"Gathering with the leadership team to dream up a strategic and bold plan for Millennial Voices for Peace was inspiring. The fact that we all have full-time jobs and other commitments and yet choose to pour energy into MV for Peace is evidence of the deep conviction, love and hope behind this movement."
- Kelly Dunlap, Interim Director of Social Media for Millennial Voices for Peace
Commuting home from a long day’s work is usually my time to catch up on the news. As a teacher, it is relaxing being able to listen after a day of hearing myself talk. The other day, a news story came on NPR about millennials- people who came of age around 2000, and a shift in the house-buying market.
Millennials aren’t buying houses like generations in the past. In fact, in just a decade it went from nearly half of the younger population who were homeowners to now with a little more than a third.
This is not the first developing news story where researchers are seemingly taken back by millennials doing things differently. Trends have changed with marriage and children as well, millennials simply are not making the same commitments as early in life as past generations. Some are choosing to opt out all together.
As a millennial, I know we like to live life differently and are not likely to follow the pathway our baby-boomer parents took. But sometimes I resist the idea that millennials are non-committal.
When I first gathered with forty millennials from all over the U.S to form Millennial Voices for Peace in January of 2015, I was excited, passionate and inspired by the motivated individuals who came to gather and create a collective voice of peace regarding the Holy Land. But yes, after the conference “high,” I too, was leery that such a good thing would slowly drift away like a zealous cloud because, well…We are millennials, right?
But through a year-and-a-half of keeping up connections with members and leaders across the nation, all individually doing our part to keep MV for Peace alive, faithfully working to develop the foundations of a new voice for peace amongst Christians, I have never felt more proud to be a millennial than when we met for our second gathering outside of D.C for the Millennial Voices for Peace Leadership Retreat 2016.
In late August, leaders of Millennial Voices for Peace got together for a strategic planning meeting and retreat for this dispersed community of individuals more accustomed to eachother's email address than one another's actual face. The chance to be re-acquainted with this passionate group was refreshing. Seeing us all together, knowing the hard work we have put in and realizing how committed this group is to MV for Peace, re-affirmed my belief in millennials. And yes, I said committed..
Here are a few other reflections from the 2016 Millennial Voices for Peace Leadership Retreat:
“After communicating for a year via remote calls and email, being in the same physical space with other team members was deeply refreshing. We accomplished a great deal in the short time we had at the retreat--it makes me hopeful for everything we can do going forward. Six years ago, I was traveling with a group of students, and we had the opportunity to meet Abuna Elias Chacour in Haifa. He told us: "I don't want your hands to be clean. I want you to get your hands dirty working for peace." Being part of Millennial Voices for Peace is how I get my hands dirty.”
– Jessica Mussro, Millennial Voices for Peace Director of Resource and Networking
“Gathering with the leadership team to dream up a strategic and bold plan for Millennial Voices for Peace was inspiring. The fact that we all have full-time jobs and other commitments and yet choose to pour energy into MV for Peace is evidence of the deep conviction, love and hope behind this movement. It’s going to take a lot of hard work, but I’m excited to be a part of it.”
– Kelly Dunlap, Millennial Voices for Peace Interim Director of Social Media