News / Halifax

'Peace within ourselves:' North Preston teen hosting community discussion

Kardeisha Provo's trip to Uganda inspired idea for event to promote peace.

Kardeisha Provo

Zane Woodford/Metro Halifax

Kardeisha Provo

A North Preston teen is hosting a public community event to help promote peace.

On Thursday night, Kardeisha Provo will lead a peace building discussion at Cole Harbour District High School.

The ‘Developing Diverse Ways to Build Inner Peace’ event was inspired by her 18-day learning tour to Uganda last summer.

“The cliché saying, if you want to change the world start with yourself is kind of where I’m going. My end goal is to have external peace, but it has to start with internal,” the 17-year-old said.

“When we have community meetings it’s usually about the issues that are in our community or the things that we need to fix, but we never really get the space to just be quiet and talk about things that wouldn’t come up in our everyday conversations.”

The public gathering is open to anyone interested in participating or just listening to the conversation. Provo expects a diverse crowd and open dialogue that won’t always be comfortable for everyone.

“I want people to learn that when we come to meetings, when we come to conversations, we all come with different mindsets, but we may all have one goal so we have to work together,” she said.

Provo plans to share stories about her experiences in Uganda and how they changed her perspective. One story in particular led her to focus on inner peace.

She recalled the story about two communities pitted against one another.

“There was a lot of violence between the two… It was a group of young people that had the issues but it made the whole community angry with each other,” she said.

A young man from one of the communities decided to change his own life. Provo said when he found his own inner peace, he was able to help spearhead the creation of a group that includes peace promoters who stop conflict between the two communities before they develop.

“I could see similarities to my community back home… In order for things to change people have to change themselves personally. Recent events from 2016 were pretty harmful to us and we’re consistently saying something needs to be done,” Provo said.

“I learned the first step in that is taking care of ourselves and finding what can be done with ourselves before we can look at the next person. I look at myself, I fix myself, and if everyone does that, then only good can come from that. We have nothing to lose when we find peace within ourselves.”

Provo hopes the discussion will be the first of many. The event happens at Cole Harbour District High on Thursday at 7 p.m.

This story is part of Metro's ongoing Black in Halifax series. If you have a story you'd like to share about being Black in Halifax, reach out to editor Philip Croucher at philip.croucher@metronews.ca

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