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Iranian women scholars to study at Summer Peacebuilding Institute

Ten Iranian women from the world’s largest Shi’a Islam seminary will attend Eastern Mennonite University’s Summer Peacebuilding Institute (SPI) for three weeks in May. Their arrival will mark the first visit to the United States by female scholars from the seminary, Jami’at al-Zahra in Qom, Iran. The ten women—doctoral students at the s ...More

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Time to rebuild good relations with Iran, CJP Director argues in Richmond newspaper op-ed

When envoys from Iran and the world’s six major powers gather in Vienna today for a third round of talks about Iran’s nuclear program, you can safely bet that no one will say publicly that, 40 years ago, it was the United States who provided major support for launching Iran’s nuclear industry. Yet in my 10 trips to Iran over the past 20 years, I find that Iranians from every walk o ...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

Iran

CJP leader Daryl Byler nurtures Iran-EMU relationship

J. Daryl Byler’s 11th trip to Iran marks the culmination of nearly a quarter-century of bridge-building efforts between North American Mennonites and Iranians. Byler, who is executive director of EMU’s Center for Justice and Peacebuilding (CJP), last visited Iran in 2009, before Iran severely restricted visas for visitors from the United States and Canada for an extended period. ...More

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It’s their home – helping inmates live outside walls

The twisting corridors and ad-hoc floor plan suggest a history of repeated additions and expansions to the Gemeinschaft Home, which once again is bursting at the seams. In late 2013, a closet-building campaign was launched to ensure the growing number of residents of the home – which helps former inmates find work and provides various therapeutic services as they transition to life out ...More

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First mediation center in state

Harrisonburg’s Fairfield Center– known for most of its 32-year history as the Community Mediation Center – has a long record of leadership in promoting and practicing creative problem-solving in Virginia. Founded as an alternative to the court system for mediating disputes in the community, the Fairfield Center (the name used throughout this story for consistency’s sake) took its first ...More

JMU

Restorative justice and talking circles: JMU embraces EMU’s teachings

Not long after he’d come out of the closet, Mark was at a party with his friends. At some point that evening, a group of guys approached Mark and told him they suspected their roommate, Joe, was also gay. They asked if Mark would be willing to talk with Joe about this. 1 Mark thought it was an odd request, but he went upstairs and found Joe in his room. “Your roo ...More

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EMU, MCC leaders nurture warm relationship with Islamic scholars in Iran

J. Daryl Byler’s 11th trip to Iran marks the culmination of nearly a quarter-century of bridge-building efforts between North American Mennonites and Iranians. Byler, who is executive director of the Center for Justice and Peacebuilding (CJP) at Eastern Mennonite University, la ...More