Duets is a Peace First storytelling platform that pairs leading artists, entrepreneurs, activists and thinkers together with young people engaged in peacemaking work for powerful dialogues that explore the most important issues of our times. These conversations will help us all foster compassionate insights into our biggest problems, imagine new solutions, and build new allies to address our shared concerns.

On December 14th in Chicago, we held a conversation between Peace First Fellow and Think Twice Campaign founder Mary-Pat Hector and former Secretary of Education and Managing Partner of the Emerson Collective Arne Duncan. Together in conversation they explored how young people – right now – are creating strategies for reducing gun violence and creating lasting community peace.

Young people need to be told they can.
— Mary-Pat

The conversation lasted over an hour and could have easily gone on even longer - when moderator and Peace First CEO said he was taking final questions more hands were raised than could be called on. Following the formal conversation, the attendees found themselves huddled in various groups digesting and reveling in the conversation they were just privy to. The excitement around what Mary-Pat, Arne and Peace First are doing was palpable.

The Chicago Duet was an inspiring event and we all walked away feeling like we learned something about your important work and the many issues that contribute to Chicago’s violence.
— Attendee

Right now, these conversations are more essential than ever. We must continue to bring together people of different experiences, different backgrounds, different demographics, to create an environment of compassion and collaboration.