Carole Sumner Krechman
Peacemaker Corps Association
Purpose Prize Fellow 2008
Creating peace and tolerance trainings to reduce youth violence.
As CEO of Recreation World, Carole Sumner Krechman and her husband Sheldon owned and operated the Ice Capades and 22 ice-skating and roller-skating rinks around the United States.
After retiring, Krechman, then Chair of the Board of Friends of the United Nations was inspired by the words of U.N. Secretary Kofi Anan who called for a decade of peace and tolerance. She decided to connect her experience working with youth at the skating rinks, with Anan’s message of peaceful empowerment.
With the goal of reducing gang violence by teaching youth to use words instead of violence to solve problems, Krechman launched the Peacemaker Corps Association. She worked with the shopping mall industry to donate space for trainings; secured funding from government agencies and foundations to create a train the trainer curriculum covering conflict, the celebration of diversity, communication, tolerance, mediation, mentoring and community action; and with the Department of Housing and Urban Development identified potential youth leaders from its public housing projects.
In 1999, its inaugural year, Peacemaker Corps was launched in thirteen cities nationwide. To date, Peacemaker has trained over 2,000 youths and 100 adult trainers. The program is being taught in all the elementary schools in Redman, Washington and in South Central Los Angeles, a Peacemaker graduate is servicing youths at risk through a grass roots effort. “Seeing these young people blossom has been the most rewarding experience of my life, which has been blessed with many remarkable experiences.”