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The Summer Peacebuilding Institute draws widely diverse people to “sit and talk outside of the conflict zone”

What started in the mid-1990s as a series of lunches where those working in the peacebuilding field could exchange ideas on theories and practice has grown into a world-renowned institute for peacebuilding and development professionals, without losing its emphasis on relationship building. The annual Summer Peacebuilding Institute (SPI) now consists of fo ...More

Shomali with Shomali with Amernian Orthodox Archbishop Sebouh Sarkissian in Tehran

Well-known scholar leads group of Iranian women from their Islamic seminary to the Summer Peacebuilding Institute

“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.” —Dr. Mohammad Shomali, Afterword, 5th Catholic Shi’a Dialogue As the first session of Eastern Mennonite University’s ...More

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CJP grad from Afghanistan reflects on journey to EMU, current work and imminent election back home

2010 was a busy year for Hamid Arsalan. He earned a master’s degree from the Center for Justice and Peacebuilding at Eastern Mennonite University, while also completing two degrees from the University of Virginia: a bachelor’s degree in international relations and affairs, and a master’s degree in public policy. Around the edges, he fit in a part-time ...More

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Center for Justice and Peacebuilding announces new restorative justice certificate

This summer, Eastern Mennonite University’s Center for Justice and Peacebuilding (CJP) will introduce a new certificate program for restorative justice practitioners. The program is open to all interested in furthering their postgraduate educations and aimed particularly at mid-career pr ...More

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Award-winning filmmaking shows powerful role of media in sparking deep conversations and social change

In a new approach to promoting peaceful communities, graduate students at Eastern Mennonite University are leading conversation around an award-winning documentary about people who collaborated to paint massive murals in Philadelphia. A unique twist to the documentary, Concrete, Steel and Paint, is that the painters include men incarcerated in a maximum-security prison as well as ...More

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Two pioneers of Playback Theatre – evoking understanding, empathy and change – will be teaching at SPI 2014

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Hizkias at South Sudan peace

CJP faculty member Hizkias Assefa leads mediation to ease suffering in South Sudan

Thousands of men, women and children displaced and otherwise suffering from the impact of war in Jonglei – the largest, most populated state in South Sudan – may see their situation become less desperate as a result of mediation efforts led by Hizkias Assefa, a founding faculty member of the Center f ...More

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Preventing burnout, among other attributes of organizational health, leads to more effective work

Where there is a food emergency, agencies like the UN World Food Programme rightly devote the majority of their time, resources and attention to those suffering directly from a food shortage. But paying no mind at all to the needs of staff working for a relief agency like the WFP, says Ilaria Dettori, is a recipe for burnout and organizati ...More

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Nelson Mandela recalled as incarnational presence, modeling ‘practical theology’

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“Where There Was Despair, They Saw Hope” – Summer Peacebuilding Institute 2013 Wraps Up

Many of the 196 attendees at this year’s Summer Peacebuilding Institute (SPI) had survived devastating loss and trauma. Yet the final week of that gathering at Eastern Mennonite University began with an evening of infectious joy. SPI learners – representing 43 nations over six weeks of sessions, May 6-June 14 – did line and contra dancing, ...More