As part of YMCA Peace Week, YMCAs across Canada present the YMCA Peace Medal to individuals or groups who, without any special resources, status, wealth, or position, demonstrate a commitment to the values of P-E-A-C-E through contributions made within their local, national, or global community.
Since 1987, more than 1,900 individuals and groups across Canada have been recognized for their peacebuilding work with YMCA Peace Medals.
Many people and organizations do important peace-building work. Some have formal connections to the YMCA, while others live and work in our communities and have no current connection to the YMCA.
When we award YMCA Peace Medals, we celebrate others’ contributions to peace.
History of the Peace Medal
The Peace Medal was developed in 1987 by the International Committee at the YMCA of Fredericton.
That year, this committee of volunteers and staff was tasked with developing Peace Week support materials for YMCAs across the country.
Inspired by the efforts of Jim and Kay Bedell in raising awareness of the 1982 United Nations Disarmament Conference by walking from New Brunswick to New York City to attend, the Committee decided to institute an award, a peace medal, to be given by YMCAs across the country each year to people like Jim and Kay.
The Peace Medal is now used across Canada during Peace Week to recognize the achievements of individuals or groups who - without any special resources - demonstrate in their lives and activities the values expressed by PEACE (participation, empathy, advocacy, community, empowerment) and serve as models of what all of us are capable of achieving if we choose.
Do you know someone who should be recognized with a Peace Medal? Contact your local YMCA Association to find out how you can nominate them.