#ItBeginsWithMe

We are students and adults who believe spreading peace and creating positive change in the world is the responsibility of each one of us.

We are moving beyond words and putting feet to our beliefs no matter where it leads.

We invite you to join us!

Our Story

People United for Peace and Positive Change (Peace and Change) was created by a multi-cultural group of middle- and high-school students from Waynesboro, Virginia in June 2015 in the wake of the murders of nine worshipers at the Mother Emmanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina.

We were inspired by the grace and mercy the victims’ families showed when they offered forgiveness to the person who shot their loved ones. From their example, we learned that peace is stronger than anger and hate. We watched as their actions did what decades of speeches and public demonstrations could not do: Unite a community – and a country. Their act of simple, agony-filled courage led to the removal of a flag many people considered to be insulting and divisive, not just from their state capitol, but also from the shelves of stores across our country.  What had been fought over and debated for decades was finally settled in days, all because one person decided that the anger and violence had to end.

The families of the Charleston Nine lived into the words of the song, “Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me.”

They inspired us to do the same.

Because of their actions, we have seen the difference one decision can make in the world.

We want to be that difference.