Ultimate Peace brings together youth to play, connect, and forge pathways across social, political, and cultural divides. Having launched our flagship program in the Middle East, we are now embarking upon a US/Americas Program.
Ultimate Peace was conceived in 2009, as a Middle East-based program designed to bring together youth in the region who would never otherwise meet, to play, create community, and learn new ways of interacting through sport.
We aimed to use the game of Ultimate as the leading vehicle for this important work. Besides providing a vital outlet for fitness and fun, we had deeper ambitions – to build unlikely cross-cultural connections, teach dispute resolution on the field (there are no referees), and develop young leadership.
Since 2010, Ultimate Peace has provided a dynamic year-round program for over 2,000 self-identified Arab, Palestinian, and Jewish youth from over 20 communities in Israel and the West Bank to pursue these aims.
“We’ve done some important work in the Middle East, witnessed remarkable results, and of course learned some tough but invaluable lessons. All the while the divides in our own backyard have grown. It’s time we look in the mirror and apply what we know how to do. At home. Imagine how much we can learn, who might get involved, what we could accomplish?” David Barkan – Founder of Ultimate Peace
We have learned that when young people who live in separate but parallel realities can share positive experiences together, they discover genuine and powerful human connection. Prejudice is reduced and empathy increases, paving the way for meaningful bonding, friendship, and collaboration.
Since 2010, the program has witnessed thousands of youth gradually let their defenses down, unlearn and discard negative narratives about the other, and become dear treasured friends. The program provides them with not only hope but the tools to create a brighter more equitable future together.