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Raising Youth Voices Presents:
The Dialogue Initiative of Greater San Diego (DIGSD)

In 2020, Hands of Peace Board conducted extensive focus groups with 45 alumni of the Hands of Peace Summer Program to better understand their needs, interests, and desires for becoming agents of change (called “The Reimagining.”)  Across all delegations, alumni asked for more skills that are relevant to their lives as proponents of peace, justice and equity in their communities. What emerged was a new triad of peacebuilding for youth: dialogue – education – action.

The Raising Youth Voices program, generously funded by the Peacemaker’s Fund, is fulfilling the need for education and action by bringing the experience of dialogue, and the training necessary to facilitate one’s own dialogue, to youth in North County and central San Diego. 

Interested in partnering with us to bring dialogue & facilitation training to your youth group, school, or club? Email


Raising Youth Voices was created in 2019 to bring the experience of dialogue and leadership development to local San Diego youth. Hands of Peace initiated the Raising Youth Voices program with funding from the San Diego Foundation’s Peacemakers Fund.

Through Raising Youth Voices, high-school aged youth are trained on the tenets of healthy conversation. They build skills in active listening, effective questioning, and facilitation. Advanced students also receive training on de-escalation and conflict transformation.

Our Raising Youth Voices participants then go on to facilitate dialogues in their own communities, choosing topics of conversation that are meaningful and relevant to them.

Topics of past facilitated dialogues by Raising Youth Voices participants have included:

  • Systemic racism (in partnership with the San Diego Diplomacy Council)
  • How to be an activist
  • Climate change
  • Being a religious minority in schools

Through the Hands of Peace Raising Youth Voices program, youth can:

  • Identify key issues in their communities and key questions that need to be asked
  • Gain the skills needed to create and facilitate dialogue
  • Gain the confidence to organize and lead social change

Our participants come from all over San Diego County and represent various community organizations. Past participants have been a part of:

Hands of Peace Summer Program
IRC Youth Programs
Reality Changers
Preuss School UCSD
Somali Bantu Association of America
Tri-City Islamic Center (TCIC) youth group

Debates surrounding current sociopolitical issues are often framed in stark, binary terms: “you are with us or against us.” This often leads to frustration and gridlock. There are calls for urgent and immediate change, but our society is stuck on how to move things forward in a sustainable and meaningful way. Raising Youth Voices is one piece of that puzzle, complementing and preparing young people for the Hands of Peace Summer Program and beyond.

If you would like more information please contact:



A lot is going on in the world right now and this was a great way to take a step back, reflect, while still being present and educated on what is going on.



It was very helpful to have people from different cultures and backgrounds come together and share ideas on how to combat these issues.