Activist, amateur filmmaker, father

Jeff Heie, MA ’00

Chorlton-cum-Hardy, Manchester, England

Before enrolling in EMU in 1996, Jeff Heie and his soon-to-be-wife Tammy Krause joined two other volunteers in working for Christian Peacemaker Teams in Washington D.C. on violence reduction. The foursome did crime analysis, a listening project, organized neighborhood patrols, and facilitated community meetings.

Jeff then moved in the summer of 1995 to help launch Christian Peacemaker’s Hebron project on the West Bank of Palestine, before rejoining Tammy in Harrisonburg.

For his master’s degree practicum, Jeff joined fellow CTP (now the CJP) students Nathan Barge and Tim Ruebke in trying to put something they called “restorative justice initiatives” on firm footing in Harrisonburg.

After their first son, Noah, was born in July 1998, Jeff and Tammy agreed that her work with crime victims in federal death-penalty cases was at a critical stage of development and had great potential for making positive changes in the national criminal justice system. So Tammy kept working, and Jeff became the at-home parent for Noah, joined three years later by another son, Sam. The boys are now 12- and 9-years-old.

“Having made the decision to be the primary caregiver to my sons (which turned out not to be a good career decision!), I am humbled and often frustrated by my lack of ability to resolve conflict within my own family,” he wrote in an e-mail to Peacebuilder from their current home in Manchester, England.

Concerned about the kind of earth his sons will inherit, Jeff has become an environmental activist on the local level. He chairs Chorlton’s Big Green Festival, an event that he helped found and that he anticipates will continue annually. The festival educates the Chorlton community about issues such as local food production, renewable energy, bicycling, carbon footprints, energy efficiency, and green building.

In December 2009, Jeff released a short film titled “Glocal,” viewable at Aimed at a US audience, the film challenges viewers to become more aware of the impact of their daily routines on the environment, international relations, and personal health.