Kirstin De Mello has a rich and varied background in community-based peacebuilding and dialogue education. For the past 15 years, Kirstin, along with her partner, Merwyn, has supported peacebuilding efforts with communities experiencing violence. Her work in Zimbabwe included facilitating workshops on dialogue for universities and helping to establish a national peacebuilding network. In Chicago, Illinois, Kirstin led restorative justice Circles in schools and trained teachers in restorative approaches.

From 2014-2020, Kirstin and Merwyn served as peace advisors for Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) with local partners in Afghanistan and later, Bangladesh, weaving peacebuilding into local education, agriculture and livelihood initiatives. She has facilitated numerous workshops in several countries on conflict transformation, peacebuilding, restorative justice and trauma awareness.

Currently, Kirstin is Program and Communications Coordinator for MCC’s National Peace & Justice Ministries in Washington, DC, where she supports advocacy and education initiatives on racial justice, immigration, climate change and peacebuilding. She and Merwyn live in an intentional Franciscan community committed to nonviolent living in the heart of the nation’s capital. Kirstin wholeheartedly grows vegetables and native plants at the Wangari Community Garden and the Dorothy Day Catholic Worker and MCC’s DC office gardens.

This profile was last updated June 10, 2022