‘We are a Storytelling Species’: Host Patience Kaumau featured in ‘Peacebuilder’ podcast final episode

On this week’s episode of “Peacebuilder” podcast, host Patience Kamau MA ’17 is interviewed by Lindsay Martin, associate director of development for the Center for Justice and Peacebuilding. 

The podcast is a reprise of a live interview from March 2021 (follow the link to view it on CJP’s Facebook page).

The episode is the conclusion of the podcast’s second season. More than 6,500 listeners in 102 countries and 1,239 cities across the globe enjoyed Season I.

“Peacebuilder” is a production of Eastern Mennonite University’s Center for Justice and Peacebuilding, as it celebrates its 25th anniversary. The original celebration, planned for summer 2020, was rescheduled to June 4-6, 2021, because of the pandemic.

Check the anniversary celebration website in coming days for links to recorded sessions from the event.

The podcast is among just a handful covering the general peacebuilding field. It is available on EMU’s Peacebuilder website, Apple Podcasts on iTunes, Spotify, Google Podcast, Stitcher, iHeart Radio, TuneIn and other podcast directories.

Kamau, a native of Kenya, developed the idea for a podcast featuring the world of peacebuilding after becoming an avid listener and sampler of audio storytelling. She proposed the series in the summer of 2019 as a way to celebrate CJP’s 25th anniversary. Along with her regular responsibilities as then-assistant to the center’s executive director, Kamau was also chairing the anniversary celebration planning committee.

“It felt like a really natural tie-in to have this medium that can hold story. As human beings, we’re a species that is made of and responds to story in a very specific way. And podcasts lend excellently well to that,” she said. Add that the presence of many founders and co-founders, were still at CJP or in the peacebuilding world, “it felt important to capture their thoughts.” 

The podcast project is an interesting intersection of her academic degrees — she graduated from EMU with a degree in computer science and business, and a master’s degree in conflict transformation — and also her professional experience. Currently the digital media strategist and designer for CJP, Kamau has also worked at EMU in development and institutional research at EMU.

Sharing about peacebuilding in the podcast not only captures oral history but also passes along different ideas.

“Personally, I think peacebuilding or conflict transformation is a way of life,” Kamau says. “Yes, it is a field of study, but I also think that it is a way of life. We use conflict transformation in high level conflict resolution, but also on an interpersonal sort of level; how we relate to one another as friends, as siblings, as spouses, as lovers, we actually have richer relationships. So I see it as a way of self-actualization, if we can engage with these ideas and concepts in such an accessible format…[Hearing these ideas] helps people live into deeper ways of who they actually are, the divine within ourselves, within all of us.” 

Listen for more on 

  • Kamau’s partnership with composer Luke Mullet and sound mixer Steven Angello 
  • How she works with podcast guests to prepare for their interview
  • Feedback from listeners 
  • The challenge and opportunity of creating engaging digital spaces.

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