Connecticut Gov. M. Jodi Rell announced on May 14 that the World Youth Peace Summit will be held in Connecticut in the summer of 2011, with the University of Connecticut serving as the host institution. Nearly 20,000 participants are expected.
The World Youth Peace Summit is a major initiative of the Institute for International Sport, a non-profit organization founded and led by Dan Doyle. The Institute has organized numerous U.S. and World Scholar-Athlete Games for the past 25 years with the goal of promoting peace through the medium of sports and the arts.
The World Youth Peace Summit begins with the six-day World Scholar-Athlete Games. Artists and athletes from around the world, aged 15–19, will assemble at UConn for the Games.
During the final days of the Games, the World Youth Peace Summit will commence. Nearly 20,000 past participants of Scholar-Athlete Games and delegates nominated by the United Nations will join the current scholar-athlete/artists for a one-week intensive academic program.
The Summit’s mission is to help current and former scholar-athletes and scholar-artists develop peace initiatives for their home communities or countries, and give them the tools to implement their programs successfully.
These young community leaders will create a grassroots global network of peace advocates to foster a more peaceful world. Participants will receive leadership training and targeted assistance in social entrepreneurship and development of community-based programs.
“With our internationally recognized programs in human rights and social entrepreneurship, UConn is in an excellent position to partner in this effort,” UConn President Michael Hogan said.
“We have world-class faculty and students working in these areas and outstanding facilities to house the activities that the Summit will involve.”
With anticipated attendance of 2,000 participants for the games and another 20,000 Summit participants, the event will have a significant impact on the state.
The tangible benefits of job creation, advancement of strategic priorities of the host organizations, and increased tourism will be heightened by the intangible benefits of the legacy the event will leave behind.
The fifth World Scholar-Athlete Games will include baseball, basketball, chess, golf, field hockey, sailing, crew, wrestling, lacrosse, rugby, soccer, squash, softball, swimming, tennis, track and field and volleyball.
| Senate President Donald Williams speaks at a press conference in the Old Judiciary Room at the State Capitol. Seated are President Michael Hogan and Dan Doyle, founder of World Youth Peace Summit. Photo by Peter Morenus
Teams will be comprised of scholar-athletes from different countries to foster understanding and knowledge of other lands. Arts activities include art, choir, culinary arts, dance, digital photography, symphony, theatre, and writing/poetry.
After the games, approximately 20,000 past participants and delegates nominated by the United Nations will join the current scholar-athletes to develop Pathways to Peace initiatives through an intensive academic program, which will be accompanied by cultural and athletic activities.
Speeches by major world leaders and prominent peace advocates will be held each day in the Hartford area, augmented by small group discussions and workshops.
“I am grateful to so many people in Connecticut for providing the Institute for International Sport with this opportunity,” said Doyle.
“We have assembled a wonderful team to move forward with what I am confident will be a transformational peace initiative. All of us working on this project will spare no effort to ensure its success.”
Numerous programs and events will build momentum for the World Youth Peace Summit. The Institute for International Sport will host The Ambassadors of Peace Dinner, featuring General Colin Powell, on Oct. 28, 2009, at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City to raise funds for the peace initiative.
During the next two years, a range of Connecticut municipalities, academic institutions, community and religious groups will be offered the opportunity to host a Peace Lecture or Peace Performance to support the World Youth Peace Summit.
An international Walk for Peace will be organized during Memorial Day weekend 2011 with support from thousands of Scholar-Athlete Games graduates.
Other Summit events will be held in Rhode Island and will be chaired by Rhode Island Attorney General Patrick Lynch and Alan Hassenfeld of Hasbro Inc.