Flannery Harper

Flannery Harper is a bridge

She was quiet and little shy when she started and she's still pretty much the same today. But something was switched on inside Flannery Harper when she became involved with BRIDGES PeaceJam - a passion and sense of enthusiasm that has grown steadily for two years. And today, as a PeaceJam Leadership Team member and volunteer - and at a relatively young age - she already realizes the great need in the community to advance social justice through nonviolent methods of promoting peace.  


Her journey with the program started in eighth grade, when two of her teachers recommended she join the PeaceJam Leadership Team as a middle school representative. Flannery didn’t hesitate. “I think it’s very important, for youth especially, to start learning about nonviolent social change in their community," she said. "Nonviolence, it’s not really something that’s taught everywhere."  


Two years later and now a sophomore at Central High School, Flannery still exudes enthusiasm for the PeaceJam ideals. "In school, justice and social change is not one of the main subjects offered, and it’s a great opportunity and experience to be able to do something like this.”  


In addition to serving as a facilitator for both sessions of this past summer's PeaceJam Leadership Institute, she volunteered her creativity. “I brought a couple of my cameras and started snapping pictures, and now on the last day of the camp we have a showcase. One of the workshops is to make a slideshow and a review of the whole week.” Check out the slideshow below.

Dana Wilson, BRIDGES Director of Curriculum Development, has worked with Flannery throughout her time in PeaceJam and sees her as a leader and a bridge to promoting peaceful understanding. “Flannery is quiet and strong. She is compassionate and kind. She has transformed in the two years I have known her, found her voice and discovered her passion and talent for facilitating other youth," Dana says. "That is what she does well. At age 14, she could lead a group of high school students in a two-and-a-half-hour workshop and smile the whole time.”  


Her smile and peaceful demeanor are contagious, and Flannery wouldn’t trade her PeaceJam experience for anything. “My favorite thing so far about PeaceJam is being able to meet all different types of people from all over Memphis. Being able to see change happen that you've created yourself. I'm very passionate myself about changing stuff in the community and helping out, and this is just great for me.”  


Great for BRIDGES - and the community - as well.