Dr. Hizkias Assefa is professor of conflict studies (SPI only) at EMU and is an active peacebuilding practitioner and trainer in many parts of the world. Operating out of Nairobi, Kenya, he has worked as a mediator and facilitator of reconciliation processes at political and community levels in a number of civil wars in Africa, Latin America, and Asia including Rwanda, Nigeria, Senegal, Sri Lanka, Israel/Palestine, and Guatemala. In Kenya he worked with the African Union and United Nations at mediating between the government and the opposition parties involved in the 2007 election-sparked violence. This work led to the power-sharing government that governed the country between 2008 and 2013. Recently, he mediated the conflict between the Government of South Sudan and the South Sudan Democratic Army/Movement that led to the peace agreement of May 9, 2014 which is in the process of being implemented. Dr. Assefa has served as a consultant on conflict resolution and peacebuilding under situations of humanitarian disaster to the United Nations, the European Union, and several international and national Non-governmental organizations (NGOs). He holds an LLM from Northwestern University, MS in economics, MPA in public management and a PhD in public and international affairs from the University of Pittsburgh.
Watch Dr. Hizkias Assefa speak on Philosophy & Praxis of Reconciliation
Born and raised in Lebanon, Myriam started exploring the world as a foreign exchange student at the age of 15. Since then, she has majored in political science and international affairs and went on to pursue a graduate degree in Conflict Transformation at EMU (EMU) as a Fulbright scholar. Myriam’s experience includes working in resettlement with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and in academia as a Teaching Fellow with EMU. Her research interests include postwar societies, primordial uses of sectarianism, social justice in development and aid, mediation, countering violent extremism, and the use of the arts for research.
Lenore Bajare-Dukes has spent years working with arts, media, and dialogue methods to elicit truths and prepare communities to acknowledge and transform historical harms. She currently serves as Project Coordinator for the Truth-Telling, Racial Healing & Reparations mapping initiative with Restorative Justice for Oakland Youth (RJOY), researching and building networks between grassroots initiatives to address violence against African-Americans across the United States. She also tracks debates on Confederate monuments and memorials in her hometown of Charlottesville, Virginia and her former practicum site of Richmond, Virginia. She holds an MA in conflict transformation from the Center for Justice and Peacebuilding at EMU.
Lenore is a member of EMU’s Inside Out Playback Theatre troupe; while at EMU, she co-designed and piloted workshops for her fellow white Americans engaged in anti-racism work, using Playback and dialogue methods to explore their own racial identity formation and support each other in uncovering and resisting their personal participation in white supremacy. She previously spent her practicum with The Conciliation Project, a theatre-based truth-telling organization in Richmond, VA. Lenore has presented at conferences on and is currently writing about her theory of the role of arts in weaving ‘multi-vocal relational truth’ in divided communities. In her spare time, she is a collaborating producer and member of the planning team of the documentary podcastThe Trump Diaries: A People’s History of the Forty-Fifth Presidency, which documents the voices of people affected in very different ways by the current US presidency.
Previously, Lenore worked for the peacebuilding NGO Search for Common Ground in its first year in post-revolutionary Tunisia, where she helped design and support programs to help Tunisian youth build power across ideological differences to shape the country’s transition to democracy. Her background fuels her ongoing commitment to bridging conversations about conflict transformation in U.S. contexts and in the field of “international peacebuilding." She speaks fluent French and English and basic Spanish and Arabic, and is now based in central Pennsylvania.
Dr. Catherine Barnes has worked for conflict transformation and social change for more than thirty years. She is an affiliate faculty member of the Center for Justice and Peacebuilding at EMU and a freelance practitioner and researcher. Catherine has extensive experience facilitating conversations on challenging topics, in locations ranging from the UN General Assembly Hall to village gathering places. She is increasingly focused on designing whole-of-system deliberative dialogue processes and training other practitioners in these skills.
Examples of recent processes she has helped to design and facilitate range from the Mennonite Church USA’s Future Church Summit, a workshop for the Afghan High Peace Council, a faculty retreat day, and a community dialogue on Honor and Heritage in her home town. She finds that underlying process design principles can span these widely divergent contexts.
As teacher, trainer, researcher, policy advocate, and consultant, she has worked with civil society activists, diplomats and politicians, and armed groups to build their capacities for preventing violence and using conflict as an opportunity for addressing the underlying systems giving rise to grievance. She has worked with numerous peacebuilding and human rights organizations, including Conciliation Resources and Minority Rights Group International. She has written widely on peace processes, civil society roles in peacebuilding, and on issues related to statebuilding, conflict prevention, genocide and minority rights.
Catherine holds a doctorate in Conflict Analysis and Resolution from George Mason University. She has worked in more than 30 countries and, for the past eight years, has been working in support of transitional processes in Burma / Myanmar. She now lives in Staunton Virginia with her husband and son, with whom she loves to garden, to cook and to retreat into the wilds.
Dr. Ram Bhagat is a longtime educator, arts innovator, and peacemaker. Ram is committed to healing trauma in classrooms, communities, and consciousness. He is the visionary behind the Richmond Youth Peace Project (RYPP), a dynamic program that promotes a culture of nonviolence to the city’s youth, through innovative, youth-led peacemaking initiatives. He also serves on the board of The Conciliation Project (TCP), which uses active and challenging dramatic works to promote open and honest dialogue about racism and oppression in America in order to repair its damaging legacy.
Dr. Bhagat received his doctorate in Educational Leadership from VCU. He earned a Master’s of Education in School and Community Counseling from Virginia State University and his Bachelor of Science in Microbiology from Virginia State. His post-doctoral work is in the areas of Restorative Justice, Trauma Healing, Social Emotional Learning, and Culturally Responsive Mindfulness practices.
Dr. Bhagat is the newly hired Manager of School Climate and Culture Strategy for Richmond Public Schools. His primary role is to envision, design, and connect trauma informed practices and restorative practices to schools and communities throughout the division. He intends to help lead RPS and its partners, like VCU, in the creation of a sustainable and transformative model of equitable and just learning environments for all students.
Dr. Bhagat is actively involved in healing the effects of racial trauma within communities of color as a leader of Emotional Emancipation Circles in Virginia. Ram was an inaugural member of the International Healing and Rebuilding Our Communities training for trainers in Burundi, East Africa, held in August 2011. This transformative program facilitates healing community trauma, particularly trauma caused by violence, war, and genocide. Ram began teaching Strategies for Trauma Awareness and Resilience (STAR) in 2017, after extensive coursework, training, and a supervised apprenticeship with Elaine Zook-Barge.
In the early 1990s, Ram co-founded Drums No Guns (DNG) world percussion ensemble to engage youth in “healing community with rhythm.” More than two decades later, the DNG Foundation continues to work with youth traumatized by gun violence around the country, using drumming, dance, and other culturally responsive contemplative practices.
Dr. Bhagat uses the drum to unite people of all ages, of all races. This award winning science teacher created a series of innovative curricula for Yale University, through the National initiative to Strengthen Public School Teaching. His 3D curriculum is based on the principles of Aesthetic Education and Arts Integration, which infuses drumming, dance, and drama into the Chemistry curriculum.
His approach to Trauma Sensitive Restorative Justice in Education is rooted in the science of yoga and indigenous mindfulness practices. He has been studying various forms of yoga with Dr. Janeshwar Upadyay since 1975 and completed Integral Yoga teacher training in 2001.
A native son of New Haven, Conn., Ram lives with his blended family in Richmond, VA. He is an adjunct faculty member with EMU’s Graduate Teacher Education program and the Center for Justice and Peacebuilding.
Dr. David Brubaker is Director of the MBA and Masters of Organizational Leadership (MAOL) programs and an Associate Professor of Organizational Studies at EMU who also regularly teaches in the Center for Justice and Peacebuilding. He has 30 years of experience in workplace mediation, training, and organizational consulting.
Brubaker also has 15 years of leadership and management experience, including five years as executive director of a community development organization in Arizona. He is the author of numerous articles on conflict transformation and chapters in several books and is a co-author of The Little Book of Healthy Organizations. He earned an MBAin global economic development from Eastern University, and a PhD from the University of Arizona specializing in religion and organizations.
Mark Chupp is the Director of the Community Innovation Network and Assistant Professor at the Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences at Case Western Reserve University. As a young adult, Mark lived in an intentional Christian community in an urban neighborhood suffering from violence and economic disinvestment. He then became a community organizing around youth and militarism in Syracuse, New York. These earlier experiences shaped Mark’s commitment to organizing for social change. He is an internationally recognized leader and trainer in community building and community change. He lived in Central America and served as a resource for communities and groups experiencing civil war. Recent projects include serving for two years as a community-building strategist to the Annie E. Casey Foundation in its work in East Baltimore. Mark serves as a trainer and consultant in strength-based approaches to community change in divided communities. He is a founding trustee of the National Peace Academy. In 2016, he was named a faculty member of Asset-Based Community Development Institute at DePaul University.
Jodie Geddes currently serves as the Community Organizing Coordinator at Restorative Justice for Oakland Youth (RJOY). Her role involves designing and implementing community organizing trainings with and for young people. The trainings examine the intersection of organizing and restorative justice through the use of theatre, storytelling, and speculative fiction. As a Jamaican native having grown up in Brooklyn, NY Jodie uses her story as a catalyst for transforming systems. Jodie believes that restorative justice is far beyond a tool and when we isolate it to a process only meant to deal with harm we loose the ancestral spirit of this practice. She believes in the power of restorative justice and wants to challenge the field to think deeper about restorative justice as a cultural shift.
Jodie has an MA in conflict transformation from EMU’s Center for Justice and Peacebuilding. During her time at EMU she worked with numerous community organizations while leading campaigns for racial healing and the transformation of systems of oppression. For Jodie, it is important to find ways to engage community members both at the micro and macro level through an intersectional and youth centered lens.
Jodie Geddes is also President of the Board of Managers for Coming to the Table(CTTT). CTTT seeks to acknowledge the history of slavery in the United States in order to heal and transform its legacy. They provide leadership training, resources, and other tools through four interrelated practices.
She is also a published poet and writer, having her work featured on the online platform For Harriet and Blavity.
Barry Hart is professor of trauma, identity and conflict studies at EMU. He has worked in Liberia, Sierra Leone, Burundi and Somaliland as well as Northern Ireland and Haiti. His long-term work in the former Yugoslavia included conflict transformation and prejudice reduction training and psychosocial consultation. Dr. Hart is currently working with colleagues from different parts of the world on guidelines for the integration of psychosocial support and peacebuilding. He is the author of the book, Peacebuilding in Traumatized Societies, and a recent article in the journal Intervention, titled Psychosocial Peacebuilding in Bosnia and Herzegovina: approaches to relational and social change". His recent chapter on Dignity in Negotiation:Its Transforming Power can be found in The Handbook of International Negotiation. Dr. Hart holds a PhD in conflict analysis and resolution from George Mason University.
Michelle Jackett coordinates a peace centre at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada that catalyzes collaborative, inter-disciplinary, and multi-sector approaches to the advancement of peace (2014-present). Michelle specializes in the area of restorative justice, teaching a course on the subject at the University of Waterloo (2013-present). She is a trained mediator, circle keeper, and group facilitator. Michelle is co-author of The Little Book of Restorative Justice for Sexual Abuse, along with Judah Oudshoorn and Lorraine Stutzman Amstutz.
Michelle has a graduate degree in Conflict Transformation from the Centre for Justice and Peacebuilding at EMU (2013) and a BA in Peace and Conflict Studies from the University of Waterloo (2011).
Michelle has enthusiasm for supporting the development of strategic, sustainable partnerships between peacebuilding initiatives. She is also an RJ enthusiast who finds deep satisfaction in engaging in community-owned approaches to justice and healing.
Michelle is thrilled to be returning to Harrisonburg to teach at SPI this May!
Joy Kreider serves as the curriculum writer for InnerCHANGE: An order of Christians among the poor. She creates trauma training materials for staff who live in poor neighborhoods around the world. With InnerCHANGE she served marginalized incarcerated youth in California and low-income families in Cambodia. In both places she learned firsthand the deep impact of trauma in the lives of her friends and neighbors.
Joy has a B.A. in Psychology and worked as a caseworker with adults with developmental disabilities and with mental illness in both inpatient and outpatient settings before entering graduate school. She has a Ph.D. in Neuroscience and worked as a postdoctoral researcher studying learning and memory before joining InnerCHANGE. She is also a spiritual director. She has offered trauma trainings in various community settings in the States and abroad. Now as a graduate student at EMU she seeks to understand how restorative justice practices and trauma resolution work inform each other and can becombined to bring healing to those who have been impacted by trauma.
Katie Mansfield is the lead trainer for the Strategies for Trauma Awareness and Resilience (STAR) program within EMU’s Center for Justice and Peacebuilding.
Before joining STAR, Katie worked with Mennonite Central Committee Kenya for three years as peacebuilding coordinator. Previously she was an apprentice with John Paul Lederach at Notre Dame’s Kroc Institute, researching, writing, planning and network building with initiatives in Colombia, Argentina, Thailand and Nepal and linking Kroc’s alumni network. She also worked with CDA Collaborative Learning Projects’ Listening Project and engaged in peace education work in Davao (Mindanao), Boston, and Delhi. Prior to working in peacebuilding, she worked for eight years with a major multi-national bank in New York and London.
Katie is a PhD candidate in Expressive Arts and Conflict Transformation with the European Graduate School in Switzerland, focused on embodied, arts-based pedagogy for facing chronic violence. She completed her MA in International Peace Studies (Kroc Institute) in 2008 and her AB in History at Harvard University in 1996. She has also completed trainings in yoga instruction, healing dance and Integrative Energetic Medicine.
Judah Oudshoorn is a Professor in the Human Services department at Conestoga College in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada. He has many years of experience teaching restorative justice and trauma-informed practices at colleges and universities. For over ten years, Judah has been a restorative justice mediator with the Correctional Service Canada, facilitating contact between victims and offenders, where safe and appropriate, in the aftermath of serious crime. Judah is the author of Trauma-Informed Youth Justice in Canada, Trauma-Informed Juvenile Justice in the United States, and The Little Book of Restorative Justice for Sexual Abuse (with Lorraine Stutzman Amstutz and Michelle Jacket). A proud alum (2006) of the Center for Justice & Peacebuilding at EMU, Judah is excited to be returning to the Summer Peacebuilding Institute!
Kay Pranis teaches and writes about the dialog process known as ‘peacemaking circles.’ Kay learned about peacemaking circles in her work in restorative justice in the mid-90s Her initial teachers in the circle work were Barry Stuart, a judge in Yukon, Canada, and Mark Wedge and Harold Gatensby, First Nations people of Yukon. Since that initial exposure to the use of peacemaking circles in the justice system Kay has been involved in developing the use of peacemaking circles in schools, social services, churches, families, museums, universities, municipal planning and workplaces.
Kay has authored or co-authored several books about circles: Peacemaking Circles – From Crime to Community; The Little Book of Circle Processes – A New/Old Approach to Peacemaking; Doing Democracy with Circles – Engaging Communities in Public Planning; Heart of Hope – A Guide for Using Peacemaking Circles to Develop Emotional Literacy, Promote Healing & Build Healthy Relationships; Circle Forward – Building a Restorative School Community.
Kay works primarily as a trainer in the peacemaking circle process. She is a Senior Associate at the Center for Restorative Justice at Suffolk University in Boston. She is also an adjunct professor at Simon Fraser University, EMU and Southwest Minnesota State University.
Kay has a particular interest in the use of circles to support social justice efforts addressing racial, economic, class and gender inequities. That interest includes the use of peacemaking circles to understand and respond to historical harms to groups of people. The peacemaking circle process has been a source of energy, inspiration and continuous learning for Kay for the past 20 years.
Dr. David Ragland is Senior Bayard Rustin Fellow at the Fellowship of Reconciliation (FORusa). David co-founded and served as co-director of the Truth Telling Project, which began in the early days of the Ferguson Uprising to shift the narrative of the protests and police violence. David is the co-host of the “We Stay Woke” podcast, and teaches at Pacifica Graduate Institute in Community Liberation and Eco-Psychology. David was recently inducted into the Martin Luther King Jr Collegium of Scholars at Morehouse College.
He is a contributing editor for Waging Nonviolence Magazine, co-authored of “Systemic Humiliation in America” and recently published a chapter on Radical Truth Telling and Ferguson in the “Handbook on Violence in Education.” David is also part of the Muslim Peace Fellowship and a multifaith resident member of the Community of Living Traditions in Stony Point, NY. David has served on the board of directors for the Peace and Justice Studies Association, the Fellowship of Reconciliation’s National Council, and as U.N. Representative for the International Peace Research Association.
Teaching: Formation for Peacebuilding Practice
Gloria Rhodes is associate professor of peacebuilding and conflict studies at EMU, where she chairs the department of Applied Social Sciences and coordinates the Peacebuilding and Development undergraduate program. She teaches peacebuilding theory and practice (including mediation and group facilitation) and conflict theory and analysis. She has served as Administrative Director of the Summer Peacebuilding Institute and as a program assistant for the National Conference on Peacemaking and Conflict Resolution. She has led semester and summer cross cultural programs in Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, and Russia. Her areas of expertise include peacebuilding curriculum development and pedagogy, conflict analysis, practice-related research, group facilitation and mediation, and cross cultural education. She holds a PhD in conflict analysis and resolution from George Mason University.
Dr. Lisa Schirch is North American Research Director for the Toda Institute and an Advisor with the Alliance for Peacebuilding. A former Fulbright Fellow in East and West Africa, Schirch works alongside local colleagues in over 20 countries and on racial justice, Indigenous rights and the media in North America. Dr. Schirch has written several books including Civilian Peacekeeping, Ritual and Symbol in Peacebuilding, The Little Book of Strategic Peacebuilding, and The Little Book of Dialogue for Difficult Subjects. Her most recent book is Conflict Assessment and Peacebuilding Planning: Toward a Participatory Approach to Human Security. The website for the book can be found at www.Conflict-Assessment-and-
Peacebuilding-Planning.org. Dr. Schirch holds a PhD in conflict analysis and resolution from George Mason University.
Read Lisa’s statement with Dr. Michael Lund to Congress on The Roles of Non-military Programs Within a Comprehensive Preventive Approach to Terrorism and Insurgencies.
Dr. Lucy Steinitz serves as Senior Technical Advisor for Protection at CRS. She came to CRS in 2014 after living for 17 years with her family in Africa (mostly Namibia and Ethiopia). Lucy concentrates on efforts to prevent and respond to the abuse and exploitation of children and vulnerable adults worldwide through local capacity-building, project development and technical support. Most recently, she has directly involved on combatting human trafficking in India, family-strengthening in Uganda, post-Ebola recovery in Sierra Leone and promoting trauma-healing in Zimbabwe, South Sudan and Latin America.
Lucy has been instrumental in co-writing and producing several workshop curricula and practice manuals (over 60 publications in total), including Introduction to Trauma Awareness and Resilience (2018); Singing to the Lions: A Facilitator’s Guide to Overcoming fear and violence in our lives (CRS, 2017); Tree of Life /Global Edition (REPSSI/CRS 2016); Better Parenting Plus (CRS/Pact/FHI/REPSSI, 2012-2016), My Life Starting Now (Knowledge and skills for young adolescents, Strategies for Hope, 2010), and The Way We Care(FHI, 2009). Lucy currently travels overseas about a third of her time.
In Namibia, Lucy was the co-founder and first National Coordinator for Catholic AIDS Action and co-founder and Board chair of the Church Alliance for Orphans. She worked for FHI/360 and Pact (the latter as Deputy Chief of Party and Senior Technical Advisor for a large project serving orphans and vulnerable children in Ethiopia), and also for the Stephen Lewis Foundation (Canada). Before living in Africa, Lucy worked in the United States where – to round out her ecumenical base – she served as Executive Director of Jewish Family Services in Baltimore, Maryland for fifteen years (1982 – 1997).
Lucy’s PhD is in social work from the University of Chicago, her Master’s degree is in Jewish Communal Service from Brandeis University, and she has a BA in Religion and Sociology from Wilmington College, a Quaker school, in Ohio.
Dr. Johonna Turner is assistant professor of restorative justice and peacebuilding at Eastern Mennonite University’s Center for Justice and Peacebuilding. For over 15 years, Turner has worked with arts collectives, community organizing groups and other social movement organizations to build youth leadership, empower marginalized communities, and advance restorative and transformative approaches for community safety and justice. In 2007, she was awarded a Soros Justice Fellowship from the Open Society Institute to research and promote community-based strategies for challenging violence, and to engage youth in these efforts using the arts. In the process, she founded a youth leadership development project and launched several programs that integrated movement-building, peace education, arts & media, and trauma healing. Turner is an innovative educator with experience teaching a wide range of learners in a variety of settings. She formerly served as a special education, English and reading teacher with the District of Columbia Public Schools and as an adjunct professor at the University of Maryland where she earned her PhD. She also holds a Graduate Certificate in Women’s Studies from the University of Maryland, and a Graduate Certificate in Urban Youth Ministry from Fuller Theological Seminary.
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