At the heart of the first e-journal published by CJP is an invitation. Readers are welcomed to reflect along with co-authors Professor Jayne Docherty and Mikhala Lantz- Simmons, MA ’16, on “A Genealogy of Ideas.”
In the first issue, titled What is Old is New Again, the “Peacebuilding Wheel of Values” [see below] includes key areas of strategic peacebuilding and major fields of practice and career focus.
Are you a peacebuilder? Are you doing work that contributes to the building of peace? Where does your work fit? How does your work fit?
Later, a two-page graphic traces the historic origins and chronology of peacebuilding activity. It diagrams nearly 40 years, from the Cold War and apartheid in South Africa to the war in Syria, beginning with Adam Curle’s work in Nigeria in 1967 (just six years later, Curle, who was Quaker, became the chair of the first peace studies program in the world at Bradford University). A host of similar peace church-motivated movements pre-date the 1992 United Nations Agenda for Peace, often seen as a formative influence in the field.
Expanding the narrative leads to other questions: What is the lineage of your work? How does the peacebuilding work of civil society and UN peacebuilding work influence and cross-fertilize?
Donors envision inspirational storytelling
The series will be published at intervals over the next year. Volume 2 will focus on models of conflict analysis and basic tools. The third volume features stories of restorative justice and trauma healing work, while the fourth is on worldviewing.
The series is financed by James and Marian Payne, the founding donors of CJP. The Paynes provided a generous, open-hearted directive: tell the story of peacebuilding in a way “that inspires people to action, so that others can work at peace and justice themselves,” says Docherty, academic programs director and professor of leadership and public policy at CJP. “We asked ourselves, ‘How do you write something like that?’ We wanted something with depth, but not too academic and easily accessible.”
Docherty partnered with then-graduate student Lantz-Simmons, who brought to the project skills in video production and graphic design and a fluency in creating multi-media environments. For example, a podcast of a conversation between Catherine Barnes and Lisa Schirch, well-known practitioners, is embedded in this first issue.
“We are more and more aware that this is a multi-textual world,” Docherty says. “There are many more ‘alive’ things you can do if you don’t restrict yourself to a book.”
The first issue was produced by Lantz-Simmons as part of her practicum, the final piece of her master’s degree in conflict transformation. She’ll stay with the project to work on the next installments.
“It’s a way to really contextualize this program,” Lantz-Simmons says. “I’m interested in different mediums of sharing information, and it also lined up with my values of democratizing information.”
She has proceeded with the goal of making the e-journals full of inspiring information that is presented in an enticing and inviting format.
“A lot of things aren’t fun to read because of how they look,” Lantz-Simmons says. “It’s important to make something appealing not just textually but also visually.”
Docherty says that creativity “opened up a lot of opportunities.” She is hopeful that the project will engage CJP alumni, invite current practitioners into a wider conversation, encourage others to consider CJP programs, and more generally spark readers to consider how they can be engaged in peacemaking.
“Everyone can do this, and we want to make sure people hear that,” Docherty says. “You don’t have to be a professional. Anyone can be more conflict-competent so they know what to do when conflict happens. Anyone can be a peacebuilder.”