Building Peace in the Community | YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka

Building Peace in the Community

November 24th, 2017 by YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka

While everyday is an occasion for cultivating peace in our community, the month of November plays host to a nationwide YMCA initiative called Peace Week. This is a time when we can celebrate the presence of peace in our local and global communities and reflect on the peace-building work that happens all year both inside and outside the YMCA.

Peace Week at the YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka

This year, the YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka celebrated Peace Week from November 18-25. Members of our community across Simcoe, Muskoka and Parry Sound joined us in spreading kindness with the “Be Kind Bells.” These bells were hidden in locations throughout our community, encouraging those who found them to perform an act of kindness and inspiring others to do the same through social media.

Yoga for Peace was also offered in all of our YMCA centres, allowing our community members to take a moment for themselves and reflect on what it means to foster peace in their home, school, workplace or community.

How can we act for peace daily?

Acts for peace tend to grow outward, creating ripples through the whole community.  An act for peace may affect only one person directly—but it may show many more people what is possible. Simple actions like sharing, being patient or smiling and saying hello can have a far greater impact than we think.

How can we “act for peace” daily? There are many ways that everyone can participate in peace-building:

  • Speak up when you or someone else is being mistreated
  • Get to know your neighbours and fellow community members
  • Stop when you see a demonstration, rally or walk. Ask a participant about the cause
  • Have a talent or skill? Donate it to a person, organization or cause
  • Find out when your municipality is holding community meetings and participate
  • Participate in peace-building activities at your local YMCA and in your community

Visit us at for more information about the YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka and Peace Week.

Rob Armstrong is President and CEO of the YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka; focused on investing in communities, ensuring all people have access to the Y and implementing programs that are helping thousands of youth and families to learn and thrive. Prior to joining the YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka in 2011, Rob held senior leadership positions at the YMCA of Edmonton, YMCA of Owen Sound, YMCA of Cambridge and most recently YMCA Ontario. Rob holds an Honours degree in Physical and Health Education from Queen’s University and has since augmented his education with advanced courses from the Harvard Business School of Entrepreneurship, Ivy School of Businessand Queen’s University Executive Education Program.

Since coming to Simcoe/Muskoka, Rob has taken an active leadership role in the Child, Youth and Family Services Coalition of Simcoe County and Barrie’s Pathways to end homelessness. He served on a number of boards including local Community Foundations, Affordable Housing, Parks and Recreation Ontario and the Minister of Health Promotions Health Advisory Committee.

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