CJP’s Top News of 2020

Famous visitors, unique creative contributions and impactful work were among the highlights of the year’s top news stories from EMU’s Center for Justice and Peacebuilding.

Click here to view the university’s top news list. A couple of the articles below appear on that list, too.

And here’s our Top Photos of 2020.


MOST READ: ‘Peacebuilder’ podcast episode previews

Approximately 2,400 readers tuned in for previews that we published to promote separate episodes of the inaugural season of the “Peacebuilder” podcast. This ambitious endeavor of our 25th anniversary celebration was the creation of Patience Kamau, a 2017 graduate of the program and also chair of CJP’s 25th anniversary committee. 

Over the 10-episode series, she sat down with CJP faculty and staff members to reflect on the history of CJP and their own peacebuilding work. 

Cumulative unique downloads of Season One totaled approximately 6,310, according to analytics provided by Kamau. Most people are finding the podcasts through Apple Podcasts, Spotify and directly from the Peacebuilder website.

Look for the first episode of  the second season in February.


2. Pádraig Ó Tuama’s visit

More than 2,000 unique pageviews to our preview coverage heralded the immense interest in poet, theologian and conflict mediator Pádraig Ó Tuama and his September 2020 virtual visit. For a limited time, you can still view recordings of his seven appearances over the five-day residency, including events hosted by the seminary, NPR affiliate WMRA and JMU’s Furious Flower Poetry Center. His visit was the result of some visionary dreaming and the leadership of CJP staffer Patience Kamau MA ‘17, who chaired the planning committee and moderated many of the events. Ó Tuama spoke on a wide range of topics, including a discussion specifically for the Center for Justice and Peacebuilding on “Insights and Mistakes from Ireland for Isolated Times.”


3. CJP’s 25th anniversary and Alicia Garza 

An announcement that activist Alicia Garza would headline CJP’s summer anniversary celebration drew 1,500 reads. She was to be the featured speaker at an evening gala during what promised to be a full weekend celebrating CJP’s 25 years of global impact.

The event was cancelled and rescheduled for June 2021. Alicia Garza is still slated to speak.

Now billed “25+1,” the event will be all virtual.

Check out www.emu.edu/cjp/anniversary as plans are unveiled.


4. STAR founder updates ‘Little Book’

Carolyn Yoder, with translations of the “Little Book of Trauma Healing.”

It is no surprise that an updated edition of a “little book” that already had a worldwide following and global impact would be of interest to our readers. Our profile about Carolyn Yoder and the new edition released by Skyhorse Publishing in June drew approximately 700 readers. The article featured a photo of Carolyn holding translations of the book. In the past 15 years since the first edition has been published, the book has been translated into Portuguese, Korean, Burmese, Spanish, Russian, and Dari and other languages are in process. 

The core concepts of the Little Book of Trauma Healing are based on the curriculum of the Strategies for Trauma Awareness and Resilience program (STAR), which Yoder, as the first STAR director, created with faculty of EMU’s Center for Justice and Peacebuilding in the wake of Sept. 11, 2001. 


5. CJP draws record class

Who is joining us? More than 500 readers were definitely curious as CJP welcomed 30 new graduate students from around the United States and across the world to their first full semester in master’s degree or graduate certificate programs. We also heard that reading about this new class of amazing “students who are colleagues”  affirmed some interest among donors to contribute to scholarships and grant funds.


6. Faculty work

Here’s four articles on our faculty, who are active as scholars and practitioners, that garnered a total of more than 1,200 reads:


7. Peacebuilders of the Year

Alumni Cole Parke and Emmanuel Bombande have been named as the Center for Justice and Peacebuilding’s 2020 Peacebuilder of the Year honorees.

Sharing recognition of our alumni is one of the most rewarding parts of producing CJP news, and our readers are always pleased to hear when a light shines upon the work of those within CJP broad network. CJP itself honored two peacebuilders this past year, Cole Parke and Emmanuel Bombande, with the annual Peacebuilder of the Year award, expanded to two recipients in recognition of the center’s 25th anniversary.  

We’d love to hear your top news of 2020 in the comment box below. Happy New Year!

Special thanks to web analyst Joshua Lyons for his contributions to this article.

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