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Agency History

paxUnited is a 501(c)3 nonprofit prevention organization committed to helping protect youth by providing comprehensive violence- reduction programs that incorporate conflict resolution and mediation training services for schools, parents and community-based organizations.  The core program is Peers Making Peace©, a conflict mediation program for youth, designed to be implemented by trained student mediators in elementary, middle and high schools and facilitated and supervised by teachers, counselors, administrators and/or other pupil support staff.   

Founded in 1989 as PeaceMakers Unlimited Inc., paxUnited has helped over 5000 schools in 28 states, juvenile justice settings and community-based organizations establish effective conflict resolution programs by providing training and technical assistance using the Peers Making Peace model.  Because of its outstanding success, the program was adopted by the Office of the Attorney General as the statewide Texas Mediation Initiative. With demand growing for the powerful program, a private-nonprofit organization, PeaceMakers Unlimited, Inc. was formed.  In 2002, PeaceMakers Unlimited, Inc. changed its name to paxUnited.  Due to the  demand growing for paxUnited's powerful programs, paxUnited is now funded by the Office of the Governor, the Texas Department of State Health Services, fee for training services, and via private donations.

The Peers Making PeaceProgram has demonstrated profound and far-reaching success.  Independent evaluation shows immediate and significant reductions in classroom conduct problems, campus conflicts, and violence. Significant improvements in academic achievement, student attitudes and sense of personal safety at school were also shown.  The U.S. Department of Education says, “This program develops and enhances resiliency assets while providing a strong, clear “no use” message.”

paxUnited and the Peers Making Peace program have received three prestigious awards for its impressive success: The Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (CSAP) Exemplary Substance Prevention Award, designation as a model program by the Office for Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) and designation as a promising program by the U. S. Department of Education whose reviewers said the program is “education in its truest sense.”  The program is recognized as a proven "effective school-based program that promotes healthy students and safe, disciplined, and drug-free schools".   Peers Making Peace is the only conflict resolution program in the nation to be recognized by multiple entities.

An important aspect of the program is that it does not detract from regular instruction, but rather molds itself to the character of the school and its atmosphere. Recognizing the importance of paxUnited to Texas youth, the Texas State Board of Education has awarded 2 units of state graduation credit for PeaceKeepers© Course in Texas high schools.  paxUnited currently working on obtaining state graduation credit in other states as well.

The program has been noted for its cultural and ethnic sensitivity and bias-free training. paxUnited’s video, Peers Making Peace is noted for providing excellent representation of diverse populations that sends a message of inclusion.

Building on the original program, paxUnited has also developed a wide range of programs for youth populations, such as youth in in-school suspension programs, alternative education programs, juvenile justice alternative education centers, detention centers, institutes of higher education and other juvenile justice settings.  In addition, paxUnited has developed parenting and community development programs.