MCC UN Office Global Student Seminar, "Climate Change, Conflict, and Peacebuilding", held virtually September 30th and October 1st, 2021 from 9:00 am to 11:30 am (Eastern Time)
This seminar will engage a global audience of young adults, and is co-sponsored by the MCC UN Office and Mennonite World Conference.
Climate change impacts all of us and is a threat to peace in our world. UN Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs Assistant Secretary General Miroslav Jenča said:
Record temperatures, unprecedented sea levels and frequent extreme weather events paint a dangerous future for the planet and for humanity. The environment suffers and people suffer. As lives and livelihoods are threatened, resource competition increases and communities are displaced. The climate emergency is a danger to peace.
Mennonite Central Committee is present in many of the communities hardest hit by climate change and conflict.
In this online, two-day, five-hour seminar, students from across the world will:
- Explore the intersection of climate change, conflict, and peacebuilding
- Learn from leaders engaging these issues from the fields of UN diplomacy, grassroots organizing, international NGOs, racial justice, and church/religion
- Engage a mix of plenary sessions, small groups, and mini-seminars offering high interaction with experts
- Learn about the work of the UN and about MCC and faith-based advocacy
- Connect and learn from young adults from all over the world
- Apply learnings to their own context
** The 2021 online seminar will consist of two sessions:
September 30th, 9:00 am – 11:30 am and
October 1st, 9:00 am – 11:30 am (Eastern Time).
The time has been chosen to accommodate a global audience. Students are required to attend both sessions.
Mini-seminar schedule: View the mini-seminar schedule here.
Confirmed presenters include:
Dr. Sibonokuhle Ncube has served as the National Coordinator of Compassionate Development Service, which is the relief and service agency of the Brethren in Christ Church of Zimbabwe and partner of Mennonite Central Committee. She has more than 18 years of experience in integrated problem solving through multiple themes including climate change responses, climate finance governance, and disaster preparedness in southern Africa. She is currently a Master of Divinity candidate in Theology and Peace Studies (MDiv) at the Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary (AMBS), and holds a Master of Science and PhD in Development Studies, and a Bachelor of Science Honors degree in Rural and Urban Planning.
Nindyo Sasongko is an ordained Mennonite minister with more than a decade of ministry experience from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to Indonesia, to teaching at Fordham University in New York City as a third year Ph.D student in Systematic Theology. He is currently also the theologian in residence of Manhattan Mennonite Fellowship in New York City, a member of the Mennonite World Conference's Creation Care Climate Task Force, and co-founder and moderator of Theovlogy Channel, a discussion platform in theology and religion. Nindyo's research argues that social issues such as poverty and injustice cannot be separated from human responses toward the whole of creation.
Tala Bautista is a member of the Sumacher First Nation in Kalinga, Philippines. She entered the peacebuilding field in 2008 and concurrently serves as the Chief Operations Officer of Peacebuilders Community Inc. and Senior Vice President of Coffee for Peace Inc. She has also served as an adjunct faculty for the Center for Justice and Peacebuilding at Eastern Mennonite University.
Lindsey Fielder Cook serves as Representative for Climate Change with the Quaker United Nations Office in Geneva. Her work focuses on climate change and environmental degradation as a peace and justice concern, engaging at an international level with the climate change negotiations, climate science, and human rights efforts, while seeking to connect international progress with grassroots efforts. Lindsey has worked with several United Nations agencies including with UNRWA on refugee protection in the West Bank, with OHCHR during the war in the Former Yugoslavia, with UNOSOM in Somalia to help coordinate humanitarian efforts, and with UNSCO in Gaza on donor coordination to implement of the Oslo Peace Accords. Lindsey lives with her family in Bonn, Germany.
Karim Soumana is a diplomat with the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Niger to the United Nations in New York City. A member of the UN Security Council, Niger is giving leadership to Council engagement of the impact of climate change on security and peacebuilding.
Hamid Rashid is Chief of Global Economic Monitoring Branch and the Economic Analysis and Policy Division at the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs. Previously, he served as the Senior Inter-Regional Adviser for Macroeconomic Policy in the UN Department of Social and Economic Affairs, advising authorities in developing countries on how to design and implement policies to manage short-term economic shocks and realize the long-term goals of equitable growth and sustainable development. Hamid also served as Director General for Multilateral Economic Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Bangladesh. He earned his Ph.D. in finance and economics from Columbia University in New York. His research interest includes macroeconomic policies, international finance, financial market liberalization and their impact on economic growth and development.
Oli Brown has been working at the nexus of security, natural resources and climate change for the past 17 years, with a particular interest in peacebuilding, conflict mediation, natural resource management, environmental politics and trade policy. He is an Associate Fellow with the Geneva Centre for Security Policy, and also Chatham House (the Royal Institute of International Affairs). He is a member of the Climate and Security Expert Network run by the German think-tank adelphi, is a strategic advisor to IMPACC – a social enterprise incubator seeking to create green jobs for people in the Global South – and serves as a trustee for the Conflict and Environment Observatory, a British NGO which draws attention to environmental damage during conflict. Oli has extensive experience working for the United Nations. Between 2014 and 2018 he was based in Kenya where he coordinated the work of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) to minimize the risks and impacts of disasters, industrial accidents and armed conflicts.
Som Chanmony is the co-founder and executive director of Peace Bridges in Cambodia, a faith-based organization that trains and mobilizes peacebuilders to be a change-maker for their family, work and community in the area of gender-based violence, child abuse, and building a healthy community and family where conflicts are addressed in peaceful means. Since 2003, Peace Bridges has trained more than 800 peacebuilders in Cambodia, with the current focus on supporting ethnic minorities on peaceful and non-violent approaches to natural and forest protection. This includes supporting Indigenous Peoples fighting for their rights, land, homes, and forests whose communities are adversely affected by climate change and by government and private companies that clear forests and take land. Chanmony has a master's degree in Applied Conflict Transformation Study.
Dr. Farah Hegazi is a researcher in the Climate Change and Risk programme of the Stockholm International Peace Research Center. Her research focuses on identifying and understanding climate-related security risks, and how interventions to address the effects of climate change can be used to build peace. She is currently working on evaluating how climate-related security risks affect peacekeeping missions, and on how the World Food Programme’s climate-related interventions can potentially contribute to peace. Dr Hegazi previously worked on environmental security and peacebuilding at the Environmental Law Institute and the Center on International Cooperation, and holds a Ph.D. in environmental policy from Duke University.
Watch the recap of last year's "Tackling the Global Inequality Pandemic"!
Priority will be given to students from Anabaptist-related schools in Canada/U.S., MCC global service learning alumni living in countries outside of Canada/U.S., and candidates connected with Mennonite World Conference. Applicants must meet the following criteria:
- Be an undergraduate or graduate student from a U.S. or Canadian school or MCC summer service alum OR;
- Be a young adult based outside the U.S. and Canada between the ages of 18 and 35
- Possess at least undergraduate level English
- Be passionate about issues surrounding climate change, conflict, and peacebuilding in the context of Christian faith
For more information about this seminar, please e-mail Chris Rice at ChrisRice@mcc.org
Draft Schedule: Draft schedule here
Application deadline: September 20th, 2021
Application: Online Registration Here
Registration cost: Registration cost: $20 USD from accepted participants, grants available for non-U.S./Canada based students.
Application process: After applying you will receive a confirmation email. Spots are limited and applications will be accepted on a first-come first-serve basis. If your application is approved, you will receive instructions of how to register and pay the $20 USD seminar payment. U.S. and Canada students should contact their school regarding scholarship possibilities.