A trailer to Peacebuilder, a podcast by the Center for Justice and Peacebuilding (CJP), at Eastern Mennonite University, in Harrisonburg, Va.
We here at CJP are celebrating 25 years since our founding. We’ve been celebrating this milestone since July first 2019 and will carry on through the end of June 30, 2020. This podcast delves into who we’ve been, who we are and who we hope to be.
David Brubaker: Yeah, there’s much to celebrate!
Theme music plays
Host: Hi there tenders and weavers of peacebuilding. My name is patience kamau and I am the host of peacebuilder, a podcast by the Center for Justice and Peacebuilding, or CJP, at Eastern Mennonite University in Harrisonburg, Virginia. We here at CJP are celebrating 25 years since our founding. We’ve been celebrating this milestone since July 1st 2019 and we’ll carry on through the end of June 30, 2020. This podcast delves into who we’ve been, who we are and who we hope to be.
David Brubaker: I think the three academic pillars of CJP have been really significant and that is bringing together conflict transformation, restorative justice and trauma awareness and resilience. Those, those three pillars are unique. There’s no other program that I’m aware of in the country or around the world that brings together those three pillars in the same way.
Gloria Rhodes: Because of John Paul being here has influenced and his writing and his thinking around conflict transformation as a process that happens in relationships, that conflict changes the nature of our relationships, many times for the worse and destructive ways. And so he was concerned about, how do we understand that and then what do we do about it? So descriptive and prescriptive, how can we engage in ways that are less destructive, less harmful to people. And so that has, that has always been part of my understanding of conflict transformation.
Barry Hart: When we traumatize another person, we are in essence traumatizing ourselves.
Katie Mansfield: As I was studying restorative justice and grappling with some, frankly harm that I had done, I received an out of the blue email from a person I had harmed. Um, suggesting forgiveness and mercy and so it was really extraordinary that like being here, learning about this, really engaging my body, mind and spirit in you know, how to address harms including the ones that I have done. And then having whatever energy came from that invite and magnetize an email from someone on the other side of the globe, um, was really extraordinary.
Carl Stauffer: To apply social movement theory to the field is new and it causes some people a lot of angst and worry and threatening because they can’t, it’s not controllable. It’s, it’s not predictable and we have to let go of that, but I think that’s precisely the point. We have to let go of that. That’s power.
Jayne Docherty: I think the field of conflict resolution was afraid to talk about worldview conflicts. They really didn’t want to go there because they at some gut-level understood straight up mediation and negotiation the way we’re talking about it might not work, but what I found is a couple of really important things. When there’s a crisis and it gets bad, it’s usually because the parties have a combination, I call it kind of a toxic combination of shared and different assumptions about the world.
Bill Goldberg: Recently, the university as a whole has acknowledged that we need the ability to do professional development and academic training other than just the two semester format, that’s standard at universities. We need to be able to do short term, we need to be able to do online, we need to do things that people who can’t just drop everything and come to class for a semester can, can handle. And so we’ve been working on how we can put that in place.
Janelle Myers-B: And so I started in the fall of ’99 as a work study student and that was 20 falls ago and I got stuck and never left.
patience kamau: Has it felt like you got stuck?
Janelle Myers-B: No. It has been deliberate choices along the way to stay.
Howard Zehr: A work of art can’t be done by committee. It has, it needs a, it needs the steadying perspective of a person and I didn’t want to control it. I mean I had people, I would, everyone I did, I would run it past people in the field and so forth. I had changing group of people that by reference, a reference group for each one. But I felt like it had to have a consistency.
Johonna Turner: This is also an example of these, uh, just transnational protests where people are saying, it’s not enough to just do something in my one city or in my one country, but let’s actually do this all together connected.
Theme music begins to play softly in the background.
patience kamau: Join us to hear the full versions of these conversations. The Peacebuilder podcast premiers on Wednesday, January 22nd. We’ll talk with current CJP faculty and staff about what, in this 25th year, they celebrate about CJP reflecting on what has been done well, what could have been done better, and dream about what their hopes are for a CJP at 50. So that you don’t miss an episode, subscribe now wherever you listen to or access your podcasts.
Theme music gets louder and then ends.