Center for Peacemaking forms partnership with MPS for new Success Center services

Aug. 6, 2019

Patrick Kennelly, director of the Center for PeacemakingMILWAUKEE — The Marquette University Center for Peacemaking has been selected, through a Response for Proposals (RFP) process, to collaborate with Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS) to provide Peace Works education and therapeutic services to support students at the new MPS Success Center.

The Center for Peacemaking is partnering with MPS in the implementation of this initiative – the S.M.A.R.T. program (Success in MPS through Academic achievement, Restorative practices, & Therapeutic services) – in collaboration with Lutheran Social Services, Bloom Center for Art and Integrated Therapies, Inner Light Yoga School and Studio, and Bembé Drum and Dance Company.

Marquette University Peace Works is a nonviolence, peace education program that utilizes a social-emotional curriculum, restorative practices and peer mediation to teach youth communication skills, active listening skills, critical observation skills, mediation techniques, anger management skills, self-reflection, and problem-solving through practical skill building exercises, group interaction, role play, games, reading, writing, art and reflection. This partnership will allow the Center for Peacemaking to offer Peace Works in collaboration with other therapeutic services, including art, music, drum and dance, and yoga therapy, for MPS students in grades 4-12.

"Peace Works has a demonstrated track record of helping students modify behavior, improve attendance, decrease suspensions, improve social skills, explore decision making and develop peaceful relationships," said Patrick Kennelly, director of Marquette’s Center for Peacemaking, which administers the Peace Works program. "Teaching young people to resolve conflict is one of the keys to a peaceful city."

Peace Works has been delivered in public and private schools in Milwaukee and Chicago since 1997. Since 2014, Peace Works has served over 1,100 students in MPS Behavioral Reassignment Schools, delivering its curriculum and tracking data related to student behavior and success, including attendance, suspension, learning plan goals, and student satisfaction data, as well as data that measures student socioemotional development.

“MPS is excited to partner with the Center for Peacekeeping to provide behavior supports and therapeutic services to our students and families of Milwaukee Public Schools,” Bridget Schock, an MPS Representative.

In collaboration with MPS, the Peace Works staff will help students, families and staff in the transition back to their traditional MPS school and provide support and mentoring for students and families during and after that transition. The Peace Works staff also will provide support services, professional development and training to faculty, school administrators, teachers and support staff at the MPS Success Center.

About the Center for Peacemaking

Housed within the Helen Way Klingler College of Arts and Sciences, the Center for Peacemaking contributes to instruction, research and community engagement at the university. For the past 10 years, the Center, through its Peace Works program, has helped behavioral reassignment schools, traditional schools, Catholic schools and youth-serving agencies teach young people to modify behaviors while simultaneously working to increase young people's connections to their schools and protective factors from violence.

About Kevin Conway

Kevin Conway

Kevin is the associate director for university communication in the Office of University Relations. Contact Kevin at (414) 288-4745 or