The folks at Canadian Mennonite University are making noise about dreaming of a more peaceful world.
And to help foster this vision, the university is preparing to host some prominent practioners and teachers from around the world at its upcoming third annual Canadian School of Peacebuilding.
CSOP will be held at the university’s Shaftesbury Boulevard site between June 6 and 24. CMU is a Christian-based organization that follows the historic Anabaptist tradition of peace, justice and service.
According to a key organizer, the 19-day event will represent a microcosm of CMU’s faith-based peace tradition under the umbrella of diversity.
"We want to create a space where people from different backgrounds and perspectives can connect in positive and respectful ways," said Valerie Smith, co-director of CSOP.
"This is a chance for participants to make connections and learn from people who will add an exceptional layer to the classes," added the Wolseley resident.
The sessions will run in five-day blocks and CSOP participants can take the available courses for personal or professional development or for academic credit purposes.
Smith said school’s attendance is not limited to specific groups or demographics, adding that the desire is to invite a cross-section of the community to enhance the experience.
"It’s really designed for a wide variety of people. You don’t have to be working with a non-governmental organization or be a university student or be under 25 years of age," Smith said.
"We’d like to see people such as farmers, teachers, business leaders, professionals and grandparents be involved. If anyone has an interest in peace and justice, this is a chance to develop that understanding."
The school will host mediators, teachers, authors, relief workers, and founders of various organizations.
Jarem Sawatsky, co-director of CSOP and an associate professor at CMU, said he is "very excited about the lineup of instructors" set to visit to visit the Tuxedo-based university in June.
Those educators will include Mark Birch, an author and educator, who will be instructing on the topic of voluntary simplicity. Also, cross-cultural transformation will be the subject of a course conducted by Michelle LeBaron from the University of British Columbia.
The school is supported by two main collaborating partners — Mennonite Central Committee Canada — an organization that does relief, development and peace work around the world — and Resolution Skills Centre — a training division for Mediation Services Canada.
As of April 7, organizers were still taking applications for classes.
For more information, or to register, visit www.cmu.ca/csop or email email@example.com.
Community journalist — The Lance
Simon Fuller is the community journalist for The Lance. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org Call him at 204-697-7111