mission of COPA is to promote peace, justice, and sustainability by creating and supporting peace-inspired projects and events that model cooperative decision-making, alliance building, resource sharing, youth leadership, and the use of nonviolent strategies.
The Youth & Peace Conference is one of several programs affiliated with COPA. Each year COPA assumes responsibility for convening the Youth Leadership Team and Adult Logistics Team to collaboratively organize that year’s conference. For more information about COPA, contact YPC Coordinator Ann Yellott (520-991-6781; email@example.com) or go to the COPA website (www.cultureofpeacealliance.org).