By Caitlyn Henehan-Foppe, MBBI Member from Cincinnati, OH
In 2011, I moved over 2,000 miles away from home for my graduate degree to California. During this time, Mediators Beyond Borders International (MBBI) was having one of their Congresses in Los Angeles— after hearing about it though my school I decided to attend. Since I was majoring in Negotiation, Conflict Resolution, & Peace building, I thought it might be a great way to meet others in my field and network. At the congress, not only did I join the local MBBI chapter/regional group I also volunteered to run the group. In addition to be president of the regional group, I also volunteered to be on the Rwanda Assessment Team, the Chapter’s Committee Team, and eventually was the liaison for university chapters.
In addition to running and attending monthly meetings and teleconferences for MBBI, I also hosted fundraisers for Rwanda (Bill Nye the Science Guy attended and donated)! Fast forwarding, I continued on to Florida where I earned my Ph.D. in Conflict Resolution and Analysis and since then have moved back to my hometown, Cincinnati. I recently started a nonprofit conflict resolution practice (Lotus Resolutions) where I offer conflict coaching, mediation, and workshops. Also, I teach criminal justice and sociology. In addition to being a conflict resolution specialist and faculty member, I am also on MBBI’s Membership Committee. I hope my story gives you inspiration for your peace journey and welcome the opportunity to meet and discuss making the world more “peace able”.
Along with your membership to MBBI, here are 25 ways you can make the world more peaceable:
- Write a blog about promoting peace
- Write articles for a newspaper/newsletters
- Post on social media promoting peace
- Attend a peace rally
- Invite a peace speaker to your event, workplace, and/or community
- Visit museums and cultural centers in your city
- Listen with the intent to understand
- Be helpful to others when you can (help your neighbor with their groceries, walk their dog, clean up their yard)
- Meditate and invite others to meditate
- Study nonviolence, ADR (Alternative Dispute Resolution), Conflict Management, Conflict Resolution, Peace studies
- Learn another language
- Reduce your carbon foot print (walk or bike, car pool, recycle, eat more fruits and vegetables)
- Volunteer with the Peace Corps
- Volunteer at a homeless shelter
- Write to your politician/representative
- Take interest in your city, attend council meetings
- Make a personal commitment to nonviolence
- If you are a member of a religious community, ask how you can get more involved
- Start a collection to donate to a charity
- Organize a community project (clean up, plant a garden)
- Attend a meditation or conflict resolution training
- Read books about peace
- Say “I am sorry”
- Create art in the theme of peace
I also recommend reading, Peace careers-Smith, D. (2016). Peace Jobs: A Student’s Guide to Starting a Career, on ways to work in peacebuilding.
Here’s how you can work on peace with MBBI:
- Make a donation to MBBI; it is a great way to promote peace!
- Become a member (students have a discounted rate)
- Attend an MBBI Congress. Annually or bi-annually, MBBI hosts a great opportunity to introduce yourself to the organization, network with other MBBI members, promote peace, and travel.
- Once a member, join a committee (which meets via teleconference monthly); a project team (if qualified and able to pay expenses for project work); or a regional group. MBBI has regional groups throughout North America, Western Europe and Australia. The groups are a great way to gather, network, and promote MBBI’s mission.