for Religion News Service on March 12, 2011
BROOKLYN, New York—In response to the tumultuous political struggles unfolding around the globe, KidSpirit Online, the award-winning online magazine and forum for teenagers, launched its spring issue Monday on the topic of Conflict and Peacemakers. This timely issue, chosen and edited by an all-youth Editorial Board, promotes constructive dialogue on the theme in a rich array of contexts.
Feature articles that will be published during the quarterly issue range from an insider exploration of cyberbullying to pieces with a specific international focus. One teen writer interviews participants of two programs designed to powerfully connect youth on opposing sides of entrenched global conflicts. Another article delves into a young writer's hopes for peace in her country.
The clear importance of this theme has catalyzed impressive collaborations with Seeds of Peace; Auburn Theological Seminary's Face to Face/Faith to Faith program; as well as poetry selections from youth around the globe on the subject of peace from the non-profit Poems for Peace.
As with all issues of KidSpirit, teens look deeply into the psychological, philosophical and spiritual underpinnings of this challenging topic. In the Big Question one Editorial Board member asks if conflict is necessary for inner growth. The Listen Up section gives youth a voice to pose probing questions about conflict and peace to each other and the Media section highlights reviews of related books, movies or music.
This powerful issue of KidSpirit also features an original essay from Marc Gopin, renowned international peacemaker and James H. Laue Professor and Director of George Mason University's Center on Religion, Diplomacy and Conflict Resolution. Gopin brings his life experience to bear in a reflection about the spiritual underpinnings of peacemaking. He describes how young people can create peace by starting with self-reflection and self-examination, confronting inner conflict as a way of preparing oneself for tackling conflict with others.
KidSpirit rolls new articles out weekly, so educators are encouraged to check back through May for new work. If teachers and youth leaders would like to get their teens involved in this or any other future issue of KidSpirit, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Questions and interview requests can be made to email@example.com.