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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 yea ...More


Volunteers discover power of playback theater to shift painful stories toward path of healing

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 Eastern Mennonite University’s ...More

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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


STAR breaks cycles of trauma

Strategies for Trauma Awareness and Resilience (STAR) emerged from the ashes of Sept. 11, when hundreds of millions of people were grieving over the deaths and destruction caused by hijacked airplanes flying into the World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon in Washington D.C. To mark STAR’s 10th anniversary, founding director Carolyn E. Yoder ’72 coll ...More

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A highlight on Vernon Jantzi

EMU’s cross-cultural program is intentionally different from that of almost every college in America, says Vernon Jantzi ’64, who became a faculty member at EMU after earning his PhD in the sociology of development from Cornell University in 1975. Jantzi, who has held a number of key administrative positions at EMU (and who passed up a chance to work at Harvard ...More


Veterans’ suicides remembered by EMU students, faculty and staff

Veterans Day 2013 was remembered at Eastern Mennonite University with 242 dog tags hung from a tree along a well-traveled footpath near the center of campus. Two graduate students, Michael McAndrew and Katrina Gehman, began hanging 22 dog tags per day at the beginning of November, marking the average number of U.S. military veterans who commit suicide every 24 hours, culminating in 242 t ...More


Resiliency After Trauma of War

After he got back from the war, Mark Lauro couldn’t pick up his young son without thinking about that night in Iraq. He was an Army National Guard sergeant with a company deployed in 2007 to provide security for military supply convoys. Lauro was in an armored vehicle running reconnaissance a few kilometers ahead of the others, keeping an eye out for trouble and choosing the ...More


Students Earn Credits Off Campus, Learning in New Ways and New Places

Bekah Enns’ great-grandparents would not recognize the way she is pursuing an academic degree in 2013. For one thing, the senior history major at Eastern Mennonite University spent last semester off campus, testing her work skills in her three academic minors—pre-law, political science, and ...More


Gather at the Table, a Book on Race Relations, Takes Off Nationwide

Gather at the Table, a book about two individuals exploring their vastly different histories – one being an African-American woman descended from slavery and the other a European-American man descended from slave owners and traders – is garnering national attention, with Barnes and Noble making it one of its monthly picks and radio and T ...More

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Ripple Effect: Grad Leads STAR Trainings in Somalia for USAID

A graduate of the Center for Justice and Peacebuilding at Eastern Mennonite University (EMU), as well as the center’s Strategies for Trauma Awareness and Resilience (STAR) program, is playing a key role in a USAID project that hopes to introduce trauma-healing principles to mor ...More