Summer Peacebuilding Institute Turns 20! Spring/Summer 2014
CENTER FOR JUSTICE AND PEACEBUILDING
EASTERN MENNONITE UNIVERSITY
CJP leadership in 2014: J. Daryl Byler (center), executive director, is flanked by William Goldberg, SPI director, and Jayne Docherty, CJP program director.
CJP's strategic planners in 1995: (sitting, left to right) Ricardo Esquivia of JustaPaz in Colombia, John Paul Lederach of EMU, founding director of CJP; Hizkias Assefa of the Nairobi Peace Initiative; (standing, l. to r.) Paul Stucky of JustaPaz; Ruth Zimmerman, Ron Kraybill and Vernon Jantzi of EMU.
SPI embodies hope I think of the Summer Peacebuilding Institute as that magical time of year when the world comes to Eastern Mennonite University. This year 184 participants representing 36 countries attended one or more SPI sessions. Something extraordinary happens when this diverse mix of people gather. While ethnic, national and religious differences fuel many global conflicts, at SPI students learn that dissimilar world views can be a source of richness and strength. Much like the early Christian encounter of Pentecost, SPI participants discover that it is possible to experience understanding and unity within the context of diversity. We were honored this year to host nine Iranian women from a conservative seminary in Qom, as well as a cohort of Kenyan women peacebuilders. One evening, CJP staff member Leda Werner hosted these two groups for a cookout at her home. The food and conversation were delightful. Still, there were differences. The Iranian-Muslim women were ready to leave by 8 p.m. to prepare for their evening prayers. Meanwhile the Kenyan women, several also Muslim, were just getting warmed up for dancing. I commented to one of the Iranian women: “So the Iranian women pray while the Kenyan women dance!” With a big smile on her face and not a hint of judgment, she responded, “Yes, diversity!” A diligent SPI staff and a globally diverse faculty help create the space that fosters community. The broader Harrisonburg community plays an important role as well. Many like Don and Margaret Foth and members of the local Rotary host SPI students in their homes or introduce them to local cultural attractions. The conclusion of each SPI session evokes mixed emotions. There is hope in knowing that a revitalized cadre of peacebuilders is better prepared to engage complex conflicts. But there is also the somber awareness that many are risking their lives by returning to dangerous settings. SPI offers hope amid the litany of negative news stories, reminding us that it is possible to create a community for the common good from a diversity of world views.
J. Daryl Byler, JD, Executive Director
PHOTOS by Michael Sheeler (left) and EMU archives (right)
CENTER FOR JUSTICE AND PEACEBUILDING
PEACEBUILDER is published two times a year by Eastern Mennonite University, with the collaboration of its development office: Kirk L. Shisler, vice president for advancement; Phil Helmuth, executive director of development; Phoebe Kilby, CJP associate director of development. Loren E. Swartzendruber President Fred Kniss Provost J. Daryl Byler CJP Executive Director Bonnie Price Lofton Editor Andrew Jenner Writer Jon Styer Designer/Photographer J. Daryl Byler Jayne Docherty Kathy Smith Lindsay Martin Styer CJP Management Team For more information or address changes, contact: Center for Justice and Peacebuilding Eastern Mennonite University 1200 Park Road Harrisonburg VA 22802 firstname.lastname@example.org 540-432-4000 www.emu.edu/cjp Contents ÂŠ 2014 Eastern Mennonite University. Cover of SPI 2014 participants: (Top row, from left) Janine Aberg, South Africa & Simon Aberg, Sweden, and their daughter Arowin; Adam Shank, U.S.; Shamsa Omar, Kenya. (Second row) Harry Thelusma, Haiti; Richy Bikko and his mother, Doreen Ruto, Kenya; Khant Naw, Burma. (Third row) Mukhtar Ludin and his father, Amanullah Ludin, Afghanistan; Kalyani Tulankar, India; Maria Karina Echazu and her mother, Lilian Burlando, Argentina. (Bottom row) Elizabeth Bartlett, U.S.; Julian Turner and Johonna McCants, U.S.; JeaHyun Nham, South Korea. Photos by Jon Styer.
EASTERN MENNONITE UNIVERSITY
SPI: The first and foremost
Alumni return again and again
Consultations launched at SPI
Former diplomat discovers STAR
Clergy address Nigerian violence
Afghan envisions peace movement
Syrian bishop rebuilds at home
Iranian women offer Islamic views
RJ in education program launched
Kenyan helps torture victims
Playback theater proves healing
Fambul Tok rebuilds Sierra Leone
............................................................................................24 The Center for Justice and Peacebuilding (CJP) is rooted in Anabaptist-Christian theology and life, characterized by values and traditions that include nonviolence, right relationships and just community. CJP educates a global community of peacebuilders through the integration of practice, theory and research. CJP is based at Eastern Mennonite University in Harrisonburg, Virginia, and offers a master's-level degree and certificate, as well as non-degree training through its Summer Peacebuilding Institute. Donations to CJP are tax-deductible and support the program, the university that houses it, scholarships for peace and justice students, and other essentials. Visit www.emu.edu/cjp for more information.
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THE FIRST & FOREMOST SUMMER PEACEBUILDING INSTITUTE As it wraps up its first two decades, SPI is thriving, having hosted 2,800 people from 121 countries taking core courses such as conflict transformation and restorative justice, as well as cutting-edge ones, like playback theater and the influence of architecture on peace.
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PHOTO by Michael Sheeler
In the summer of 1994, about 40 peace and development
workers gathered on the campus of Eastern Mennonite University for a one-week seminar called “Frontiers in International Peacebuilding.” It was the first official event held by what is now known as the Center for Justice and Peacebuilding, or CJP, which was then so fledgling it had yet to be fully accredited.*1 Organizers, including CJP founding director John Paul Lederach, sociology professor Vernon Jantzi, and Hizkias Assefa, a mediator in conflicts around the world, invited friends and colleagues to talk and think about the cutting edges of practice and theory in international peace work. Some uncertainty surrounded the launch of CJP itself, Jantzi recalls, and the organizers of the Frontiers conference didn’t have any particular plans to make it an annual event. And they surely didn’t imagine that 20 years later it would be thriving, would have brought 2,800 people from 121 countries to EMU’s campus and would have directly inspired the creation of at least 10 other short-term peacebuilding institutes in Africa, Asia, the South Pacific and North America. Nor could Lederach, Jantzi and Assefa have imagined that they would remain involved to varying degrees ever since, though Assefa is the only one has taught every year at the summer institute. * For its first 10 years, CJP was known as the Conflict Transformation Program, or CTP. For clarity, the current name is used throughout this story.
“There was so much energy generated,” Jantzi recalls, of the first conference. “People were so eager to share their experiences.” Participants found that simply being together at a week-long peacebuilding conference was tremendously beneficial and inspiring for their work, and the response was enthusiastic. During the following academic year, CJP received its accreditation, had three students in the master’s program and admitted a dozen more to begin in the fall of 1995, and had hired its first full-time administrative staff member, Ruth Zimmerman. Things were heading in a good direction, and CJP organized a second Frontiers in International Peacebuilding conference in the summer of 1995.
Conference becomes “SPI” For its third year, CJP gave its one-week peacebuilding conference a new name: the Summer Peacebuilding Institute, or SPI. Word was spreading, interest was growing, and SPI was about to begin growing quickly in size, scope and length. By 2002, SPI attracted around 150 participants from about 50 countries and offered 20 classes over a two-month period. One of the major early emphases at SPI – and CJP more generally – was grounding the academic curriculum and classroom instruction in practical, on-the-ground application of peacebuilding and conflict resolution. Early in SPI’s history, outside funders helped bring participants from different sides of several major conflicts around the world, including groups of Catholics and
PHOTO by Jon Styer
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Protestants from Northern Ireland and members of the Hutu and Tutsi ethnic groups from Rwanda and Burundi. This created a rich and challenging environment at SPI, adding a heavy dose of real-life experience from difficult, violent conflicts – sometimes involving opposing sides of the same conflict – to complement the theory-based aspects of the curriculum. “In the classroom, that was pretty powerful,” says Tim Ruebke, who attended four years of SPI before earning his master’s degree from CJP in 1999.
Rich experiences outside classroom Many report that the most powerful moments at SPI, though, occurred during informal, social times away from the classroom. Ruebke recalls an evening gathering at a home in Harrisonburg where participants from Northern Ireland shared stories, songs and dancing with each other and the rest of their classmates. While the daily sessions focus on the cerebral, “head” aspects of peacebuilding, these informal, social times in the evenings get at its emotional “heart.” This aspect of SPI, Ruebke says, mirrors the reality of many real-life peace negotiations, where the hard work of compromise, connection and understanding between parties often occurs in relaxed, social settings before being finalized at the 4
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formal negotiating table. “A lot of stuff that happens here is informal and relational,” says Jantzi. “We think it’s very significant.” And as SPI participants often discover, the emotional aspects of peacebuilding aren’t always happy times of singing and dancing. One of the early SPI sessions included visitors from the former Soviet republic of Georgia as well as Abkhazia, a disputed region within Georgia over which a civil war was fought in the 1990s. One evening, an SPI professor had planned a discussion about this conflict and began by displaying a map of the region. Ruebke was in the audience, and remembers that one of the parties was upset in some way by what was (or perhaps, what wasn’t) portrayed on the map. This immediately and badly derailed the session, and by the time things had been patched up and discussion about the conflict was able to proceed, the importance of the “felt” aspect of peacebuilding had been brought home to Ruebke in a memorable way. “Even though we were a peacebuilding program, people brought their stuff with them,” remembers Ruth Zimmerman, who says that these sorts of conflicts would periodically flare up between participants. “We had a great learning ground for using some of those [conflict resolution] skill sets over the years.” PHOTO by Jon Styer
CJP associate professor David Brubaker, PhD, explains a point in his “Leadership for Healthy Organizations” class at SPI 2014, co-taught with Roxy Allen Kioko, a doctoral candidate who holds a master’s degree from CJP. Brubaker specializes in transforming organizational conflict.
At the very beginning, the Frontiers in International Peacebuilding conferences and SPI were simply opportunities for professional development and learning. Before long, however, participants and graduate students in CJP began lobbying for an academic credit component to SPI. Though hesitant to accept the constraints of a pre-planned curriculum, CJP added a credit component to provide students with more flexibility in earning degrees through the program. Some core courses have been offered year after year, including ones dealing with conflict analysis, restorative justice and trauma healing, and others that focus on practical peacebuilding skills like negotiation and reconciliation. Yet SPI stays true to its roots by exploring the field’s frontiers and updating its course offerings to reflect emerging themes in peacebuilding. Examples of new courses in 2014 include ones on media and societal transformation, playback theater, trauma-sensitive peacebuilding, mindfulness, and architecture as a peacebuilding tool. Things ran on the skinniest of shoestring budgets in the very first years of SPI, when CJP professors opened their homes to participants after the day’s sessions had ended, while their spouses pitched in to help with meals. Volunteers filled many support
roles. This contributed to the organic, intimate atmosphere that remains an important aspect of SPI to this day. But it was an exhausting and, in the long run, unsustainable way to run the event that itself led to conflicts between overworked staff members. “It was so much work,” recalls Zimmerman, who filled leadership roles at CJP from 1995 to 2007. “I used to put in 70-hour weeks.”
Huge logistics behind SPI In addition to planning courses and lining up faculty to teach them, coordinating the many moving parts of the growing SPI program presented huge logistical challenges. Once, a participant booked a flight to the Dallas, Texas, airport rather than Washington, D.C.’s Dulles Airport. Another one hopped in a taxi and directed the driver to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, 185 miles north of Harrisonburg, Virginia. In 1998, just after she became one of CJP’s earliest master’s program graduates, Pat Hostetter Martin (also a participant in the very first Frontiers in International Peacemaking conference) joined SPI to help relieve the growing crisis of stress and exhaustion the workload was placing on other staff. The following year, peacebuilder ■ 5 emu.edu/cjp
Martin became SPI’s co-director with Patricia Spaulding, and then sole director from 2004 until 2008. In 2000, William Goldberg – a 2001 master’s program graduate of CJP – joined the SPI staff as the transportation coordinator. He later served as an associate director, co-director and, as of 2013, the director of SPI, which now has two full-time staff members and employs about 10 temporary staff each summer. (Other SPI leaders: Gloria Rhodes in the ’90s, Sue Williams, 2008-’11; Valerie Helbert, 2011-’13.) As the first Jewish program administrator at EMU, Goldberg embodies one of the ways that SPI has affected EMU as a whole by bringing such wide cultural and religious diversity to campus. From the very first Frontiers in International Peacebuilding conferences, CJP leaders wanted faculty to reflect the religious and cultural diversity of the participants – a desire at odds with EMU’s requirement that all faculty profess a Christian faith. After some discussion, CJP was able to negotiate exceptions to EMU’s hiring practices and hire non-Christian faculty members during the summer, which Jantzi points to as an example of the strong support SPI has generally enjoyed from university administrators since its beginning.
EMU’s hospitable community Support from the university extended well beyond the administration, remembers Jantzi. Cafeteria staff embraced the opportunity, rather than resented the hassle, of serving participants with a variety of religious and cultural dietary preferences, while the physical plant staff went to great lengths to ensure everyone stayed comfortable during their time on campus. Together, the welcoming atmosphere the entire university created at SPI for visitors from around the world became an important part of its success. As employees and departments outside of SPI pitched in to help it succeed, SPI also tried to build closer ties to the broader university community by making events like the opening ceremonies and the periodic SPI luncheons open to anyone on campus and in the surrounding community. And when these general open invitations didn’t attract large audiences, Martin found greater success when she started targeting specific people and departments with invitations and paying for their lunches. SPI staff have also made similar efforts to share the diversity present on campus each summer with the broader community in and around Harrisonburg. As SPI’s community relations coordinator for about a decade, Margaret Foth worked to connect participants with families, churches and civic groups in the area. She helped form a particularly strong relationship with the Rotary Club of Rockingham County, which hosts a speaker from SPI each year and has helped underwrite an SPI trip to Washington D.C. A close relationship also developed between SPI and Park View Mennonite Church, just down the road from EMU, which has welcomed numerous international visitors in Sunday School classes and as participants in worship services. “We wanted [participants] to know that it was an area that was welcoming and hospitable,” says Foth. “They weren’t just coming for an academic session. They were coming for relationships in a welcoming community.” From 2000 to 2010, vanloads of SPI participants made con6
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nections farther from campus when they attended a peacebuilding conference held each summer by a group of churches in Knoxville, Tennessee, 360 miles southwest of Harrisonburg. (The minister who organized this conference, Jim Foster, is a graduate of Eastern Mennonite Seminary.) By staying with host families, the visitors enjoyed a more immersive experience in American culture; Foth says she could always count on enthusiastic reviews the following Monday, after participants returned to campus. One year, a Vietnamese-American lawyer from California made the 12-hour round trip to Knoxville, and ended up staying in the home of a Mennonite pastor who, decades earlier, had fought in the Vietnam War. After they stayed up one night talking about their experience of that conflict, the lawyer returned to SPI and told Foth it had been a moment of great healing. “I can still see him running across campus to give me a hug and say it was the best thing to have happened to him,” she recalls.
Akin to heaven on earth? In 2014, a total of 184 people from 36 countries attended SPI – about the size that SPI has been for the past five years, Goldberg says. As its third decade begins, SPI is as strong and as thriving as ever – planning for 2015 began before the books had even been closed on this year’s session. Those who have been involved with SPI in some way over the past 20 years treasure the many memories and friendships they’ve formed along the way. “I think it’s one of the best things that’s happened for EMU,” says Jantzi. “It’s one of the most exciting things I’ve been involved with here …. It’s just a really, really energizing time.” One year, Jantzi and an Iranian seminary student who came to SPI struck up an intriguing, weeks-long conversation about whether converting other people to their respective religions could be done in a nonviolent, non-coercive way. This man later became a high-ranking diplomat who, years later, returned to the United States as part of an Iranian delegation to the United Nations. He contacted Jantzi and invited himself back to Harrisonburg to give a guest lecture in one of Jantzi’s sociology classes – an encouraging indication, Jantzi says, of the high regard this former SPI participant still had for EMU. Goldberg says he’s often inspired by the great lengths that people will go to so they can attend SPI. In 2014, a group of Syrian participants traveled at least 12 hours each way, through difficult and unsafe conditions, to Lebanon to get their visas to travel to the United States. Then they did it again to catch their flights – an illustration, he says, of “the need that people have for this training.” And he’s similarly inspired by the eagerness with which people return to very difficult circumstances in their homes to put that training and learning into practice. “No matter how difficult the conflict someone comes from, they want to go back and make it better with the new skills they’ve learned here,” Goldberg says. More generally, Martin, as well as others interviewed for this story, says one of the most important enduring memories of SPI is “the rich diversity of the whole thing. Oftentimes, that came out so well in the opening ceremonies. That just humbled you. “You want heaven to be like this,” she says. — Andrew Jenner
Sudan mediations led by Hizkias Assefa yield major peace accord Professor Hizkias Assefa responds here to questions about his successful efforts as a mediator to bring peace in early May 2014 to a large swath of South Sudan. This is an abridged version of an interview published by EMU News Service (emu.edu/news) on June 17, 2014. EMU: In brief, what was the result of the seven months of mediations you just finished facilitating between representatives of the Government of the Republic of South Sudan and the South Sudan Democratic Movement/Army? Assefa: The two parties signed a comprehensive peace accord on May 9, 2014. This means that the war that has involved thousands of armed combatants and has killed and displaced hundreds of thousands of civilians over the past four years has come to an end. EMU: But I keep reading about continued warfare, with massive numbers of displaced peoples, in South Sudan. Assefa: There have been two wars going on simultaneously in South Sudan lately. One is the outburst of violence that started on December 15, 2013, between the followers of President Salva Kirr of South Sudan and the followers of his former vice-president, Riek Machar. The conflict started over disagreement on governance issues but degenerated into a war between the two majority ethnic groups, the Dinka and Nuer. EMU: I believe that is the one I have been hearing about in the U.S. media. Could you say more about the other [lessknown] war? Assefa: The central Government of South Sudan has been fighting an insurgency group called the South Sudan Democratic Movement/Army. The SSDM/A fighters are based in the largest state of South Sudan, Jonglei, and are primarily composed of the Murle, Anuak and other small ethnic groups. . . Their grievances have revolved around ethnic marginalization and discrimination, as well as massive underdevelopment of their area. In other words, they have not benefited from the fruits of independence like some other major ethnic groups. EMU: How did you come to be involved in the peace talks? Assefa: On different occasions the insurgents, led by General David Yau Yau, called for mediation by the African Union, UN and USA. But, in the end, it was the Church Leaders Peace Initiative in South Sudan, with the support of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) and a Dutch organization called Pax, that contacted me to act as mediator.
Mediator Hizkias Assefa is flanked by two lead negotiators holding aloft the signed accord: (on left) the Honorable Clement Janda, head of the Government of South Sudan delegation, and (right) General Khalid Boutros, head of the South Sudan Democratic Movement/Army delegation.
EMU: When did talks formally begin? Assefa: Contacts with the leadership of both sides had started in October 2013 and aimed at developing trust, softening the ground, and developing a shared understanding for the mediation process. . . After very intensive negotiations, the first phase of the mediation culminated in the signature of a Cease Fire and Cessation of Hostilities Agreement on January 30, 2014. EMU: You referred to an agreement signed on May 9. How is it different from the earlier agreement signed in January? Assefa: Since February, I’ve been working with the negotiating teams of both parties to address the underlying political, economic, socio-cultural as well as military and security issues underlying the conflict so that the ceasefire can be transformed into durable peace. The comprehensive peace accord signed on May 9, 2014, includes . . . six provisions [aiming to remedy the root causes of the conflict]. Hizkias Assefa’s role in this peace process was highlighted by Bishop Paride Taban, chair of the Church Leaders Peace Initiative in South Sudan, in a June 2, 2014, letter to the Dutch organization that funded the mediation process. “I would also like to express my deep gratitude for the mediation services of Professor Hizkias Assefa,” wrote Taban. “It was a privilege and honor for us to work with a man of his professional caliber and personal integrity – and indeed he was instrumental in ensuring the success of these negotiations, and thus the successful conclusion to this conflict. We would not have succeeded without him."
PHOTO courtesy of Hizkias Assefa
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When Carl Stauffer, PhD, became an assistant professor at CJP in 2010, it was his third sojourn at this university. Previously at EMU, he had earned a bachelor’s degree in social work (1985) and a master’s degree in conflict transformation (2002). At SPI 2014, Stauffer co-taught two courses: “The Impact of Social Issues on Restorative Justice,” with another CJP graduate, doctoral candidate Jacqueline Roebuck Sakho, and “Restorative Justice – The Promise, the Challenge,” with SPI alumna Johonna McCanns, PhD.
Alumni relish returning to SPI Instead of returning for EMU’s “homecoming” celebration – always held over one weekend each October – degree-holding alumni of the Center for Justice and Peacebuilding (CJP) often show up for its annual Summer Peacebuilding Institute (SPI). And those SPI alumni who aren’t aiming to earn a degree? Some of them just keep coming back year after year – almost as an educational vacation – or they send their colleagues and friends to SPI. Of the 2,800 SPI participants over the last 19 years, more than one in five have been repeat participants, taking courses during a second year or even multiple years of SPI. In that number must be counted almost all of CJP’s 398 master’s degree alumni, plus 91 graduate certificate holders. Some of their MA classmates are now SPI instructors, plus many of their professors have taught at SPI year after year.
Detouring six hours to reconnect Among the first drop-bys to SPI 2014 were Florina Benoit and 8
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Ashok Gladston of India, both 2004 MA grads from CJP and now PhD-holders. They made a six-hour round-trip detour from a family-related stop in Baltimore, Maryland, to say “hello” to folks at SPI. Gladston was last at EMU in June 2011 when he gave a heartwrenching talk at EMU centering on women from a minority group in southern India who were being violently victimized by mobs from the surrounding majority group. The two, both former Fulbright Scholars married to each other, happened to arrive on May 7 when Doreen Ruto of Kenya, a 2006 MA graduate, was the featured SPI “Frontier Luncheon” speaker, along with her colleague (and son) Richy Bikko, a 2011 BA graduate who majored in justice, peace and conflict studies. Over that day, Gladston and Benoit interacted with a dozen professors, staffers and alumni whom they recalled from their studies at CJP 10 years ago. When the day turned to evening and their borrowed car was found to have a non-working headlight, they lingered for activities very familiar to them – a community “potluck” meal, followed by a cultural program led by SPI participants, and informal dancing. (They huddled with this writer for much of that time answering questions about their work in India – but more on that later.) They then accepted the impromptu invitation of Margaret Foth, a retiree who has been a long-time liaison with CJP alumni, PHOTO by Michael Sheeler
Doreen Ruto, MA ’06, returned to SPI 2014 for a consultation on Strategies for Trauma Awarenesss and Resilience and as the featured speaker, alongside son Richy Bikko, at SPI’s Frontier Luncheon on May 7. Ruto is the founding director of Daima Initiatives for Peace and Development in Kenya.
Shoqi Abas Al-Maktary, MA ’07, returned to SPI 2014 to take “Designing Peacebuilding Programs – From Conflict Assessment to Planning,” co-taught by research professor Lisa Schirch (who has taught SPI courses since 1995). Al-Maktary is country director in Yemen for Search for Common Ground.
and slept in a guest room at the Foths’ home, adjacent to EMU. “It was like we recalled from our time as graduate students,” says Benoit. “We felt like we were visiting our second home.” In 2013, Gladstone and Benoit had been scheduled to teach an SPI course on the logistics of humanitarian aid – more specifically, on how such aid intersects with peacebuilding practices, including the “do no harm” principle – but, unfortunately, that year the number of people seeking such training was insufficient to hold the course.
ing to the Table (explained in next paragraph). He returned for a restorative justice course in 2009, and then in 2012, received a scholarship to take “Healing the Wounds of History: Peacebuilding through Transformative Theater.” DeWolf ’s connection to SPI began with CJP’s sponsorship of Coming to the Table, an organization focused on addressing the enduring impact of the slavery era in the United States. DeWolf has played a leading role in this organization, which held its annual conference at EMU this year, over a weekend between two sessions of SPI.
Always more to learn A third former Fulbright Scholar, Shoqi Abas Al-Maktary, MA ’07, took a break from his job as country director in Yemen for Search for Common Ground and spent May 15-23 taking the SPI course “Designing Peacebuilding Programs – From Conflict Assessment to Planning. ” “I don’t think anyone in this field can afford to stop being a student,” says Al-Maktary, who holds a second master’s degree in security management from Middlesex University in the United Kingdom. “There is always more to know, more to explore with others in the field. And SPI – with its intensive courses – is a great place to do this.” Thomas DeWolf of the United States just finished attending his fourth SPI in six years, with the course “Media for Societal Transformation.” He first came in 2008 where he explored Com-
Seven times at SPI A 76-year-old clinical psychologist from Argentina, Lilian Burlando, has an astonishing record of attendance at SPI, having attended about a third of all the years SPI has been held. From her home at the southern-most tip of South America, Tierra del Fuego, Burlando has attended SPI seven times: in 2006, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014. Often with her, also taking classes, have been members of her family of five children and 19 grandchildren. One of her daughters, Maria Karina Echazu, for instance, is a prosecuting attorney in Argentina who took a restorative justice course in 2007 and a practice course in 2011. Burlando calls SPI “a refreshing experience,” citing interesting course topics, excellent professors and the sense of community. “To me,” she says, “SPI has been a fountain of intellectual and PHOTOS by Jon Styer (left) and Michael Sheeler
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spiritual enrichment.” Almost all the teachers at SPI – even those like Johonna McCants, who holds a PhD from the University of Maryland – have also been students at SPI at some point. McCants explains how she found her way to SPI: In 2009, while finishing my doctoral dissertation, I began searching online for practical training in the issues I was writing about. I discovered CJP and SPI and quickly fell in love. I was attracted by the integration of theory and practice, the variety of courses, the diversity of participants, backgrounds of the instructors, and that the program was housed at a Christian university. I participated in Strategies for Trauma Awareness and Resilience (STAR) at SPI just a few weeks after receiving my PhD. The STAR experience, which was phenomenal, kept me coming back for more. McCants brought along a first-timer to SPI 2014, Julian Turner. These two, who first met as teenagers, would be married in a month. But first Turner, who works at an infectious disease clinic in Washington D.C., soaked up the wisdom of Hizkias Assefa in “Forgiveness and Reconciliation,” while McCants co-taught with Carl Stauffer “Restorative Justice: The Promise, the Challenge.”
Loves the diverse people From her base as a high school teacher in a public school in Washington D.C. – and with experience as an adjunct professor at the University of Maryland – McCants says she is struck by the egalitarian learning community formed by SPI, where the instructors and participants respect and learn from each other. Her favorite part about SPI? Definitely, the people! I enjoy learning from people from different parts of the United States and countries all over the world, hearing their stories and developing new relationships. I also like reuniting and reconnecting with people I’ve met during previous times at SPI. Discovering SPI on the internet, as McCants did, is not typical. More often, SPI participants are encouraged to attend by previous participants. Libby Hoffman, president and founder of the Catalyst for Peace foundation, for example, attended SPI in 1996 and took another CJP course in 2000. This year she dispatched two rising leaders of Fambul Tok – an organization doing amazing work of promoting post-war reconciliation throughout Sierra Leone – to take two successive courses at SPI. Micheala Ashwood and Emmanuel Mansaray both took “Leading Healthy Organizations,” in addition to “Analysis – Understanding Conflict” and “Psychosocial Trauma,” respectively. Ten CJP master’s degree alumni had teaching roles at SPI 2014: Dr. Sam Gbaydee Doe, MA ’98; Dr. Barb Toews, MA ’00; Dr. Carl Stauffer, MA ’02; Elaine Zook Barge, MA ’03; Roxy Allen Kioko, MA ’07 (PhD candidate); Paulette Moore, MA ’09 (PhD candidate); Jacqueline Roebuck Sakho, MA ’09 (PhD candidate); Caroline Borden, MA ’12; Soula Pefkaros, MA ’10 (PhD candidate); and Danielle Taylor, MA ’13. — Bonnie Price Lofton 10
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Alumni couple are movers and shakers in southern India Bill and Hillary Rodham Clinton, move over. Ditto for Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt. CJP has its own version of a “power couple” – but the two truly represent “power for suffering people.” The man is 38-year-old Ashok Gladston, dean of 23 departments comprising 350 teachers at one of the most prestigious universities in India, Loyola College in Chennai. Based on assessments by India’s national accrediting agency and the media outlet India Today, Loyola-Chennai – founded in 1925 by the Jesuits (just eight years after EMU opened) – ranks among the top three of 35,000 liberal arts colleges in India. In a normal day, running 8 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., Gladston says he meets with about 70 people, always maintaining an opendoor policy. He supervises 160 post-graduate students, plus seven full-time doctoral students. His egalitarian philosophy: “There’s no time to hate, no time to hurt, only time to work and love.” He also believes in practicing what one teaches – in getting his hands dirty, as he puts it. The woman is Florina Benoit, chief zonal officer (CZO) for Churches Auxiliary for Social Action (CASA), for which she oversees CASA’s work in the four southern states of India, comprising 50 staffers in 10 offices addressing needs in 1,000 villages, encompassing 7 to 10 million people. At age 40, she is not only the youngest CZO ever employed by CASA, she is the first woman who is a top administrator. “CASA’s focus is on poverty alleviation and political awareness and empowerment of the oppressed classes, particularly the dalits, tribals, women and backward castes,” Benoit says. She is on the road about two-thirds of the month. CASA also organizes emergency and disaster responses, often being the first organization to step in after crises like major floods and landslides. Gladston and Benoit knew each other before coming to CJP, but they were not married and had no marriage plans when each applied separately for a Fulbright scholarship to study conflict transformation at CJP. That each beat countless competitors to be Fulbright Scholars testifies to their respective abilities and accomplishments. Just before arriving at CJP in the fall of 2002, they married and became a couple of dynamos for the next two years in Harrisonburg. They presented street theater to CJP and embraced additional techniques offered by playback theater. They were in the first group to do fundraising field trips on behalf of CJP to Pennsylvania, where they helped cook an Indian banquet and where they posed in Amish garb borrowed at an
Amish-themed museum. They could be counted on to attend any peace-themed talks or conferences on EMU’s schedule. They did everything required for academic excellence, and then more. As soon as they returned to southern India, they plunged into advocating for, and doing trainings with, suffering minority groups in their own region around Chennai as well as in nearby Sri Lanka. Applying themselves seven days a week, sunup to bedtime, they both also managed to earn PhDs – he in social work from Loyola and she in social work from Osmania University in Hyderabad, India.
Ten highlights from their lives since 2004: 1. Benoit and Gladston arrived back in southern India on January 1, 2005, soon after an undersea earthquake that precipitated a tsunami that ranks as one of the worst natural disasters in recorded history. By the following day, Gladston was organizing a state-level survey to be conducted by 1,500 social work students of the affected areas.
2. Over the next several years, both Gladston and Benoit worked frequently in devastated regions of Sri Lanka and in refugee camps in India among people who had fled from both the tsunami and civil war in Sri Lanka. They published results of studies of social needs gleaned from 178 sites, while simultaneously doing hands-on trainings, usually under the auspices of Organization for Eelam Refugee Rehabilitation.
3. Their trainings covered conflict transformation, dialogue for peacebuilding, trauma resiliency, community development, relief and rehabilitation, advocacy for justice, and women’s empowerment. Their system was to train trainers – dozens at a time – to prepare the trainers to go further into the field and cover as many regions as possible, training hundreds of field staff. The field staff then extended the trainings to the grassroots. Thus Gladston and Benoit were able to reach tens of thousands of affected people with information and skills helpful for improving their situations. (Part of this work was funded by Mennonite Central Committee.)
4. Meanwhile both held “day jobs” – Gladston as a senior faculty member in social work at Loyola College-Chennai, Benoit as the associate director in charge of practice at the Henry Martyn Institute: International Center for Research, Interfaith Relations and Reconciliation.
5. For three years, they were based at institutions 400 miles apart, until Benoit finished her PhD in 2008 in Hyderabad and resigned from the Henry Martyn Institute to return to Chennai. (At the time, both posted online remarks about missing each other when apart and relishing being in the same location again as a happily married couple.)
6. In early 2009, as the Sri Lankan government grimly and bloodily brought the rebel force known as LTTE to its knees, Gladston and Benoit were alarmed at the situation of 250,000
Florina Benoit and Ashok Gladston were Fulbright Scholars at CJP, earning their master’s degrees in 2004.
people trapped with the LTTE. “The government in the name of surgical strikes is shelling the civilians,” wrote Gladston. “There are no words to describe the situation of the civilians,” adding: “We keep crying out loud so that the world’s attention will be attracted.”
7. When the war was officially over, the suffering was not. For the last five years the twosome has devoted their weekends and vacations to volunteer work among the displaced peoples. Early in their work, Gladston wrote: I am filled with a lot of uncertainties and concerns: All the materials are in English and the training is in Tamil. How do I contextualize what I learned? How do I adapt the training methods to this situation? How do I include the indigenous ideas and methods of conflict transformation? I am braving the effort of going ahead with the workshop and will learn lessons from it. I hope to consider this as an extension of CJP.
8. In addition to the manuals and printed training materials typical of peacebuilding workshops, Benoit and Gladston frequently organize experiential activities designed to reduce conflict – interactive dramas, sports across conflict lines, cooperatively run preschools, and shared activities like basketmaking and gardening. In one mixed Tamil-Sinhalese village in Sri Lanka where the couple had been working, says Gladston, Sinhalese families hid their newly made Tamil friends when government forces came searching for Tamils to arrest.
9. Responding to widespread requests for help – especially by fellow CJP alumni – both Benoit and Gladston have done consultations in three dozen other countries in the last 10 years.
10. In the spirit of SPI, Benoit used to run an annual peacebuilding workshop at the end of October and beginning of November at the Henry Martyn Institute. — Bonnie Price Lofton
PHOTO by Kara Lofton
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Consultations launched in conjunction with SPI In late May, 2014, 35 people from 11 countries gathered on
from our alumni and to update our curriculum based on what they’re learning as they put these things into practice.” The event also helped to strengthen the network of alumni from around the world who have been trained in STAR since it was first offered in 2001. Doing so will benefit both the university and STAR practitioners, as CJP plans to use this alumni network to implement upcoming contract work, Byler said. One example is a USAID contract with CJP to provide STAR training to 150 staff in Juba, South Sudan. Five STAR alumni will carry out that training, along with two EMU professors.
PHOTO by Jon Styer
campus to discuss their ongoing work with EMU’s Strategies for Trauma Awareness and Resilience (STAR) program. It was the first in a new series of practitioner-focused consultations and conferences that will be held each year during the Summer Peacebuilding Institute (SPI). “We wanted to gather the folks who have been using STAR around the world to get their feedback on who’s using it, what’s working, and why, and make adjustments as needed,” said J. Daryl Byler, executive director of the Center for Justice and Peacebuilding (CJP). “We’re trying to set up a process of learning ■
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Six of the 35 participants who gathered for a consultation on Strategies for Trauma Awareness and Resilience at SPI 2014 use an afternoon break to walk meditatively around the prayer labyrinth on the hill overlooking the EMU campus.
Byler said CJP plans to begin three-year cycles of on-campus events around several practice areas, beginning with a consultation and followed by a practitioner conference and a writing and research conference in subsequent years. In 2015, CJP will host a STAR conference as well as restorative justice consultation, beginning a similar three-year cycle for that field. Discussions are ongoing about other potential focus areas for these events in the future. In addition to helping CJP to improve its academic curriculum
and bolster alumni networks, Byler said the conferences and consultations will encourage more writing and research in these areas where CJP has special expertise. Holding these new events in conjunction with SPI also will add to the learning environment there, as many participants in the consultations and conferences are expected to also enroll in SPI classes, Byler said. He credited CJP program director Jayne Docherty with the vision to launch the new series of events. — Andrew Jenner
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Angela Dickey (standing, sixth from right, in pale shirt) and Jay Wittmeyer (back row, in sunglasses) were two of 36 men and women from 11 countries who gathered at EMU during SPI 2014 to exchange insights regarding Strategies for Trauma Awareness and Resilience. STAR is a program developed at EMU in response to the attacks on U.S. sites on September 11, 2001. Some of these STAR consultants spoke about the importance of STAR to their work and lives in a two-minute video visible at emu.edu/STAR-transforms-world.
Former diplomat discovers STAR Angela R. Dickey spent 25 years promoting the policies of
the United States while working for the U.S. Department of State in Washington DC and in a number of countries from Canada to Vietnam. Now, the former diplomat hopes that her studies at EMU’s Summer Peacebuilding Institute (SPI) will mark the beginning of a new career promoting policies of peace around the world. Dickey, who retired from the foreign service at age 56, believes that the best years of her career are ahead. While serving her last assignment before retirement at the U.S. Institute of Peace in Washington D.C., she attended a session of Strategies for Trauma Awareness and Resilience (STAR) led by EMU staffers Elaine Zook Barge and Vernon Jantzi. The training immediately resonated with her – she had witnessed the lasting impact of traumatic wars and natural disasters on individuals and communities. Dickey next found her way to STAR’s home base at EMU and enrolled in two of SPI’s four sessions in 2014, with plans to take two more SPI courses in 2015. “I put my toe in and liked it. Now I am fully submerging myself in the EMU experience,” she says. She intends to earn a graduate certificate in conflict transformation while working to become a fully qualified STAR trainer. An experienced diplomat who has been stationed in Canada, Mauritania, Yemen, Laos, and Vietnam, Dickey also studied in France and Tunisia. She has first-hand work experience in a 14
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number of other countries across the Middle East, Africa, and Southeast Asia. Dickey looks forward to taking her classroom experience and applying it in the field. Later this summer she will be landing for the third time in Uganda, where she will work with African Union (AU) peacekeepers who are heading for Somalia. “The [AU] peacekeepers are in a very difficult position because they have weapons, but their mandate is to protect civilians,” she told EMU News Service. “I don’t know weapons, but I do know how to work with people and how to help others deal with people.” Dickey will focus on helping the AU peacekeepers to interact sensitively with the local populations by providing contextual information, including the historical and socioeconomic roots of the Somali conflict. She will also help them to understand United Nations standards for the protection of civilians. She said her work will be informed by the lens of dialogue and communitybuilding gained during her time at SPI. “The EMU method is something that helps you to be at peace with yourself so that you can model that to other people,” she said. “A lot of people have two responses to conflict: rush into it or avoid it. But there are other, more productive ways to deal with it. I want to be one of the people who engages with and deals with conflict in a collaborative way.” In the future, Dickey sees herself returning regularly to Harrisonburg, Virginia, for EMU courses and conferences. “As a mature adult, I have found something new and exciting to engage me. I am hoping to take more classes and come back to train. I get a really good feeling when I come here. I know it’s the right place when I feel it in my gut.” — David Yoder PHOTOS by Michael Sheeler
Doing interfaith work in Nigeria Within North American educational institutions affiliated
with one of the three “historic peace churches” – Mennonite, Brethren and Quaker – only Eastern Mennonite University offers a graduate program pertaining to peace. Which is why aspiring peacebuilders from other Christian denominations often make their way to EMU. It’s why Jay Wittmeyer, now executive director of global mission and service for the Church of the Brethren, completed an MA at EMU’s Center for Justice and Peacebuilding in 2004. At that time Wittmeyer was fresh from running a hospital in Nepal during its civil war, when that country’s version of revolutionary Maoists said they were struggling for justice and equity for those living impoverished in the countryside. Interviewed at a gathering of STAR practitioners, Wittmeyer said the current situation in Nigeria reminds him of the dynamics of Nepal when he was there, off and on, from 2000 to 2004. Wittmeyer had recently returned to the United States after paying a supportive visit in April to Nigerian Brethren church leaders. He said Boko Haram, a self-described Islamic group that is using violence and fear to try to turn Nigeria into its version of an Islamic state, is tapping the same grievances as the Maoists did in Nepal – meaning that Boko Haram feels that the oil money from Nigeria’s South is mainly going into the pockets of the Christiandominated governing group. The school in the far northeast of Nigeria from which Boko Haram kidnapped hundreds of girls on April 15 was founded by Brethren missionaries decades ago, but is now run by the government for girls of any faith, said Wittmeyer. Residents of the area in which the school is located, however, have been largely affiliated with the Church of the Brethren. He elaborated: [Brethren] communities have been attacked and burned out. A lot of church members are staying with family members, cousins . . . we’re not seeing tent cities yet. Families are hosting others – they’ve built extensions on houses so they can house more. Some need to drill for more water, there’s so many more people. But people can’t farm their lands – this is the time to plant. Hunger builds up through the months as you go. People get attacked at night and they just run. They literally have nothing. Do you migrate south? Do you try to stay? We are in conversation with Church World Service about help for refugees. A lot of Brethren families that have moved into Cameroon. The recurring question is, ‘How can we help keep the Brethren Church to maintain its peace position in situations where members feel as though they are being led like sheep to the slaughter? Wittmeyer feels the Nigerian Brethren are “teaching us about discipleship and taking seriously the words of Jesus. They are living them out in ways that we don’t typically have to do.” Notably, the theme of last year’s annual Brethren conference in Nigeria was, “They can kill the body but not the soul.” While Wittmeyer necessarily stretches his attention to other
Jay Wittmeyer, MA ’04, liaisons with Church of the Brethren workers in Nigeria, Haiti, India, Vietnam, North Korea, South Sudan, Brazil, Guatemala, Nicaragua, El Salvador and Honduras.
responsibilities in Asia, Africa and all of the Americas, within Nigeria full-time is another 2004 master’s graduate from CJP, Toma Ragnjiya. He is the “peace officer” at the headquarters of the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria (known as EYN). Ragnjiya has spearheaded the Christian and Muslim Peace Initiative and runs the peace-training part of the pastor training program. He is featured in an inspiring 18-minute documentary posed on YouTube with the title “Church of the Brethren in Nigeria Sowing Seeds of Peace.” Much of Ragnjiya’s efforts go into building mutual support between Muslims and Christians, so together they can douse any sparks of violence between the groups and make space for moderates. In 2010-11 when a Muslim school was burned by Christian youths (who said they were retaliating for Muslim violence), Brethren leaders stepped forward, saying, “We recognize that Christians burning your school is wrong, and we want to make amends for that.” They ended up providing a well to supply water to the rebuilt Islamic school. “That opened up doors for dialogue,” said Wittmeyer. “Out of that developed an interfaith peace program that is looking at micro-finance, with no interest owed. We’ve also been funding individuals to get trained across religious lines – we probably have 20 now, male and female. Maybe a Muslim does an internship or apprenticeship with a Christian welder, who could help them get started in their own business. We could do this with tailor shops.” Wittmeyer sits on the board of Heifer International, which he would like to see add STAR-type trauma sensitivity training to its development work. — Bonnie Price Lofton Another alumnus, Nigerian Gopar Tapkida, MA ’01, worked with support from Mennonite Central Committee for a dozen years in Nigeria, building bridges between Muslim and Christian communities and reducing the terrain for violence, before moving onto a new MCC assignment in Zimbabwe. Go to emu.edu/news and search for "Nigerian grad has had huge impact."
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Farshid Hakimyar, who is a candidate for a master’s degree from CJP, publicly debuted the Ayaran Nonviolent Social Movement with a Facebook page on November 20, 2013.
Afghan hopes to start grassroots peace movement Farshid Hakimyar has much in common with four men
he greatly admires – Mahatma Gandhi, Khān Abdul Ghaffār Khān, Martin Luther King Jr., and Nelson Mandela. Like them, Hakimyar is a man from a comparatively comfortable family background and, as a result, he is well educated and can make choices that could lead him to a comfortable existence either in his home country of Afghanistan or outside of it. However, like his four heroes, 32-year-old Hakimyar is making choices that will likely leave him far from comfortable. He believes passionately that the answer to the violence, corruption and oppression in Afghanistan is a nonviolent movement for justice and peace. When he looked around his country and saw no such movement, he decided somebody needed to start one. Hakimyar, who is completing a master’s degree from the Center for Justice and Peacebuilding at Eastern Mennonite University, publicly debuted the Ayaran Nonviolent Social Movement with 16
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a Facebook page on November 20, 2013. It’s purpose? “To alert, educate and mobilize common people of Afghanistan for collective actions for holding their government accountable for its failed policies and practices.” On November 21, he posted this quote from Mandela: “I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”
On conquering fear to struggle for justice Courage will be needed. Hakimyar wants the Ayaran movement – named for an Afghan folk hero, similar to Robin Hood in Western folktales – to enable Afghans to combat “systemic state corruption,” which he says is “sucking people’s blood.” He cites a 2010 United Nations survey that about half of Afghans had to pay at least one bribe in the previous 12 months to secure a government service or to avoid unfairly being targeted by a government official, such as a customs officer or tax collector. The bribes totaled $2.5 billion in 2010, by UN estimates. Hakiymar proposes to focus Ayaran on fighting secrecy and corruption in Afghanistan’s energy and utility sectors – specifically, in the production and distribution of much-needed petroleum, propane gas, electricity and water. “Economic self-reliance in Afghanistan depends on how we handle our energy resources,” explains Hakiymar, adding that 65% of Afghanistan’s national budget comes from international aid. PHOTO by Michael Sheeler
SPI “Our dependence on aid from outside the country obviously is not sustainable over the long term,” he says. “We have to become sustainable through better management of our natural resources.”
Seed money in hand to recruit help Lest his call for economic self-reliance sound impossibly idealistic, Hakiymar spent much of the fall and winter of 2013-14 in Afghanistan writing a five-year strategic plan for Ayaran, along with a major grant proposal. The effort served as his required master’s degree practicum and garnered Ayaran a significant grant from the Tawanmandi Civil Society Strengthening Program, funded by the Nordic countries and United Kingdom. Hakiymar says Ayaran will first seek to rally university students and groups of athletes in Afghanistan’s three most populated cities – Kabul (the capital), Herat (in the west) and Mazar-e-Sharif (in the north). “Nelson Mandela was a great man, but what is most important to me is what I can learn from him and his contribution to the South African movement anti-apartheid revolution,” Hakiymar told EMU News Service. “Most importantly how can I apply some of his great ideas and leadership guidelines in my own context to fight our own challenges, using his strategy of nonviolent actions? “Leading a nonviolence movement is not a one-man job,” he continued. “We need energetic and committed leaders all over Afghanistan to have a willing heart, to be honest, to be loyal to the poor, to fight for justice, and to be ready for any sort of sacrifice. “The ongoing injustice, corruption and failed government policies and bad practices have created pain in my heart. This pain made me to launch this movement, so I will stand next to you till my death. I know the risk. I know this is war and war is not fun.”
Inspiration of an earlier Pashtun man Within Hakiymar’s tradition – he is partly of Pashtun heritage – he looks to Khān Abdul Ghaffār Khān (popularly known as Bāchā Khān, living 1890-1988), a Pashtun man who grew up in the border region of what is now Afghanistan and Pakistan, graduated from a British mission school, and became the leader of a nonviolent resistance movement against the British occupiers. He and Gandhi were close compatriots until Gandhi’s assassination in 1948. At his height, Khān could mobilize a hundred thousand people. As a threat to the status quo, he spent much of the 1960s and 1970s either in jail or in exile. Like Martin Luther King Jr., Hakiymar plans to enlist some of the intelligentsia of his country to document the depth and extent of the injustices that need to be addressed. “In the energy sector we will demask key failed policies, people and institutions, and we will provide alternative solutions.” Hakiymar grew up in Kabul during its civil wars. By the time U.S. troops arrived in 2002, he had established a center where he was training students in English, computers and science, giving them the basic skills they needed to pursue a profession. For three years, he worked for the Open Society Foundation on democracy empowerment. He then became a political and policy researcher for various think tanks, eventually founding his own organization, Afghanistan Organization for Strategic Studies/AOSS, dedicated to studying war, peace, security and strategic affairs in Afghani-
Khān Abdul Ghaffār Khān (center), leader of a mass nonviolent movement covering much of what is now Afghanistan and Pakistan, is pictured with Mahatma Gandhi (left), with whom he worked closely until Gandhi’s assassination in 1948. (Wikipedia photo)
stan and in the Southeast Asian region. Just before he enrolled in EMU as a full-time student in 2012, he was a political-military advisor to the Danish mission in Afghanistan.
From skeptic to believer in nonviolence Hakiymar took his first course under EMU’s Center for Justice and Peacebuilding (CJP) at the 2009 Summer Peacebuilding Institute. He didn’t arrive at the institute feeling positive about peacebuilding coursework – it was simply an experiment to test peace teachings against his “realistic” analytical mind. But gradually, one course at a time, Hakiymar became more open at CJP to “envisioning a better future – one without war” and embracing the difficult steps that might need to be taken to arrive at that future. Now that he has received a hefty amount of seed money for Ayaran – after writing a thick proposal that went through 23 steps of vetting – he finds himself wondering, “Will I control the money, or will it control me?” He is worried that having money – and being responsible to the funding agency – might spoil him or his team. “Everyone is looking for a piece of the pie – this might corrupt my team, it might attract a lot of spoilers.” He says one of the most important take-aways from CJP is this: “It gave me a different lens for looking at the world and helped me to realize that there are lots of people who sincerely want justice and peace and who are not motivated mainly by money and power. This has given me a sense of hope.” — Bonnie Price Lofton More articles pertaining to the 10 Afghans – four being women – who have been master's degree students at EMU's Center for Justice and Peacebuilding can be found by visiting emu.edu/peacebuilder and emu.edu/crossroads and putting the words "Afghan peacebuilder" in the search function.
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Syrian archbishop hastens to his destroyed city Two days of arduous traveling from war-torn Syria
to peaceful Harrisonburg, Virginia. Four days in a class called “PeaceTalk: English Language Skills for Peacebuilders.” Then suddenly rushing back to Syria, again navigating many difficulties to arrive at his freshly gutted church in Homs, Syria. This was the experience of Selwanos Boutros Alnemeh, a prominent Syriac Orthodox (Catholic) archbishop, who arrived at the 2014 Summer Peacebuilding Institute (SPI) on May 2. He was one of 184 people from 36 countries registered for courses, including six others from Syria. After his seven-day intensive English language class, he was scheduled to take a seven-day class on trauma healing. His stay, however, was cut short. Midway through his first week at Eastern Mennonite University, Selwanos learned that his home city of Homs – which had been occupied by rebel forces and subjected to a starvation-level siege by government forces – was now fully in government hands. For civilians, including Selwanos’ church members, this meant that it might be sufficiently safe to return to their homes in this ancient city, dig out from the rubble, and begin to rebuild. It also meant, as Selwanos learned to his sorrow, that their historic Belt of St. Mary church would need to be rebuilt – it was burned as the last of the rebels departed in early May under a ceasefire agreement. By May 11, the Sunday morning immediately after Selwanos’ departure from EMU, the archbishop had joined with other church leaders to pray in front of the shell of Belt of St. Mary, built a couple of centuries ago above an underground church dating back to 50 AD. The church housed a venerated relic that was believed to be a section of the belt of Mary, mother of Jesus. “In my 14 years here, the story of Archbishop Selwanos ranks as one of the most memorable,” said William Goldberg, SPI director. “When he was asked which side he was on, he repeatedly said that he was on the side of peace for all the people of Syria.” Selwanos’ home city had been one of the first to protest the authoritarian rule of President Bashar al-Assad, with demonstrations beginning in March 2011, according to an Associated Press report published by The Guardian on June 11, 2014. The city became a battleground as government forces cracked down and opponents took up arms. Selwanos told EMU News Service that more than 1,000 Christians died as a result of the conflict in Homs. He himself led 150,000 to 200,000 people out of the besieged city in January 2012 after conditions grew desperate in what is known as the Old City section of Homs. Water and electricity were cut off. The handful of people who remained behind in their homes – usually in an attempt to protect them – were reduced to scavenging for anything that might be edible.
Selwanos did not stay quiet, even though speaking out put him in greater danger. When two priests and two bishops were kidnapped, and three priests were killed in April 2013, he publicly appealed for an end to the targeting of nonviolent church leaders. He did the same when 13 Greek Orthodox nuns were kidnapped in November 2013 from their monastery near the border with Lebanon and held for three months. “If we sit with others and have dialogues, we can find some solutions to [arrive at] peace,” Selwanos said at EMU, often speaking with the interpretative help of another Syrian at SPI. “If we want to develop and live with freedom and democracy, there are other [nonviolent] ways of reaching this. Nowadays, all the people of Syria are losing due to the war. Violence does not bring peace.” — Bonnie Price Lofton
PHOTOS by Kara Lofton (top) and www.facebook.com/SyriacOrthodoxChurch (below)
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Archbishop Selwanos Boutros Alnemeh is pictured at EMU the day before he cut short his coursework to rush home to Syria.
Back home in Syria, Archbishop Selwanos (center) conducts mass in his damaged church.
Sabereh Ahmadi Movaghar, the chador-wearing woman in the second row on right, was one of nine Iranian women from an Islamic seminary who took classes with people from all over the world at SPI 2014. This photo shows those enrolled in “Leadership for Healthy Organizations.”
Iranian women bring Islamic insights to SPI When you can joyfully sit and eat together, meaningfully pray together, and feel at home and close to God in one another’s holy sites, then surely you have really become intimate friends. — Mohammad Shomali, Afterword, 5th Catholic Shi’a Dialogue
In more than 20 years of participating in interfaith dialogue, guest lecturer Dr. Mohammad Shomali has travelled widely. He is the director of international affairs at Jami’at al-Zahra, a Shi’a Islam seminary for women, as well as director of the International Institute for Islamic Studies (IIIS). He resides in Qom, Iran. “I feel at home in many places in the world,” Shomali said, “but Mohammad Shomali (left) Eastern Mennonite University is chats in Tehran with one of those places where I really Amernian Orthodox Archbishop Sebouh Sarkissian. feel at home.” Peace and peacebuilding, along with interfaith dialogue, is one of the core Quranic principles, Shomali says. This was one reason why nine female seminarians from Jami’at al-Zahra studied at SPI this summer, escorted by Shomali and his wife, Mahnaz Heidarpour, who also teaches at the seminary. In prior years, SPI has hosted a total of 10 students from Iran, but never a group of this size all at once. Interactions with SPI students from around the world provide a practical complement to required seminary coursework in com-
parative peace studies, Shomali said. “Theoretical knowledge can come through books, but when the students eat and talk together and go to churches, this is different. They learn about the way people think, live, behave, and plan. This is very valuable.” The Iranian women praised the interactive style of teaching at SPI, where lengthy lectures are rare and role-playing is common. “We do lots of exercises, many projects, in this class,” said Sabereh Ahmadi Movaghar, referring to “Leadership for Healthy Organizations” taught as a seven-day intensive by David Brubaker, PhD, and Roxann “Roxy” Allen Kioko ’04, MA ’07. She also took “Faith-based Peacebuilding,” taught by Roy Hange, a Mennonite scholar and pastor. Movaghar’s home institution, Jamiat al-Zahra, is the world’s largest Islamic seminary for women, with 5,000 Iranian students, 1,000 international students and 10,000 enrolled in distance learning. The nine students at SPI are all linked to the postgraduate section of the seminary’s international department. “These women are excellent, diligent students,” said J. Daryl Byler, executive director of EMU’s Center for Justice and Peacebuilding. “They are devoutly religious as well as delightful – with great personalities, warm laughs, and deep insights. The friendships being built are priceless.” Shomali told an EMU reporter that he hoped for better relations between the people of Iran and people of the United States and noted similarities between Quranic and Christian teachings about the importance of peace. “God says about the Quran in the Quran itself that God guides with the Quran those who seek His pleasure to the ways of peace (5:15).” There are “lots of things we can learn from each other,” he added. Iranians are rational people and “when you are rational, you tend to dialogue with people of other faiths and other cultures.” Shomali welcomed more exchanges of Americans and Iranians from a variety of fields, including artists and professionals. He said that to reduce mutual misperceptions and encourage peace, “Nothing can replace face-to-face encounters. Our first Imam, Imam Ali, is quoted as saying: ‘People become hostile towards what they don’t know.’” — Lauren Jefferson and Bonnie Price Lofton PHOTO by Kara Lofton (top) and courtesy of J. Daryl Byler (below)
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Educators get first restorative justice program in nation Long a pioneer in the field of restorative justice, EMU will become the first in the country to offer restorative justice programs housed within a graduate education program. Beginning this fall, students in the MA in education program will be able to pursue an interdisciplinary concentration in restorative justice in education (RJE) by taking courses through the education department as well as EMU’s Center for Justice and Peacebuilding. The education department will also begin offering a 15-hour graduate certificate in RJE for students who aren’t pursuing a master’s degree. “Restorative justice offers a completely different model of addressing classroom discipline problems that focuses on building effective relationships both between teachers and students, and among students,” said Kathy Evans, an EMU education professor who has led the development of the new RJE programs. While the theories of restorative justice were originally developed as an alternative approach to criminal justice, they have increasingly been embraced by teachers looking for more creative ways to address classroom behavior and create better learning environments, said Evans, who anticipates wide interest in EMU’s new programs. “People are hungry for good instruction about what restorative justice looks like in schools, and how they can be better prepared to be restorative justice educators,” she said. To make the RJE programs more accessible to students from out of the area, some courses will be offered online or in other alternative formats such as on weekends or as Professor Kathy Evans week-long, intensive summer courses. A successful example of restorative justice in schools was featured in a recent cover story in YES! Magazine by Fania Davis, a past instructor at EMU’s Summer Peacebuilding Institute. The executive director of Restorative Justice for Oakland (Calif.) Youth, Davis writes that restorative justice programs in some schools have been so successful at reducing suspension rates – by 74% in one case – that the school board has endorsed use of restorative justice throughout the city school system. In January 2014, the federal departments of education and justice also threw their weight behind restorative justice in the 20
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Fania Davis (right), executive director of Restorative Justice for Oakland Youth, with students from Ralph Bunche High School in Oakland, California. In 2005 Davis taught restorative justice at SPI. (YES! cover photo by Lane Hartwell, courtesy of Yes!)
country’s schools. The agencies issued a joint letter telling teachers and administrators to address the disproportionate rates at which minority and economically disadvantaged students are suspended – suggesting, among other things, the use of restorative justice practices to address discipline problems and create healthy learning environments. With that mandate will come even more opportunity for graduates of EMU’s new RJE concentration or certificate programs, Evans said. “The new programs in restorative justice in education are an excellent example of the mission of our graduate programs, which is to meet needs in the world with our unique combination of expertise, perspective, and values,” said graduate studies dean Jim Smucker. “This concentration is a result of two graduate programs working together to offer something that is quite unique to the field of education, and something only EMU’s combination of expertise and values can provide to the world.” Over the next several years, faculty from the MA in education program and the Center for Justice and Peacebuilding will begin developing new courses, with the goal of eventually creating a full MA in RJE program, Evans added. For more information on the new programs, contact Evans at email@example.com or 540-432-4590. — Andrew Jenner
Grad pioneers restorative justice in second-largest school system in USA Joseph Luciani, MA ’13, has spent the last year leading a restorative justice pilot program in the Los Angeles Unified School District, the second-largest school system in the United States. Luciani coaches all the teachers at one Los Angeles school, Augustus Hawkins High School (AHHS), enabling them to run community-building circles with their students at least once per week. He also facilitates circle processes to address disciplinary matters at the school, providing an alternative to traditional methods like suspension. In a lowincome neighborhood in South Los Angeles, AHHS students – about 70% Latino and 30% African American – are often dealing with the effects of domestic violence, gangs and poverty in their lives. (Luciani is employed by the California Conference for Equality and Justice, which runs the pilot program at AHHS.) One goal for the restorative justice program at the school is to interrupt the “school-to-prison” pipeline. Luciani points to data showing that students who are suspended are more likely to drop out of school and become involved with crime. By using restorative justice principles as an alternative method to deal with disciplinary problems, Luciani and his colleagues aim to keep students in school as much as possible, heading off the long-term negative consequences that suspension can set in motion. According to a preliminary analysis of the program, 124 circle processes involving 1,144 participants were held at the school between September 2013 and March 2014. That total includes 48 community-building circles and 76 conflict and healing circles. Anecdotal evidence from teachers, Luciani says, shows that the community-building circle processes have helped create better learning environments for students. “Everybody really bought into the process because they saw the transformation that restorative justice was bringing,” said Luciani. Circles are also becoming a part of the school’s culture, and have even been initiated by students who become aware of conflict. “The great thing is that it becomes natural,” says Luciani. “If something is happening, it becomes the response: ‘Let’s have a circle.’” The restorative justice pilot program at AHHS is an early step toward an ambitious goal set by the Los Angeles Unified School District: to implement restorative justice programs across the district by 2020.
Joseph Luciani, MA ’13, did a practicum with EMU’s internal conflict transformation office before heading to California for his current role in a Los Angeles school system.
Deborah Brandy, school operations coordinator for the district, said that implementation will begin with restorative justice training at all the division’s hundreds of schools. Central office staff will then provide ongoing support to teachers using circle processes and other restorative practices now being put to use by Luciani and his colleagues at AHHS. Several other schools have also begun similar pilot programs. “The schools that have begun implementing the restorative practices … have seen a difference in the behavior of the students, in terms of feeling more comfortable communicating with peers and with adults,” Brandy said. “If there is a need or an issue, they feel comfortable coming to an adult to discuss it prior to taking action on their own. “Those skills are critical for helping students become more successful in schools, as well as in society,” she added. Luciani applauds the district’s commitment to restorative justice, but cautions that it will need significant investment to succeed. Suspending a student is an easy, five-minute process, he says. Facilitating a circle process can take hours, and requires having qualified facilitators already in place. — Andrew Jenner
PHOTO by Jon Styer
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These eight Kenyan women were in the Women’s Peacebuilding Leadership Program at SPI 2014 (from left): Esther Bett, Ruth Nalyanya, Roselyne Onunga, Shamsa Omar, Carol Makanda, Fatuma Abass, Eunice Githae, and Everlyn Musee.
Young Kenyan woman aids victims of torture Among the 184 people who studied at SPI 2014 were eight Kenyan women in the Women’s Peacebuilding Leadership Program (WPLP). Ranging in age from 23 to 51, the women work for a variety of NGOs or in academia across Kenya. Now in its third year, the WPLP admits students in cohorts from specific areas of the world to develop peacebuilding and leadership skills over an 18-month period, culminating in a graduate certificate from the Center for Justice and Peacebuilding. CJP works with partner organizations to identify candidates, and matches students with mentors. Previous cohorts have come from Somaliland, Liberia and the South Pacific. This is the story of one of the eight women in the current cohort.
Though it sits just outside Waji, a major town in
Kenya’s North Eastern Province, the small village of Leheley has yet to join the electrical grid. The people who live there are poor and therefore marginalized. Running power lines there simply isn’t a priority to those in charge. “My people support the leaders 100%, but their support is not reciprocated with any kind of development in the village,” says Shamsa Omar, who grew up in Leheley. Education was Omar’s springboard out of Leheley and on to bigger ambitions. After earning top-notch grades at Wajir Girls Secondary School, she won a scholarship from a Kenyan bank to study at Moi University. And while still finishing up a BA in sociology, Omar launched a campaign to represent the Lagboghol South ward on the Wajir County Council, determined to let Leheley be ignored no longer. 22
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She ran an enthusiastic campaign and says she’d drummed up widespread support until, just days before the March 2013 election, things came to a screeching halt. The elders in the community decided that Omar shouldn’t run, and that was that. What the elders say goes, even when you’re a young, status quo-bucking political candidate like Omar. “I was very discouraged because I had the support of the people,” says Omar, now 23 years old. Omar returned to the university to finish her degree and, since September 2013, has been working for the Center for Victims of Torture, an American NGO based in St. Paul, Minnesota. She now works as a psychosocial counselor in northeastern Kenya’s Dadaab, the world’s largest refugee camp, home to hundreds of thousands who have fled conflicts in countries all over East Africa. In the camp, Omar leads individual and group therapy for victims of torture and gender-based violence – intense and sometimes distressing work that has caused nightmares. It has also exposed her to an inspiring resilience that she sees in some of her clients. Before she began working as a counselor, Omar wasn’t convinced that sitting around and talking would do any good solving people’s problems. Now, she’s a believer. She’s applying a resilience of her own to her goals for her home. After her run for office was cut disappointingly short, Omar realized that there are “many other ways” to lead. Accordingly, she founded the Wajir Young Women’s Association, through which she hopes to work with like-minded young women to improve the lives of women throughout the region. She also serves as a mentor to current recipients of the same scholarship that allowed her to get her undergraduate degree. Omar says her experience so far in the WPLP has opened her mind, inspired and energized her – through the things she’s learned and her peers in the program. “I cannot walk alone on this journey. I need so many people to help me out,” she says. “I have so many things in my mind. I have big dreams for my community.” — Andrew Jenner PHOTO by Lindsey Kolb
Playback theater shifts painful stories toward resiliency When volunteers were solicited, nobody immediately
stepped forward. It was a tough request: tell a painful personal story before an audience of maybe 40, many of them strangers to each other, and watch seven people trained in playback theater re-tell it through an impromptu performance. Yet Muhammad Afdillah – a visiting scholar with EMU’s Center for Justice and Peacebuilding – chose this moment, just a week before he returned to his home in Indonesia, to begin to heal himself. He recounted a story involving physical and psychological injury. Then he watched as Inside Out, EMU’s resident playback theater troupe, improvised a tense narrative of violence, friendship, loss, physical and emotional scarring, and finally, hope of reconciliation. Afdillah wasn’t the only watcher who had wet eyes by the end. It may have helped that other storytellers had shared before – some with halting speech and others interspersing laughter with words – of surviving cancer, of stitching a wedding dress for a beloved stepdaughter, of making friends and enduring goodbyes. It may have helped that he knew some of the actors – all EMU students, faculty or graduates – and even some of the audience, most of whom were participating in SPI 2014, often in the Strategies for Trauma Awareness & Resilience (STAR) training. “That might have helped,” Afdillah said later. “But it was for me. It was the right time. I was trembling, but my heart was telling me this.” Though Inside Out has “played back” stories from a variety of audiences, including sexual abuse survivors and college students recently returned from cross-cultural experiences, the May 21, 2014, event was the first time the troupe hosted a storytelling session for this particular group. Playback theater helps its participants understand and reflect upon their experiences, says theater professor Heidi Winters Vogel, who co-founded Inside Out in 2011 with Roger Foster, MA ’12. “That simple act of sharing stories and seeing them played back, seeing it out there, allows processing. It is harder to work for healing when it’s all in your head. In addition, there’s a tremendous connection between people in the audience who see that story and have a similar experience to share.” Making those connections is the role of an actor called the conductor, who facilitates the storytelling of a volunteer audience member, gathers more information through questions, and then helps to “shape” the story before turning it over to the actors with the invitation, “Let’s watch.” “This is applied theater,” Vogel said, “not theater for entertainment. It’s theater for social justice and understanding. A lot of people don’t understand playback theater until they attend a storytelling session. When they see it, they realize the possibilities.”
EMU theater professor Heidi Winters Vogel, who co-founded Inside Out in 2011, is flanked in this playback theater demonstration by two CJP students, Bridget Mullins and Fabrice Guerrier.
Instructor Ben Rivers (left), normally based at The Freedom Theatre in the Jenin Refugee Camp in Palestine, leads participants during the class “Playback Theatre for Conflict Transformation.”
Afdillah had no idea of its life-changing potential when he was invited by a fellow SPI participant to attend the performance. “I don’t really like theater,” he said with a laugh later. A faculty member at Universitas Islam Negeri (UIN) Sunan Ampel in Indonesia, Afdillah researches and lectures on socio-religious conflict and politics. He collects data, supervises graduate students, collaborates with other peacebuilders and policy-makers, and admits that, like many others in his field, he rarely takes the time for himself. For the last six months on campus, during spring semester classes and courses at the Summer Peacebuilding Institute, Afdillah began to “meditate and think about my life,” he said. “In my work, I tell people to deal with their trauma, to let it go. But I have my own trauma, my own problems. At the end, watching the story was almost the same as what I experienced, the tragedy. I feel the pain. I don’t know how this story ends, but this is starting to be ready for an ending.” Program director Jayne Docherty says SPI is committed to the growing use and exploration of applied theater tools like playback theater to situations of conflict, violence and trauma. Classes in playback theater have been offered at several sessions of SPI. — Lauren Jefferson PHOTOS by Dylan Bomgardner (top) and Michael Sheeler (below)
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Fambul Tok helps heal Sierra Leone In recent years, the citizens of Sierra Leone have gathered in village compounds around bonfires, spoken openly of brutalities inflicted on them during their 11 years of civil war, and heard apologies by some of those who did the brutalizing. To the amazement of growing numbers of observers from around the world, the result has been forgiveness and reconciliation and rebuilding, village by village, on a scale never before achieved. These heartfelt conversations have been nurtured under a program called Fambul Tok (Krio for “family talk”), led by John Caulker, a human rights activist in Sierra Leone. Fambul Tok began in the summer and fall of 2007, when John Caulker received the backing of Libby Hoffman and her Maine-based foundation Catalyst for Peace to develop a grassroots answer to the high-level, highly expensive UN-backed Truth and Reconciliation Commission in Sierra Leone. Caulker, who had lobbied for the creation of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, was deeply disappointed in how little it accomplished, after it spent more than $300 million on highly publicized trials of nine men. In contrast, Caulker wanted to help heal the lives of the average person in often-rural communities where neighbors looked suspiciously at neighbors, and even family members were divided by what some had done during wartime. Hoffman caught the spirit of Caulker’s vision and worked with him – and with a few people at EMU’s Center for Justice and Peacebuilding, where she had attended SPI 1996 and returned for a course in 2000 – to design core elements, objectives and operating principles for Fambul Tok. Amy Potter Czajkowski, MA ’02, and Robert Roche, MA ’08, were program officers for Fambul Tok during its formative stages. On June 11, 2013, Caulker was the Frontier Luncheon speaker at SPI. He treated his audience to an inspiring account of how a small ripple can, when patiently fanned, grow into a rising tide across the nation. At SPI 2014, two rising leaders in Fambul Tok – women’s leader Michaela Ashwood and former pastor Emmanuel Mansaray – studied conflict analysis, psychosocial trauma, and organizational leadership. They are being prepared to step up as Caulker transitions from leading Fambul Tok in Sierra Leone to playing a wider peacebuilding role under the auspices of the African Union. “From the very word go, we’ve made Fambul Tok a community-owned and community-led process,” said Ashwood, who has worked with Caulker for seven years. “We only support. They’ve heard about Fambul Tok on the radio, so they already know something about us. We may provide a bag of rice [for the 24
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A FILM ABOUT THE POWER OF FORGIVENESS STILL PHOTOGRAPHY SARA TERRY CONSULTING EDITOR KATE AMEND COMPOSER ISSAR SHULMAN DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY HENRY JACOBSON EDITOR BRIAN SINGBIEL PRODUCED BY RORY KENNEDY AND LIBBY HOFFMAN EXECUTIVE PRODUCER LIBBY HOFFMAN PRODUCED AND DIRECTED BY SARA TERRY A CATALYST FOR PEACE FILM A TARMAC ROAD PRODUCTION
www.FambulTok.com The 2011 documentary Fambul Tok tells the story of healing in postconflict Sierra Leone through the intimate stories of perpetrators and victims. The documentary – available on DVD and Netflix – has been screened around the world and is used widely in classrooms. Visit fambultok.org for more information.
community gathering], but they provide the goat or fish and fresh vegetables.” Mansarary added, “We work at the level of the man in the village whose neighbor might have been the one who burned down his house, amputated his son and raped his wife.” Everyone is longing for the opportunity to tell their stories, said Mansaray. “The victims have stories they want to tell, and so do the perpetrators,” who often talk of being drugged or otherwise forced to do horrible things when they ask for forgiveness. Fambul Tok now has groups of women, called Peace Mothers (led by Ashwood), who are active in election campaigns and in schools, doing education and dousing sparks of conflicts before they become raging fires. This represents a change in Sierra Leone’s culture, where traditionally women had no voice. Future plans include spreading peacebuilding principles through Sierra Leone’s schools to address violence that seems to be growing among the young – who lack a memory of the horrific civil war endured by their elders – and to lay the groundwork for enduring cooperation in future generations. In 2013-14 Fambul Tok was operating in six out of the country’s 14 districts. In each of the six districts they have an office staffed by four, plus a security person. At its national headquarters there are 18 staffers. Catalyst for Peace remains the main funder for Fambul Tok, including funding Ashwood’s and Mansaray’s studies at SPI 2014. — Bonnie Price Lofton PHOTO courtesy of Catalyst for Peace
We can make the world a better place for everyone. Please help CJP support the hopes and dreams of these peacebuilders by making a gift today.
ASHAFEA M. OSMAN MOHAMMED, SUDAN “Most importantly, I learned that we can have a shared ‘river of life.’ There is a way to bring peace to the earth. We have the resources. We can make the world a better place for everyone.”
BEATRICE KADANGS, NIGERIA “I am so captivated by the vision and plan for SPI – to bring so many people together to work for peace and justice. I learned that others are struggling with similar problems. Nigeria is not isolated or unique. I can learn from others.”
Ways to give: Online: emu.edu/cjp/giving By check to EMU/CJP sent to: Development Office, Eastern Mennonite University 1200 Park Road Harrisonburg VA 22802 By establishing an endowment or including CJP in your estate planning: Contact: Phoebe Kilby, Office of Development 800-368-3383 • firstname.lastname@example.org
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EMU’s Summer Peacebuilding Institute Has it inspired your training institute?
In the next issue of Peacebuilder, we’d like to highlight peacebuilding institutes around the world that have been launched by former Summer Peacebuilding Institute participants, using SPI as a successful model. “SPI welcomes all the sister training centers that have appeared in Europe, the Middle East, Asia and the Americas,” says J. Daryl Byler, executive director of EMU’s Center for Justice and Peacebuilder, the umbrella under which SPI operates. “The more people trained in peacebuilding – and the more accessible and affordable the training sites – the better for cultivating peace and justice everywhere.”
TELL THE EDITOR ABOUT YOUR SPIINSPIRED PEACEBUILDING INSTITUTE! We would like to make sure to cover them all, whether functioning in past years or now, including the following: Africa Peace Institute (Zambia), BridgeBuilders (UK) Canadian School of Peacebuilding (Canada), Lusophone Peacebuilding Institute (Mozambique), Mindanao Peace Institute (Philippines), Mirovna-Akademija (Bosnia and Herzegovina), NARPI— Northeast Asia Regional Peacebuilding Institute (South Korea, China, Japan), Pacific Centre for Peacebuilding (Fiji), Peacebuilding and Development Institute at American University (USA), West Africa Peacebuilding Institute (Ghana) Please send background information on your institute by September 1, 2014, to the editor at: Bonnie.Lofton@emu.edu