June 2021

The CJP 25th Anniversary 2021 event will be entirely online.

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Friday, June 4:

Opening Event

9 – 10:30 a.m.

sujatha baliga: Are We Climbing The Same Mountain? Journeying to Collective Liberation

11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m.

sujatha baliga’s work is characterized by an equal dedication to survivors and people who’ve caused harm, grounded in her belief that all of us have been both at some time in our lives. A former victim advocate and public defender, sujatha was awarded a Soros Justice Fellowship in 2008 which she used to launch a pre-charge restorative youth diversion program in Oakland, CA.

In her most recent position as the director of the Restorative Justice Project at Impact Justice, sujatha helped communities across the nation implement restorative justice alternatives to youth incarceration. She’s also dedicated to ending child sexual abuse and intimate partner violence through restorative approaches. sujatha speaks publicly and inside prisons about her own experiences as a survivor of child sexual abuse and her path to forgiveness.

sujatha earned her A.B. from Harvard and Radcliffe Colleges, her J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania, and has held two federal district court clerkships. Her personal and research interests include survivor-led movements, restorative justice’s potential impact on racial disparities in our justice system, and Buddhist notions of conflict transformation. A 2019 MacArthur Fellow, sujatha is currently working on her first book, about forgiveness of seemingly unforgivable harms.

sujatha’s faith journey undergirds her justice work. A long-time Buddhist practitioner, she’s a lay member of the Gyuto Foundation, a Tibetan Buddhist Monastery in Richmond, CA, where she leads meditation on Monday nights. She makes her home in Berkeley, CA, with her partner of 24 years, Jason, their 15-year-old child, Sathya, and their rescue puppy, Mala.

John Paul Lederach

2 - 3:30 p.m.

John Paul Lederach is Professor Emeritus of International Peacebuilding at the Joan B. Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame and Senior Fellow at Humanity United. He works extensively as a practitioner in conciliation processes, active in Latin America, Africa, Southeast and Central Asia. He is widely known for the development of culturally appropriate approaches to conflict transformation and the design and implementation of integrative and strategic approaches to peacebuilding. He served as the director of the Peace Accord Matrix research initiative at the Kroc Institute and is active as a member of the Advisory Council for the recently formed Truth Commission in Colombia. He is author and editor of 24 books and manuals, including Building Peace: Sustainable Reconciliation in Divided Societies (US Institute of Peace Press) and The Moral Imagination: The Art and Soul of Building Peace (Oxford University Press).

Talibah Aquil: Ghana, remember me...

4 - 5:30 p.m.

In spring 2019, Talibah Aquil, now CJP alumna and adjunct faculty, engaged in an arts based research project that centered on exploring healthy and holistic approaches to reimagining the “Identity Formation” of African Americans and people of the diaspora who are descendants of slavery. She journeyed to Ghana for the “Year of Return” and documented the lived experiences of people of the diaspora who decided to move to Ghana and how that transition and connection to their history has shaped how they now see themselves. Through the lens of poetry, music, dance and video, Talibah will share her own personal journey of self-discovery and healing during her time in Ghana.

While this presentation will encourage us to reflect on the 400 years since the first African was stolen from Ghana, it will also encourage us to reflect on our own identity and stories.

Saturday, June 5:

Sonya Shah: How do we walk our talk? Exploring restorative organizational practices

9:30 - 11 a.m.

Sonya Shah initiated The Ahimsa Collectivein 2016. The Ahimsa Collective works to respond to harm in ways that foster wholeness for everyone. She is also an associate professor at the California Institute of Integral Studies. Central to her core values are nurturing community belonging and collective care, healing, compassion, love and transforming harm.

She is a Buddhist, a first-generation immigrant from the Northwestern part of India and feels most at home in nature. She has two amazing children who remind her what it means to be in love all of the time, and currently resides in northern California.

Alumni Gathering Event

11:30 - 1 p.m.

An Afternoon of Remembrance

1:30 - 3 p.m.

Storytime & Oral Histories: stories with CJP founding women and former CJP executive directors

Top row from left: Daryl Byler, Margaret Foth, Ann Hershberger, Vernon Jantzi, Jan Jenner
Bottom row from left: Janelle Myers-Benner, Carolyn Yoder, Howard Zehr, Ruth Zimmerman, Elaine Zook Barge

Daryl Byler has four delightful grandchildren – Sydney, Kiara, Jesse and Davey – who help keep his spirit young. He enjoys running, reading, journaling, and exploring Washington, DC where he lives with Cindy Lehman Byler, his spouse and soulmate for the past 40 years. Together, they enjoy hosting groups in their home and taking walks. They have three adult children. Daryl currently spends his days at the DC Bar Foundation, working to transform the civil legal aid network in Washington, DC so that the city’s most vulnerable residents – persons facing eviction from their homes, loss of jobs, discrimination, deportation or domestic abuse – have access to justice and quality legal representation. His previous work includes being a legal aid attorney, a pastor, an advocacy office director, international development administrator, and executive director at the Center for Justice and Peacebuilding.

Ann Graber Hershberger and her husband Jim (first CJP cohort graduate) worked with John Paul and Wendy Lederach in Central America in the late 1980’s. In the early 1990’s, then President Joe Lapp asked Ann to chair the faculty committee tasked with writing a proposal for the program that became CJP. That led to a long-term relationship with CJP through the reference committee and later as part of a strategic planning group. Ann has worked in Central America in development, health, relief and peacebuilding for 10 years and, as an EMU faculty, taught community health nursing and cross-cultural studies for over 30 years. She retired as EMU faculty in 2019 and currently works as associate executive director of MCC U.S.

Vernon Jantzi, PhD in Sociology, helped found CJP and directed/co-directed the program from 1995-2002. While working with the Costa Rican “Land Reform” program in the early 80s he discovered and denounced to the US National Security Council and the House Subcommittee on Hemispheric Affairs the US-funded covert insurgency against the Nicaraguan Revolution from Costa Rica. Dr. Jantzi helped write the first academic curriculum for the University for Peace with Francisco Barahona and later EMU’s Conflict Transformation Program with John Paul Lederach. He led the feasibility study for EMU’s Center for Interfaith Engagement and coordinated its early program activities. In 2000-01 he lived in New Zealand as a Massey University Scholar in Residence where he and his wife, Dorothy, wrote a history of Restorative Justice in the country. Since 2009 Dr. Jantzi has focused on peacebuilding-and-justice-informed psycho-social work with CJP’s STAR Program—Strategies for Trauma Awareness and Resilience.

Jan Jenner began her peacebuilding career in the early 1990s while she served in Kenya with Mennonite Central Committee. Realizing she needed more knowledge to become an effective peacebuilding practitioner, she came to EMU to study at the Center for Justice and Peacebuilding (CJP). She received her MA in 1999 and shortly began to work at CJP managing grants and peacebuilding practice. During her 17 years of work with CJP, she wrote and managed numerous grants and practice contracts, and was instrumental in developing and managing the Practice and Training Institute, and a number of its innovative programs, including STAR, Coming to the Table, and the Women’s Peacebuilding Leadership Program. Since her retirement from EMU in 2015, Jan has continued her peacebuilding work in local Harrisonburg-area nonprofit organizations.

Janelle Myers-Benner completed studies in justice, peace and conflict studies at EMU in 2001. She began working at CJP in 1999 while finishing her bachelors. Her childhood years in Jackson, MS and time living in Immokalee, Florida and Santa Cruz, Bolivia have been significant parts of her life journey. Since 2005 she has been putting roots down in Keezletown, VA on a 6-acre homestead with her husband, Jason, and daughters Kali, Alida, and Terah, along with the memories of their daughter, Nora, who died in 2008. They are focused on learning to gain their dietary needs from the soil in that place. This is very connected with their desire to find a just way of living. When not working for CJP, she can probably be found in their gardens, tending animals, making cheese or working on some other food-related project.

Carolyn Yoder is a psychotherapist with a private practice specializing in finding courage, healing, and growth amid and after trauma. She was the Founding Director of STAR (Strategies for Trauma Awareness and Resilience), the justice-and-conflict-informed training program begun by CJP after 9/11 that has trained thousands of civil society leaders on six continents amidst crisis, division, and violence. Yoder recently updated The Little Book of Trauma Healing and she offers online resources at www.PeaceAfterTrauma.com. For 18 years, she lived, learned, and worked in East and Southern Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and the Caucasus. Now home in the United States, her passions include learning to act mindfully from the heart in a turbulent world, playing with her four delightful grandchildren, and caring for the planet they are inheriting.

Howard Zehr, widely known as “the grandfather of restorative justice,” began as a practitioner and theorist in restorative justice in the late 1970s at the foundational stage of the field. He has led hundreds of events and lectured in more than 25 countries and 35 states. A prolific writer and editor, speaker, educator, and photographer, Zehr actively mentors other leaders in the field. His books include Changing Lenses and The Little Book of Restorative Justice, both highly influential in the field, as well as photo/interview books such as Doing Life: Reflections of Men and Women Serving Life Sentences and Transcending, Reflections of Crime Victims. He was the initiator of The Little Books of Justice and Peacebuilding series. Zehr joined CJP in 1996 and in 2013 stepped away from active classroom teaching. He remains involved with the Zehr Institute of Restorative Justice. Before coming to EMU, he directed the Mennonite Central Committee U.S. Office of Criminal Justice.

Ruth Zimmerman returned from eight years in the Philippines in 1993, an experience that pushed her to pursue further education and job opportunities in the areas of peace and justice. She applied for an administrative secretary at Eastern Mennonite University’s newly forming Conflict Analysis and Transformation Program (later shortened to Conflict Transformation Program, or CTP). Zimmerman was the first full-time employee of the fledging new academic program in 1994 and went on to become the co-director with Howard Zehr in 2002, remaining in that position until her departure in 2007. Ruth left CJP to join Mennonite Central Committee as a regional area representative, giving leadership to programs in India, Nepal and Afghanistan. After three years, she joined World Vision US as a senior program manager and has had responsibility for both Asian and African development programs. She plans to retire from that position in May of 2020 and return to live in Harrisonburg, Va.

Keynote Speaker: Alicia Garza

3:30 - 4:30 p.m.

Alicia Garza, principal, Black Futures Lab, believes that Black communities deserve what all communities deserve -- to be powerful in every aspect of their lives. An innovator, strategist, organizer, and cheeseburger enthusiast, she is the co-creator of #BlackLivesMatter and the Black Lives Matter Global Network, an international organizing project to end state violence and oppression against Black people. The Black Lives Matter Global Network now has 40 chapters in 4 countries. Alicia also founded the Black Futures Lab to make Black communities powerful in politics. In 2018, the Black Futures Lab conducted the largest survey of Black communities in over 150 years.

Alicia serves as the Strategy & Partnerships Director for the National Domestic Workers Alliance, the nation’s premier voice for millions of domestic workers in the United States. She is also the co-founder of Supermajority, a new home for women’s activism. She shares her thoughts on the women transforming power in Marie Claire magazine every month.

We will send a free copy of her recently published book "The Purpose of Power: How We Come Together When We Fall Apart" to the first 100 persons who pay, through the registration link, for shipping and handling. It is a wonderful read!

Sunday, June 6:

Where does CJP go from here?

11 - 12:30 p.m.

Past Events - October 2019

EMUTenTalks (Special 25th CJP anniversary edition) | Celebrate. Reflect. Dream.

October 12 - MainStage Theater, University Common, 2 p.m.

During EMU's Homecoming and Family Weekend, EMUTenTalks focused on CJP's anniversary theme “Celebrate, Reflect, Dream.” Inspiring 10-minute presentations were made by three transformative peacebuilders, followed by Q&A. The TenTalks were moderated by Liza Heavener ‘07.

John E. Sharp, father of Michael J. Sharp '05, historian, storyteller, Kilimanjaro "dream hiker," recently retired as history and Bible professor at Hesston College in Kansas after 13 years of teaching. He spends his time researching and writing, leading Anabaptist and Mennonite history tours to Europe and Central Asia, and promoting peacebuilding. Sharp is also a caretaker for the work and life story of his son, United Nations Armed Group Expert Michael J. “MJ” Sharp, who was murdered on March 12, 2017, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Tammy Krause MA ‘99, restorative justice pioneer in defense-victim outreach has worked on federal death penalty cases throughout the United States for the past two decades. She is the national defense-victim outreach coordinator for the Federal Death Penalty Resource Counsel Project. Krause pioneered the legal profession’s defense-victim outreach, which seeks to establish relationships between the defense attorneys and survivors and victims’ family members of violent crime in an effort to bridge the historical gap between the two. Krause holds a PhD from the University of Manchester School of Law in England and a master’s degree in conflict transformation from the Center for Justice and Peacebuilding at Eastern Mennonite University.

Darsheel Kaur MA ‘17 is an educator, cultural worker and artist, youth advocate and restorative practitioner. As a Punjabi immigrant, a student of Sikhi and a woman of color, she draws strength and courage from her identities and uplifts the beauty and opportunities in diversity. She completed her undergraduate degree at Wright State University in organizational leadership with minors in youth and community engagement and Spanish. She graduated with a master’s degree in conflict transformation from the Center for Justice and Peacebuilding at Eastern Mennonite University, focusing on restorative justice/racial justice and psycho-social trauma and resilience.


October 12 - Common Grounds, University Common, 3 p.m.

View the CJP at 25 Gathering photo gallery.

Past Events - February 2020

SPI Community Day

February 14 - Martin Chapel, Seminary Building at EMU, 8:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.

Learn more.

April 2021

LovEMU Day

Hall of Nations, University Commons

Join us for this fun day of friendly competition and help CJP win the departmental fund raising prize, during EMU’s annual LovEMU day celebrations. Check our LovEMU day website for more information.