To help create a more peaceful world, the mission of PeaceMaker Minnesota is to help schools be safer places, free from bullying and harassment, and to help youth learn positive relational skills like empathy, respect, cooperation and how to resolve conflicts peacefully.

Collaboration Between PeaceMaker Minnesota and Other Community Partners Benefits Students and Facilitators  

“I saw different people with different needs, and we should all respect that.”     

“I was truly inspired to be kind and make a difference.”            

“The speakers were amazing and helped me feel better about myself.”   

This is what fourth grade students had to say following Ambassadors for Respect workshops. The workshops, conducted during a classroom period, are led by individuals with developmental disabilities, otherwise known as “Ambassadors.”

They help students learn the importance of including others, using kind, people-first language, and being an advocate for themselves and others.  Evaluation responses illustrate that the program’s intended outcomes for students are being realized: 

  • 95% (707/748) promised to include others.
  • 94% (701/748) promised to use kind, people-first language.
  • 93% (696/748) promised to advocate for oneself and others.

Program impacts go beyond fourth-grade classrooms, reaching intended outcomes for facilitators as well, as reflected in their responses on the Independence, Productivity, Self- Determination, Integration & Inclusion (IPSII) Survey:

  • 83% (19/23) responded “I have experienced more community integration and inclusion” (since participating in this self-advocacy training session.)
  • 78% (18/23) responded “my self-determination has increased” (since participating in this self-advocacy training session.)
  • 74% (17/23) responded “I have become more independent” at work, home, or school (since participating in this self-advocacy training session.)

PeaceMaker Minnesota partnered with and supported staff at Merrick, Inc., Next Step Transition Program (Independent School District 622) and Transition Plus, part of the Minneapolis Public Schools, to prepare 25 ambassadors. Ambassadors delivered workshops to 991 fourth-graders at 14 schools, including Castle Elementary, Cowern Elementary, Dowling Elementary, Folwell School, Hale Elementary, Kenwood Elementary, Little Canada Elementary, Lyndale Elementary, Northrup Elementary, Otter Lake Elementary, Richardson Elementary, Vadnais Heights Elementary, Weaver Elementary, and Willow Lane Elementary. Funding comes from the Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities, the Bieber Family Foundation, and donors like you. Thank you.   


September 19, 2019