Because of the education I received and the deep friendships that I developed during my time at CJP, I consider myself to be a faith-rooted and reflexive peacebuilder – someone who is most concerned with the traumas that seem to flourish in organizations who employ other faith-rooted and reflexive peacebuilders.
My thesis for CJP was entitled “Self-Care May Not Be Enough: Secondary Traumatic Stress and Organizations: A Multiple Methods Study” and through qualitative interviewing and an autoethnography, the risk of secondary traumatic stress was highlighted for non-licensed practitioners who work in the peacebuilding, development, education and advocacy fields, as well as for those who research and write about trauma.
Since my thesis research, I am starting to coach fellow peacebuilders as we learn to recognize the traumagenic systems at work within organizations, and the ways that this harms us, and the work that we want to accomplish.
I am also the Associate Director at the Center for Interfaith Engagement (CIE) at EMU, which involves strategic relationship- and network-building to confront Islamophobia and anti-Semitism both on- and off-campus. We also support Muslim and Jewish visiting scholars while they are teaching classes at EMU, provide faculty and staff with interfaith resources and coaching, and work with other departments to build welcoming spaces for non-Christian students, faculty and staff who attend school and/or work at EMU. I was the interim director of CIE from July 2016 to August 2017.
I graduated with an M.A. in Conflict Transformation from CJP in 2017 and I am almost finished with a Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Leadership and Social Entrepreneurship. I also have a B.A. in Theater and Psychology, with a minor in Justice, Peace and Conflict Studies from EMU.
Along with trauma and interfaith engagement, my other areas of research and practice interest are organizational change and development, working for narrative change using speculative fiction, and transforming conflicts through appreciative inquiry processes. I am also on a journey to be able to recognize the myriad ways that whiteness shows up in my life, and to interrogate the systems of oppression that benefit me unjustly.