Campers on a Mission of
Peace & Justice
Peacebuilders Camp at Koinonia Farm is a unique summer camp in rural south Georgia. Koinonia Farm was a critical site during the Civil Rights Movement and continues to inspire social change through its example of community and its innovations in sustainable agriculture. In this setting, Peacebuilders Camp welcomes youth from all over to learn, play, grow and serve together.
Peacebuilders Camp harnesses the overnight summer camp experience as an opportunity for transformation. Understanding that there is no peace without justice, Peacebuilders Camp at Koinonia Farm teaches youth ages 11 to 16 the basics of human rights as a foundation for justice and peace. We foster rich discussions of global issues while tackling the same issues at the local level and consistently applying the concepts to the campers’ own lives. We teach these principles through conversations, games, activities, stories, field trips, and service projects, but we recognize that much of the learning at camp happens organically as a result of our campers’ diversity and their own interest in reaching across lines of difference. Campers experience a taste of Koinonia’s community life through their time with each other and with the residents of the farm.
Peacebuilders Camp at Koinonia Farm is a secular camp financed by tuition and donations from individuals and community partners. We strive to build peace through friendship and collaboration among those who share our vision of a more just and sustainable world. Our aim is to live the principles we are teaching our campers by running camp in a way that resists systems of oppression and upholds the rights and dignity of all. We ensure the diversity of each camper group on many levels including urban/rural background, income level, race and ethnicity, immigrant/refugee status, religion, and ability. Peacebuilders Camp is committed to reaching out to traditionally marginalized communities and making camp financially feasible for all families.
Recognizing that there is no peace without justice, Peacebuilders Camp at Koinonia Farm envisions a world without violence or oppression where all human rights are upheld.
The mission of Peacebuilders Camp is to provide a transformative learning experience that empowers a diverse community of youth to work toward peace, justice and human rights.
Meet Our People
Co-founder and Curriculum Director
Marilyn has been a mom and a teacher for many years. Teaching primarily within Atlanta’s home schooling community, she has come to understand how vital it is for kids to gain an appreciation for the hard work that has been done over time to guarantee us certain rights, and for the hard work that remains to be done so that all may enjoy these rights. By introducing Peacebuilder Campers to amazing individuals who are making a difference in our world, and by encouraging them to think deeply about social justice issues, she hopes to inspire young people to accept the challenge to be part of the next generation of peacemakers.
Quayneshia Smith is a social worker, community organizer, and advocate. As a Florida native she has organized with migrant farmworkers and human rights organizations, and has pushed campaigns that put the power back in the hands of the community. Quayneshia educates youth and college-age students on consumer accountability, healthy relationships, and community organizing through the lens of a social worker. She believes we must equip our youth with the knowledge, resources, and skills that they need to help us build a just and free world for all. Quayneshia was a previous counselor at Peacebuilders and couldn’t be more excited to be back as staff to help further the camp’s mission.
Finance and Human Resources Director
Mario Burton is a student and scholar. He is currently a PhD student at Antioch University where he is studying social justice leadership. His passion for social justice leadership has followed a career working for various nonprofits over the last 8 years. While serving in these capacities, he has utilized mindfulness, motivational interviewing, restorative justice, and various other client-centered intervention strategies to resolve conflict and empower individuals to make more informed choices for themselves.