The Center for Peace and Justice

Since 1891, George Fox University has been educating Christian leaders for effective service in improving the spiritual and material conditions of human life. The Center for Peace and Justice is one of the significant ways George Fox University carries out its Christ-centered, Quaker mission.

Created in December 1984 as the Center for Peace Learning, the Center for Peace and Justice helps people understand and manage the many forms of conflict. The center's goal is to nurture agents of hope, people who embody in their citizenship, careers, and daily lives God's promised gifts of peace and reconciliation.

The Center for Peace and Justice extends the Quaker heritage and the Christian higher educational work of George Fox University by collecting information, teaching, and providing resources and experiences in peacemaking and conflict management at all levels of human interaction, from interpersonal to international.


2018-19 Steinfeldt Peace Scholars

 

 Cara Vincent

Cara Vincent

In the spring semester of my first year at George Fox, I took a religion class focused on the work of Dietrich Bonhoeffer. It was the first time I had truly been exposed to a theology of peace, and an unexplainable transformation occurred within me as I learned about people who, in the face of what is considered to be one of the most horrific occurrences in history, stayed incredibly committed to peaceful action because of their faith. That class left me in awe and my view of Christianity, the world, and the duty of Christians in the world went through incredible growth in that class. It developed my belief that as a follower of Christ, I am called to pursue peace.

This eye-opening experience in my education along with other encounters has left me with a desire to learn more about peace and peacemaking, specifically through supporting and rehabilitating those at risk in communities. I come from a poverty-stricken rural community in Oregon, and the brief glimpses of suffering I have seen in my community inspire me to offer hope to those in poverty, abusive situations, broken homes, and those in a broken justice system. I hope to do this through learning more about dispute and conflict resolution and extending to them security and resources to help them build peaceful lives. I would like to earn a Peace Studies minor during my time here at Fox and then continue my studies after graduation through pursuing a masters in Dispute Resolution or law degree. I hope this education will allow me to be part of a hopeful solution to those most vulnerable in communities. Grace is one of the foundations of my faith, and I believe that working hard to pursue justice and advocate for those most vulnerable with a loving, gracious, and passionate heart can bring hope and peace to broken communities such as my hometown.

 Juan DeHowitt

Juan DeHowitt

Before starting my education at George Fox University, I was a young man who felt confused and somewhat misguided about my purpose. I was sure of two things: I wanted to go to college to further my education, and I wanted to help kids. At the time, I thought the only way I could fulfill my purpose was to become a pediatrician. I wanted to help heal kids, and I hoped that my calling would be one of medical service for children. Instead, as I studied biology during my first semester, I realized that I was unhappy. It clearly was not the best path for me. I spent time soul-searching and challenging the societal pressures that had led me to believe I had to become a doctor in order to create the change I wanted to see in the world. I researched different careers and found a deeply held passion for education. I thought about all the educators who have impacted my life and helped me succeed, and I realized that I too wanted to teach.

I changed my major to elementary education and began learning about different teaching techniques and practices to help students reach their greatest potential. I have studied the complex injustices and inequalities students often face throughout their school careers. As an educator, I hope to use effective techniques to level the playing field for students. I want to continue learning about different methods of improving students' success in the classroom and beyond. When I graduate, I hope to work in dual language programs as both an active learner and as an advocate for improvements. My long term goal is to work in an administrative position to help implement culturally-responsive and trauma-informed teaching practices in schools and help all students reach their full potential in an atmosphere which values their individual gifts and celebrates their uniqueness. My hope is that fostering justice, equity, and peace in classrooms will lead students to create a society which values and practices these ideals consistently.

 Shawn Durham

Shawn Durham