YMCA of Central East Ontario Peace Medals

YMCA Peace Medals are presented to individuals or groups who, without any special resources, status, wealth or position, demonstrate a commitment to the values of PEACE 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. When we award YMCA Peace Medals, we celebrate others’ contributions to peace.

Each year, the YMCA of Central East Ontario honours local Peacemakers with a YMCA Peace Medal at several community events across the region. Watch for details on this year’s recipients who encompass the values of the YMCA Peace Medal.

2022 Peace Medal Awards: Belleville Branch

The YMCA of Central East Ontario, Belleville Branch presented Connie Carson with the 2022 YMCA Peace Medal on Tuesday, December 6.

Connie Carson has been an active part of many great organizations and is a passionate advocate for sharing what she loves most about Belleville. She created two Facebook groups at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic to help draw the community together. The first group called #COVID2020 shared the many good deeds the city was participating in, as well as thanking the community on behalf of first responders. The second group, QUINTE COMMUNITY SEWING FOR COVID-19 was formed with the plan to sew as many masks, hospital gowns, ear savers and cuddle dolls as fast as possible. Because she never did learn how to sew, her focus was on gathering talented people in the community that could. An amazing group of sewists made over 26,600 masks and related products that were distributed to hospitals, nursing homes, businesses, and shelters.

Connie is also the founder and moderator of the 13,300+ member Facebook group “Sharing Belleville Memories” where people share their own stories and read her articles on the topic. Her first book, ”Memories of Belleville” followed by a new book, “More Memories of Belleville” explores over 50 stories Connie has written about 7 decades of growing up in our City by the Bay.

2022 Peace Medal Awards: Balsillie Family Branch

The YMCA of Central East Ontario, Balsillie Family Branch presented Mkwa Ghiizis (Crystal Hebert) with the 2022 YMCA Peace Medal on Thursday, November 24.

Mkwa is a 2-spirit water protector, artist, and advocate living and working in the Nogojiwanong community since 2006. The YMCA recognizes Mkwa’s work in Nogojiwanong as a fearless advocate and voice for those experiencing systemic failures. They are the founder of Tweak Easy, a safe and judgement-free, grassroots overdose prevention site, and the organizer of rallies, vigils and marches. They have held costume drives for children experiencing homelessness and emergency community meetings that bring members and organizations together to find grassroots solutions to the opioid crisis and homelessness. They focus on low-barrier access to ceremony, medicines and supporting people experiencing systemic failure as well as those who use drugs or engage in sex work from an Indigenous Harm Reduction approach.

YMCA Peace Week: November 12 to 19, 2022

The YMCA believes peace is more than the absence of violence and conflict. Peace is the ongoing work of building and rebuilding conditions of fairness, inclusion, empathy, security, and respect for diversity. When Canadians embody the values of PEACE (Participation, Empathy, Advocacy, Community, Empowerment) through our daily actions, we can build a better Canada.

YMCA Peace Week calls for people to Build Community, Act for Peace.
When we act for peace, together we build stronger and healthier communities.

We cannot expect to live in a world of peace if we are unable to live in peace with those close to us – even those who differ from us…– YMCA Statement of Peace

Peace Week Activities

Here are some activities to build peace in your life and community! Download our Peace Week activities by clicking on the links below.

Kindness Tree Activity
Peace Week Pledge
Peace Week Compliment Card
Peace Crane Activity
Colouring Pages