Several years ago, more than 100 fights took place at North Lawndale College Prep, a Chicago high school; in response, some students formed the Peace Warriors. The activists follow principles exemplified by Martin Luther King Jr. to commit to living nonviolently while teaching others to do the same. And it seems to be working: The number of on-campus fights dropped 10 percent the first year and have been decreasing ever since. Rahmier Williams, 18, became president of the group as a sophomore. (This interview was edited and condensed for length and clarity.)
Q: How do you describe the role of a Peace Warrior?
A: It's our job to break the tension of a fight. We interject love and kindness, and we interrupt nonsense.
Q: Why is nonviolence crucial?
A: My mom told me if somebody hits me, hit them back. It's easier to be violent. But it takes a more courageous person to walk away or resolve the conflict without violence. When I became willing to have my mind-set changed...