Peacebuilding Program to Celebrate 10th Anniversary

Hundreds of visitors and local residents will gather in Harrisonburg, Va., the first weekend in June to celebrate the first decade of a program that has grown to be one of the most-recognized peacebuilding centers in the world.

The Conflict Transformation Program (CTP) at Eastern Mennonite University began with the enrollment of two American graduate students in 1994. It has now seen more than 1,500 people from 83 countries take one or more of its courses, with 160 of these earning a masters degree or graduate certificate in Conflict Transformation.

“The unique aspect of CTP is that it starts from the analysis of the self and then goes on to look at communal, societal, organizational, regional, and international conflicts,” said Kaushikee, a 2002 masters graduate of CTP and current professor of peace and conflict resolution at a major university in New Delhi, India.

“The program is a beautiful combination of theory and practice. It not only influences our head but touches the heart,” she added.

Selam Hussein, a Mennonite from Ethiopia and the chief organizer of the 10th Anniversary Celebration of CTP, said that the three-day event is designed to give visitors a taste of the skills, techniques and theories for which CTP has a worldwide reputation.

The celebration begins at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, June 3, with a dinner speech by CTP founding director John Paul Lederach. It continues through a series of 15 classes and workshops on Saturday, June 4, and ends on June 5 with a Sunday-morning sermon on peace by EMU President Loren E. Swartzendruber.

Entertainment is offered on Friday and Saturday nights, with a concert by renowned folk musician John McCutcheon on Friday and a storytelling performance by Israeli-born actress Noa Baum on Saturday.

Celebration participants will include more than 100 students from several dozen countries who will be attending the 2005 session of EMU