Special Event to Spotlight SPI at EMU

An Eastern Mennonite University program that has gained a wide reputation for training persons for global peacemaking may be lesser known right in its own back yard.

“Hope for Peace Day,” a day-long event aimed at providing firsthand exposure to the multi-pronged Center for Justice and Peacebuilding (CJP) program – especially its Summer Peacebuilding Institute – will be held Saturday, May 19 on the EMU campus.

“The Summer Peacebuilding Institute is such an enriching experience for the international practitioners who come here that we want to share that experience with others,” said Phoebe Kilby, associate director of development at EMU with a focus on CJP support. “Participants in Hope for Peace Day will meet SPI students who come from more than 50 countries, ask them about issues in their home countries and discuss ways to prevent and transform conflict and achieve social justice without violence.”

Following an opening ceremony at 9:30 a.m., concurrent workshops will be offered on a variety of topics that relate to the overall thrust of CJP – from “forgiveness and reconciliation across religious divides” and “understanding conflict dynamics in congregations” to “Aikido – a martial art of peace” to “interactive peacebuilding for kids.”

Additional workshops led by CJP/SPI faculty will run in the afternoon.

Other activities include an evening dinner meeting, a concert of peace and justice music with Tony Brown, artist-in-residence at Hesston (Kan.) College and an international dance.

Most activities will be held in the seminary building at EMU. Continuing education unit credits are available on request. Activities will be provided for children age 5 and older.

CJP, a graduate program at EMU now in its 12th year, was founded to further the personal and professional development of individuals as peacebuilders and to strengthen the peacebuilding capacities of the institutions they serve.

Today, CJP encompasses the MA in conflict transformation degree, the Practice Institute and the Summer Peacebuilding Institute. The Practice Institute includes the STAR (Strategies for Trauma Awareness and Resilence) program and Come to the Table, a project that works at racial understanding through examining the historical roots of slavery and possibilities for reconciliation.

Some 2,6000 persons from around the world have taken part in CJP educational and training programs since its inception.

For more information on “Hope for Peace Day,” contact Phoebe Kilby at 540-432-4581 or visit www.emu.edu/cjp/hopeforpeace.