In the opening ceremony at this month’s SPI Community Day, each participant made an introduction and shared hopes and dreams. One military veteran came to Eastern Mennonite University to “learn how to use my leadership skills to benefit my community.”
Others asked to create cooperation through difference, to ...More
The Summer Peacebuilding Institute at Eastern Mennonite University, which has emerged since 1994 as a global leader in the training of peacebuilders and social justice advocates, returns next summer for its 22nd season with several programmatic changes.
Five- and seven-day classes, hybrid online learning options, training tracks on specific intere ...More
This summer, four Eastern Mennonite University undergraduate students worked at the Summer Peacebuilding Institute, spending six weeks acting as hosts and ambassadors for approximately 145 international visitors.
They were often the first on campus to greet weary travelers arriving from the airport in the wee hours of the night, and they were int ...More
Like most children, Winifred Gray-Johnson didn’t pay much attention to what her father did for a living. She knew he often traveled from their home in Monrovia, Liberia, to the United States. She knew he occasionally visited a place in Virginia called Eastern Mennonite University.
But she never imagined her father’s participation in the 2009 Summ ...More
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 (Catholi ...More
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
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
For the second year in a row, college senior James Souder has a summer job that wins him friends from dozens of countries.
They are men and women aged 20 to 90 who do things on behalf of peace and justice like mediate between warring soldiers and live among suffering refugees in camps.
Souder is one of four 1990-born undergraduates at EMU who are “community assistants” in the ...More
On the week that Bill Goldberg welcomed 67 people from 27 countries to the first session of the 2012 Summer Peacebuilding Institute (SPI), he pondered the changes he has seen since his arrival at Eastern Mennonite University (EMU) 14 years ago.
“Probably 80 percent of the people wh ...More
Beginning July 1, 2011, Eastern Mennonite University’s (EMU) annual Summer Peacebuilding Institute (SPI) gained two new directors, both of whom hold graduate degrees in conflict transformation – William (Bill) Goldberg, MA ’01, and Valerie Helbert, MA ’08.
Goldberg and Helbert are veteran employees of the Center for Justice and Peacebuilding, under which SPI operates. Goldberg ...More