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Ben Rivers

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

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CJP prof Lisa Schirch points way to better relationships, roles, for military, government and civil society

On the Wikipedia page for “Security Sector Reform,” you’ll read some nice-sounding stuff about helping police and military forces become more accountable to democratically elected governments and to hold human rights in higher regard. You’ll also see a picture, right at the top, of American and British soldiers teaching their Sierra Leonean counterparts how to use a mortar. It’ ...More

Peace Conference discussion with main speaker Nick

Former Fulbright fellow, nationally known leader in human security, to speak at intercollegiate peace forum

Lisa Schirch, PhD, director of human security at the Alliance for Peacebuilding and a former Fulbright fellow in East and West Africa, will give the keynote speech at the 2014 Intercollegiate Peace Fellowship Conference, Jan. 31-Feb. 2 ...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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Reintegrating child soldiers in Nepal shows challenge of turning good intentions into reality

When Kumar Anuraj Jha returned home to Nepal with an MA in conflict transformation in 2007, he was hired as a child protection advisor by the United Nations Mission in Nepal. The decade-long armed conflict between government forces and Maoist fighters had officially ended a year earlier, while Jha was midway through his graduate studie ...More

Dev

UN official strives to maintain focus on relationships, recognizing the humanity in all

Devanand Ramiah, MA ’02, grew up in a refugee camp as a member of a displaced minority group in war-torn Sri Lanka and now carries significant responsibility in the Secretariat of the United Nations in New York City. (He is also a member of the board of reference of EMU’s Center for Justice and Peacebuilding, a volunteer role.) Hi ...More

Strategizing with former UN General Secretary Kofi Annan      during the Kenyan political mediation

Start with compassion – one key lesson from 30 years as a top-level mediator around the world

The reason Hizkias Assefa has two law degrees, two master’s degrees, and one doctorate is not because he loves living buried in university libraries. It’s because he had to leave his home country of Ethiopia when his friends and relatives were being killed or imprisoned during the Derg’s 13-year military dictatorship. ...More

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EMU Alum Knitting Community in Pittsburgh

One Eastern Mennonite University (EMU) alum plans to bomb Pittsburgh’s Andy Warhol Bridge next month – with miles of yarn. More than a year of work involving thousands of volunteers will culminate in the “yarn bomb” that will clothe the bridge in a massive, colorful art project. Amanda Gross, 29, who graduated from EMU̵ ...More

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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

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SPI Alumni Help With Syrian Refugee Crisis

Syrians are flooding into neighboring Jordan at the rate of more than 1,000 per night, seeking refuge from a brutal civil war. Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) has taken steps to supplement its material aid (food, diapers, blankets, school kits, hygiene kits, etc.) with trainings aimed at easing growing tensions, understanding the impact of trauma, and ...More