Chatham County Youth Commission Engages in Peacebuilding
Youth Empowerment Dialogue Invites Local Students to Share Their Voice

Wednesday, January 13th, 2021

Chatham County and the Mediation Center of the Coastal Empire are committing to supporting area youth in peacebuilding. To kick off the Mediation Center’s Ambassadors of Peace initiative, the Chatham County Youth Commission will be hosting Giving Voice: Youth Empowerment Dialogue on Saturday, Jan. 16. All Chatham County high school students interested in participating in this discussion are invited to attend via Zoom. 

The Giving Voice: Youth Empowerment Dialogue will provide breakout sessions for small groups to share their personal perspective on specific topics. Each group discussion will be facilitated by a student from the Chatham County Youth Commission. The event will be held via Zoom. The conversation will last from 11 am to 1 pm on Saturday. High school students may register on the Mediation Center’s website,

Savannah Mayor Van Johnson mentors the Chatham County Youth Commission. He noted, “Our youth want to be part of the solution and to develop the skills for making a difference. It is our responsibility as a community to make resources and opportunities available to them.” The Youth Commission chose Martin Luther King, Jr weekend as an appropriate time to empower their peers to speak up and share their voice. As people across the country participate in the MLK Jr National Day of Service, this event will contribute by engaging youth in improving their community. 

Throughout 2020, the Mediation Center has offered similar community conversations and structured dialogues for the public. In 2021, they are kicking off the Ambassadors of Peace initiative focusing on engaging and empowering area youth. They will be partnering with the Chatham County Youth Commission throughout the year to train and support the youth in effective communication and leadership skills while also creating safe spaces for youth to listen and learn from each other.  Mediation Center Executive Director Jill Cheeks explained, “Communication is key to peacebuilding and positive relationships. Supporting these youth as ambassadors will develop lifelong skills that will make our community stronger.”

The Mediation Center partners with many local institutions in their efforts to strengthen communication and peace. Among their partnerships are teaching peer mediation with the Savannah Chatham County Public School System and facilitating conflict resolution in coordination with the the judicial system and Savannah Police Department. The Ambassadors of Peace initiative will further their work supporting youth in peer-to-peer engagement.    

For more information about the Mediation Center, please contact Jill Cheeks, Executive Director, at (912) 354-6686 and follow them on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn.  To learn about the Chatham County Youth Commission visit them on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.