The Education for Peace in Iraq Center (EPIC) creates opportunities for concerned Americans and everyday Iraqis to build lasting peace in Iraq. As Iraqis are charting a course towards a peaceful and prosperous Iraq, EPIC works with experts and other organizations to support initiatives that elevate the welfare of Iraqi youth.
Too many young people in Iraq have experienced violence first-hand. Too many only know war. EPIC develops safe spaces for Iraqi youth to learn, grow, and play alongside their peers from different provinces, different ethnic groups, and different religious backgrounds. The youth are the future of Iraq; they are its future leaders, human rights defenders, journalists, and activists. A peaceful and prosperous Iraq tomorrow requires laying the foundations of peace today.
In the mid-1990s, news reports about the ongoing suffering of Iraqis sparked concern among many American citizens. Two oppressive regimes, one led by Saddam Hussein and one of international economic sanctions, were causing the deterioration of basic life in Iraq. Children couldn’t receive proper health care, young adults couldn’t attend speak freely in school, and human rights defenders were jailed without cause.
Based that concern and a recognition that action had to be taken, the Education for Peace in Iraq Center was founded. Bringing together Iraqi-Americans, aid workers, doctors, peace activists, and veterans, EPIC started a grassroots movement to improve humanitarian conditions in Iraq.
With tens of thousands of Americans raising their voices in unison behind it, EPIC became a leading organization amplifying the words of everyday Iraqis in Washington and across America. Since its founding in 1998, EPIC has built bridges across communities and across oceans by developing a network of organizations committed to a vision of a peaceful and secure Iraq.
With expertise on the issues and contacts in Iraq, EPIC has led the conversation in Washington on economic sanctions, human rights abuses, and humanitarian concerns in Iraq. More must yet be done to secure a peaceful and prosperous future for Iraq and the seeds of peace must be sown with Iraq’s youngest generation, its children.