PAX Activist Academy

Image: SP/Flickr

Our mission is perfectly clear: we aim to empower young individuals who are fighting for peace, confronting injustice, and speaking out against abuse of power.

In the face of increasing unrest and misconduct in the Netherlands, we feel the urgency of our mission more than ever. We focus on strengthening the position of young activists, whether they are demonstrating or advocating for justice through policy development. We believe that this contributes directly and powerfully to expanding the space for social justice and reinforcing the power of citizens. 

To achieve this goal, we concentrate on providing young activists with the necessary tools and broadening their possibilities and expertise. We are determined to support them by offering training in non-violent action (NVA): organizing, campaigning, lobbying, advocacy, and other essential skills. By sharing and imparting this expertise, we not only aim to increase their knowledge but also enhance their ability to communicate effectively, develop strategies, and exert influence at various levels of society. It is our conviction that empowering these young activists with concrete tools will enable them to be more effective and motivated in their pursuit of social justice and change. 

Our current case – Claim back the classroom

Sustainable peace begins with an inclusive society that ensures equal voting rights for everyone, regardless of background or gender. In the Netherlands, it may seem like we have solid foundations for these principles, but our democracy is under pressure. Distrust in the rule of law, politics, and media is growing, and daily threats of conflict, hatred, and violence loom. This trend is also evident in universities and schools, where the Board of Directors often prioritizes the interests of donors rather than representing the students. PAX supports the global movement where students are standing up against this injustice. We aim to collaborate with students and others to explore ways to create a more democratic, inclusive, and just university or school. 

Working alongside local and national experts (including LSVb, LOF, SRVU, CSR), we seek to ensure that both students and teachers have more say in decision-making processes. We are striving towards a system where everyone, regardless of their background, can contribute to shaping higher education. Simultaneously, we want to equip those advocating for justice with the right tools to defend their rights, both within and outside the educational system. Our focus includes improving transparency in the process and involving individuals with limited knowledge of the current system, thus lowering the barriers to participation and action, making it easy for everyone to express their opinions. 

In a time of growing distrust, injustice, and inequality, we aspire to actively contribute to strengthening democratic values at all levels, including educational institutions. By collaborating with students and stakeholders to explore how we can realize a more democratic and just education system, we aim for a positive change that reinforces the foundations of peace and justice in our society. 

What is the role of PAX? 

PAX is a peace organization dedicated to inclusive peace, freedom, and justice. PAX supports its partners, ranging from activists to policymakers, who tirelessly work towards these goals every day. PAX sees its role not only in connecting local groups through shared experiential knowledge but, more importantly, in supporting these organizations to collaborate for national impact. In a nutshell for this plan: PAX supports local groups and individuals advocating for the democratization of their higher education institutions by providing training and assistance in areas such as non-violent action and organizing. 

Similar to PAX’s longstanding work in promoting peace abroad by supporting and guiding local partners and activists through methods like non-violent action, lobbying, and advocacy, the same approach will be applied here. 

What can you do? Join us! 

To stay informed about developments, engage in discussions, and be the first to receive all information, we have created a Community Network app. This app brings together young activists who are interested in and/or actively working towards justice, inclusivity, and action. Together, we are building a network of motivated young individuals who want to contribute to peace and justice in their own unique ways. 

Become part of our network: stay updated on developments, serve as a sounding board, and be the first to receive updates and offerings from the PAX Activist Academy. Click button below to access the app. 

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