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Youth Ministries for Peace and Justice

Award Recipients - 1998

Alexie M. Torres-Fleming, Founder & Executive Director

www.ympj.org

Alexie Torres-Fleming is the founder and executive director of Youth Ministries for Peace and Justice (YMP), an urban ministry dedicated to fostering peace and justice through youth and community development and organizing.  YMPJ’s mission is to develop youth leaders by mobilizing their existing skills and capacities to reconstruct and sustain the Soundview/Bruckner community.  
YMPJ opened in 1994, staffed primarily by young people who make decisions collectively.  Since then, more than 1,000 young people have committed to develop third minds, bodies, spirits and community.  YMPJ’s emphasis on the whole person and recognition of the importance of the relationship to family, community, schools and houses of worship is the key to its highly effective approach to faith-based organizing.  Members have organized public housing tenants and homeowners to create a community garden, to participate in local policing efforts and to provide youth services in public housing.  Through information gathering by young people, community meetings, rallies, parent involvement and petitions, YMPJ has successfully gained summer jobs for youth.  YMPJ has also addressed environmental concerns such as pollution of the Bronx River and the disproportionately high asthma rates among community residents.  Ms. Torres-Fleming aims to convey that a congregation that is truly alive takes responsibility for the well-being of their neighbors.


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