STAMFORD - A weeklong youth summit aimed at teaching students the power of peace kicked off in Stamford Monday. Members of the Power of Peace organization are meeting with teenagers at the Yerwood Center to show them how conflict can be resolved without the use of violence. During ?Power of Peace Week,? middle and high school students will attend workshops on positive youth development. They will include sessions about respect and tolerance for diversity.

On Monday, former Bloods gang member Dashaun ?Jiwe? Morris talked to Stamford teens about his life and experiences to deter them from joining gangs. Morris told them joining the Bloods was like signing his life away.

One teen says the message of nonviolence is more palatable coming from Morris than from a teacher.

Yerwood Center Chairperson Brenda Culpepper says the message of nonviolence is something teens really need to hear. "We want to convey to them that at the end of the day and after it's all said and done that you can use the power of your voice instead of the power of your fists to broker and negotiate your way through situations that are not comfortable for you,? Yerwood said.