National Counter-Recruitment and Demilitarization Conference a Success!

Here’s a brief report on the recent National Network Opposing Militarization of Youth conference in Chicago. Darlene Rodrigues (AFSC Hawaii Youth Peace Initiative) and Asia Collier (youth activist at Halau Lokahi) represented the AFSC Hawaii at the gathering.   The conference attendees also attended the National Youth Poetry Slam championships, which were held in Chicago.   YouthSpeaks Hawaii won the national championship for the second year in a row!   Congrats to YouthSpeaks Hawai’i. Also the Guam team made the finals. Many of the themes dealt with sovereignty, war, and demilitarization.

A slide show of the conference can be viewed here:

—— Forwarded Message
From: Janine Schwab <>
Date: Thu, 23 Jul 2009 10:49:50 -0400

Dear Colleagues,

Last weekend, staff from almost every AFSC regional office participated in the NNOMY (National Network Opposing Militarization of Youth) National Counter-Recruitment and Demilitarization conference (more information, see You can see a slideshow about the conference on the AFSC homepage at <><> (right sidebar).

Fast Facts!

* There were about 300 participants from almost every state in the union

* NNOMY counts 188 organizations doing counter-recruitment work among its membership

* We met our goal of bringing 100 youth to the conference, including 60 from AFSC programs in Atlanta, Hawaii, Chicago, Portland and San Francisco/Bay Area

* There were 33 workshops with over 75 presenters working in teams

* NNOMY groups identified 21 critical resources needed for carrying out work in their communities, including a brochure for youth on the morality of war and updates of AFSC’s Junior ROTC analyses


* Youth were able to attend the Youth Poetry Slam National Championships happening at the same time in Chicago. Competitors addressed issues of military recruitment in their communities, further validating the work we were doing at our conference

* David Morales, a youth from San Diego whose principal punished him for counter-recruitment activities by denying him his high school diploma, finally got the graduation ceremony he deserved with a graduation cap fashioned together from construction paper

* Youth traveled to the conference with Tim Franzen (AFSC-Atlanta), Pablo Paredes (AFSC-San Francisco) and Mireaya Medina (AFSC-Portland) — making the long drive from Atlanta in a van and from the West Coast in a rented bus for a trip of discovery and sharing that will not easily be forgotten


Janine Schwab
National Youth and Militarism Program
American Friends Service Committee
1501 Cherry Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102
215-241-7165 (phone)
215-241-7177 (fax) <><>

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