Connections matter. The degree of connectedness shapes both a person’s life experiences and the community around them. For the last 20 years, WorldLink, a youth and peacebuilding program at the Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice, was committed to providing a platform for youth voice and leadership, fostering relationships and bridging divides, and engaging youth as agents for change. Now, with the launch of the Social Fabric Initiative, WorldLink is evolving with our youth who long for opportunities to be more active leaders.
One of the most crucial problems facing our communities, both locally and globally, is the unraveling of the social fabric. Despite our ability to connect to anyone in the world within seconds, people today suffer deeply from social isolation and marginalization. Without strong connections, our communities are prone to violence and acts of hate that only deepen our divides. A common sense of identity and purpose is lost and our weakened social fabric cannot withstand the pressure...unless we strengthen the threads.
With the Social Fabric Initiative, youth are leveraged as PeaceMakers that make real impact on issues that are relevant in their communities. Together, we build collaborative social networks and develop problem-solving skills so that our youth emerge as leaders and changemakers, prepared to reshape the environments in which we live.
Youth today are yearning for more opportunities to engage with each other in positive ways through learning, doing, and leading. They can be a powerful force to mend our social fabric.
The Social Fabric Initiative is a program of the Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice at the University of San Diego's Kroc School, the global hub for peacebuilding and social innovation. At the Kroc IPJ, we are the bridge between learning and practice within the Kroc School, driving forward its mission to create engaged, applied learning for positive social impact.