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YMCA Peace Medal Nominations are Open

The prestigious YMCA Peace Medal honours people of all ages from coast to coast who are helping to build better communities by exemplifying the values of PEACE.

Participation, Empathy, Advocacy, Community and Empowerment: these are the values the YMCA of Owen Sound Grey Bruce is looking for in the next recipient of the YMCA Peace Medal. From November 13-21, the YMCA of Owen Sound Grey Bruce, together with YMCAs across Canada, celebrate the presence of peace in our communities, and reflect on the peace-building work that happens all year both inside and outside the YMCA.

In 2021, as we heal from the COVID-19 pandemic and acknowledge the damage caused by Residential Schools, we are inspired to think about how to help everyone recover better, how to build resilience, and how to transform our world into one that is more equal, more just, equitable, inclusive, sustainable, and healthier. 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.

Today, September 21, on the UN’s International Day of Peace, we’re calling on our community to nominate a Peacemaker for our annual Peace Medal. This award honours an individual or group who, without any special resources, status, wealth or position, have demonstrated a commitment to building peace within our community of Grey Bruce.

Residents are invited to nominate a deserving person or group for this award before Friday, October 29. Hard copies of the nomination package are available at our YMCA Health, Fitness & Aquatics facility. 

The 2020 Peace Medal was awarded to Jillian Lyman, a local student who organized and lead the Black Lives Matter march in Owen Sound. On June 10, 2020, Jillian rallied more than 1,000 members of our community to march peacefully between city hall and Owen Sound’s Black History Cairn in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. Jillian’s actions brought awareness of social issues to the forefront. Organizing a peaceful march allowed community members to voice their experiences, protest injustices, and teach compassion. On a sweltering hot Summer’s day, at a time when COVID-19 had many of us secluded in our homes, Jillian’s call for action was heard.

YMCA Peace Week invites people of all ages to reflect on peace, to talk, and to take action, individually and with others. During Peace Week, November 13–21, the presentation of Peace Medals takes place across Canada to honour 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. 

The YMCA Peace Medal was developed in 1987 by the International Committee at the YMCA of Fredericton. Learn more and find the nomination form here: ymcaowensound.on.ca/peace-week

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