CPS Welcomes the World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates 

Chicago is the first city in North America to hold the 12th annual event

April 23, 2012

Each year, Nobel Peace Prize winners get together to attend the World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates, and from April 23rd to April 25th the gathering will take place in Chicago—the first time the Summit will be held in North America.


Chicago Public Schools, the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights and the summit are partnering to connect Nobel Laureates in sharing their powerful stories directly with CPS students.  The Nobel Laureates will be visiting several CPS High Schools such as Von Stueben and Lincoln Park. These students are familiar with the accomplishments of the Nobel Laureates, as they have been studying them in their social science classes through a human rights curriculum developed by CPS teachers and the RFK Center called Speak Truth to Power. Speak Truth to Power, is a multi-faceted global initiative that uses the experiences of courageous defenders from around the world to educate students and others about human rights, and urge them to take action.


High school students from across the Chicago region will be attending the Summit, along with teachers and students from across the United States and the world. The 2012 Summit will be used as a call-to-action for young people to enact change in their classrooms and communities. Since November, CPS launched 32 new lessons as part of the Speak Truth to Power human rights curriculum, based on the lives and work of 14 Nobel Peace Prize Laureates. Issues range from slavery and environmental activism to religious self-determination and political participation. Additionally, other educational resources and curricula related to peace and social justice will be made available to complement the messages of the Summit.


To kick off the summit on Monday, April 23, the MacArthur Foundation and Chicago Community Trust will host a Nobel Laureate and Compass Participant Lunch featuring Keynote Speaker President Jimmy Carter. CPS high school students will then have the honor of introducing the Nobel Peace Laureates at the World Summit opening ceremony at the UIC Forum.  Forty teachers will also be attending a human rights and civic education workshop funded by the Spencer Foundation.  This workshop is led by local and national civic and human rights education groups such as Mikva, Facing History and Ourselves, Constitutional Rights Foundation (Chicago), Human Rights Watch, the RFK Center, and PeaceJams.


These students and teachers will not only be the only lucky ones participating in the Summit. Thanks to a partnership with Scholastic, the interaction between the Nobel Laureates and students and teachers will be broadcast to all CPS schools as well as across the nation and will feature an interactive question and answer session. To view the live web broadcast, click here.


In advance of the 12th World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates, the U.S. Department of State linked up students at Lincoln Park High School with classrooms abroad for a three-day series of "virtual exchanges" surrounding the Summit themes of "Speak up, Speak Out for freedom and Rights.”  The exchange, which took place on April 18th through April 20th, allowed students to connect with their English-speaking counterparts in Ghana, Zimbabwe and Algeria for a one-hour discussion on issues of human rights and peace. The virtual exchanges were part of a large-scale youth initiative that the State Department has planned in conjunction with the summit.


To further explore human rights or civic education opportunities, and to access the STTP curriculum and contact information, please continue reading here.