working for peace
Peace Fellowship co-sponsored ‘Tents of Hope’ for Darfur, and EMU’s tent was later displayed at the National Mall in D.C.
Peace Fellowship responded to an outbreak of violent conflict in Gaza in a number of ways.
EMU Peace Fellowship
Darfur, Gaza, Baghdad, mountaintops blown off to retrieve coal, and the streets of Washington D.C. … these are the places EMU students learn about in the classroom, through chapels, service and mission work in the field, and visiting scholars and graduates. Concern for creating a just world runs deep at EMU.
Peace Fellowship is a student organization that organizes campus-wide activities, provides regular space for discussions, and invites special speakers to spark meaningful dialogue.
Students successfully press for “conflict-free” resolution
March 13, 2013, EMU became the 15th university to pass a formal “conflict-free” resolution, which states that EMU will support companies that seek to use conflict-free minerals in their electronic products. The resolution is intended to put pressure on electronic companies to pursue conflict free products by showing consumer mandate for clean products.
A screening of a documentary on conflict minerals sparked the issue in September 2012. Students began to discuss the violence in Congo fueled by global (and Western) consumption of electronics. (Congo, a mineral-rich country, is in the midst of a violent war funded by companies buying minerals from mines in the Congo that are run by rebel groups. These illegitimate mines fund rebel groups to arm themselves and perpetuate the cycles of violence.)
Peace Fellowship members worked to gather support from students, the Student Government Association, the information technology department, and faculty and staff before presenting the resolution to the university cabinet, which formally adopted it.
Learning in the field
Year after year, Peace Fellowship members are networking and making change on and off campus. Students represent EMU at the Mennonite Central Committee-UN conference in New York City, putting their college skills to use and gaining real-world experience from peace workers in the field. Here are some other highlights:
- Collaborated with other student groups in 2011 to bring together a faculty panel with experience in the Middle East to discuss the Arab Spring and our response as Americans, students, and peacebuilders.
- Hosted the Inter-Collegiate Peace Conference in 2010.
- Responded to the violent conflict in Gaza by leading an interfaith prayer service, candlelight vigil, and a coffeehouse discussion.
International peace presence
EMU students from all backgrounds are enriched by hundreds of international peacebuilders joining the campus community each year.
Many are students in the masters of conflict transformation program. Others come for short periods of study through the trauma-healing program or Summer Peacebuilding Institute of the Center for Justice and Peacebuilding.
All EMU students have the opportunity to hear the stories of these people and learn from their experiences.