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Kevin Szawala, known as, “Mr. Peace,” is on a mission to inspire young people to be more kind and make true-to-heart connections.

He’s a Youth Speaker from Metro Detroit who specializes in bullying prevention, diversity, positivity, leadership, inclusion, student mental health and suicide awareness. He’s also spoken at several Indianapolis area private schools.  

Since 2006 Mr. Peace has spoken to over one million people in more than one thousand schools in 20 states.

Here’s more from him:

Where does the name “Mr. Peace” come from?

From my diversity work back when I was a student in college, which has now grown into the K-12 school assemblies I provide nationwide. 

How long have you been speaking for and how far has your message reached?

I’ve been a National Youth Speaker now since 2006 and during that 15-year stretch, I’ve spoken to over 1,000,000 people in 1,000+ schools in 20 states. 

How did you get into speaking?

I’ve always loved speech class growing up and connecting to people through my heart, humor and hip-hop, and knowing you can’t put a price tag on passion, I decided to leave Corporate America over a decade ago to follow my heart and pursue a greater calling for my life of working with children.  But before that transition, I started taking my vacation days to go speak to individual classrooms at my old high school in South Lyon, Michigan, which eventually turned into a full school assembly, and now the rest is history. 

What are some of the key themes that you speak on?

To look at someone’s heart before anything else; To treat everyone like you treat your best friend; To turn hurt people who hurt people into healed people who heal people; To have the courage to stand up for what’s right and be that voice for the voiceless; To know that we are all beautiful miracles who are worthy of love to both give it and receive it. 

What’s with all the bracelets?

Every talk I give I pick about 10 or 12 bracelets to wear and they become my strength, they become my armor.  I have thousands of these and this is just one of my bags.  Some of them are from students who said, “Thanks for coming today, Mr. Peace, thanks for touching my heart!”  But the majority of them are from youth who told me, “Mr. Peace, if you didn’t come today, I wouldn’t be here tomorrow.”  That’s how serious the non-love and self-hatred was getting in their hearts, but my response is always the same.  I hug them, I cry with them, I tell them that they’re loved and that they’re still here for billions of reasons; the biggest one being to help others who are going through the same storm, to be the light to their darkness, to be their hope. 

What’s one thing you want youth to know?

That we never have to go it alone. I ask the question at my assemblies, sometimes in front of 1,000 students at once, whether anyone in the audience has ever felt alone and 9 times out of 10 every hand goes up.  How can that be?  But we don’t have enough heart-to-heart connections with each other.  And it’s crazy to me that we have so many friends and followers on social media, yet we can still feel so alone.  And now with the pandemic and remote learning, and antidepressant prescriptions, mental health-related doctor visits, and feelings of helplessness among our children on the rise, those feelings of loneliness have only increased.  But there’s always someone out there who cares and if we keep our heart open to love we’ll never be alone. 

For more information visit, and @mrpeace101 on all social media.