MCC, Con­rad Grebel for­mal­ize new peace-build­ing part­ner­ship

For­mal col­lab­o­ra­tion a first for the two Men­non­ite-linked or­ga­ni­za­tions

The Woolwich Observer - - NEWS - VERON­ICA REINER

TWO OR­GA­NI­ZA­TIONS WITH SIM­I­LAR aims of ad­vanc­ing peace-build­ing in the com­mu­nity have now of­fi­cially part­nered to fur­ther that goal. It’s a new un­der­tak­ing for the Men­non­ite Cen­tral Com­mit­tee and Con­rad Grebel Univer­sity Col­lege in Water­loo.

Es­tab­lished in 1920, the MCC is a non-profit char­ity rep­re­sent­ing 15 Men­non­ite, Amish, and Brethren in Christ bod­ies across North Amer­ica. The faith-based agency is ded­i­cated to peace-build­ing, and was cre­ated to pro­vide famine re­lief work in Ukraine.

For its part, Grebel sees the MCC col­lab­o­ra­tion as a good fit for the school af­fil­i­ated with the Univer­sity of Water­loo. A part of the Men­non­ite Church East­ern Canada, the lib­eral arts col­lege launched in 1963 puts a strong em­pha­sis on com­mu­nity.

“Grebel and MCC share com­mon roots within a tra­di­tion of peace-build­ing,” said Con­rad Grebel pres­i­dent Mar­cus Shantz in a state­ment, “We both have a man­date to nur­ture a new gen­er­a­tion of peace­builders.”

Both groups have worked with one an­other for the past four years us­ing a Grebel pro­gram called the Kin­dred Credit Union Cen­tre for Peace Ad­vance­ment (CPA). The CPA has en­abled Grebel and the MCC to pre­vi­ously part­ner in var­i­ous ways, in­clud­ing con­sul­ta­tions, con­fer­ences, and gallery ex­hibits.

But now, this unique part­ner­ship is of­fi­cial. Con­rad Grebel Univer­sity Col­lege and the MCC signed a Mem­o­ran­dum of Un­der­stand­ing on De­cem­ber 17 that states that mem­bers of both or­ga­ni­za­tions will now be iden­ti­fied as a “core col­lab­o­ra­tor” in the CPA. These core col­lab­o­ra­tors will aim to ad­vance peace through com­mu­nity en­gage­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties, col­lab­o­ra­tive research projects, and stu­dent con­nec­tions at Grebel and the Univer­sity of Water­loo.

The MCC is spon­sor­ing a hot desk to fur­ther these peace-build­ing ini­tia­tives. It is in­tended for oc­ca­sional use by a staff mem­ber, part­ner, or a mem­ber of the CPA’s Epp Peace In­cu­ba­tor pro­gram for a start-up project. CPA di­rec­tor Paul Hei­de­brecht ex­pects this part­ner­ship to ben­e­fit ev­ery­one in­volved and bring di­ver­sity to each group.

“I think our dy­namic mix of re­searchers, prac­ti­tion­ers, and en­trepreneurs will be bet­ter able to learn from, and con­trib­ute to MCC and its part­ners,” said Hei­de­brecht.

The di­rec­tor of MCC Canada, Rick Cober Bau­man, also ex­pressed en­thu­si­asm about the part­ner­ship.

“We are ex­cited to part­ner with the CPA and to par­tic­i­pate in the ad­vance­ment of peace lo­cally and glob­ally,” said Bau­man.

[FRED W. MARTIN]

The peace-build­ing part­ner­ship or­ga­ni­za­tions signed a mem­o­ran­dum of un­der­stand­ing last month. Tak­ing part in mak­ing it of­fi­cial were Paul Hei­de­brecht, di­rec­tor, Kin­dred Credit Union Cen­tre for Peace Ad­vance­ment; John Head, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor, MCC On­tario; Rick Cober Bau­man, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor, MCC Canada; and Mar­cus Shantz, pres­i­dent, Con­rad Grebel Univer­sity Col­lege.

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