STAR, CJP and CCR

STAR Instructors  David Anderson Hooker and Elaine Zook Barge

STAR Instructors
David Anderson Hooker and Elaine Zook Barge

 

In May, 2014, I had the privilege of attending the ‘Strategies for Trauma Awareness and Resilience’ (STAR) course at Eastern Mennonite University (EMU) in Harrisonburg, Virginia. I re-connected with Center for Justice and Peacebuilding (CJP) staff, who I love and admire from my graduate school days, and absorbed wisdom and knowledge from 2 experienced instructors and practitioners, David Anderson Hooker and Elaine Zook Barge. The class roster included 25 colleagues from around the world, several of whom came from countries that were, at that very moment, experiencing war. Some came from countries where equal treatment for women had yet to become part of the conversation. Some of the participants were Mennonite and one was ex-military. We all shared at least 2 commonalities, a personal experience of trauma and the desire to learn from each other.

During the 7 intense days of class, we studied cycles of trauma, symptoms of unhealed trauma, and “interrupting the transmission of woundedness” (James O’Dea, Cultivating Peace, 2012). We explored Truth, Mercy, Peace and Justice, through an exercise that personified those complicated concepts, and participated in a distress exercise that involved walking with a stone in our shoe. Throughout each enlightening, engaging and sometimes exhausting day I became, not only better at my job, but a more compassionate person.

CJP has created a world community that welcomes all people and a learning experience that demands engagement and growth. The Center for Conflict Resolution – Kansas City (CCR) is one of the many offshoots of the CJP community. CCR’s Conflict Resolution and Restorative Justice training and programs model what we have internalized from our time at CJP. To learn more about the Center for Justice and Peacebuilding go to www.emu.edu/cjp/. To learn more about the Center for Conflict Resolution in Kansas City go to www.ccrkc.org.

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