MCC UN Office 2022 Student Seminar, "Ukraine and armed conflicts: Pursuing justice and peace", will be held in New York City, November 2-4. The seminar will be in person only, with no online sessions.
This seminar is for undergraduate students at Anabaptist colleges and universities in Canada and the U.S. International students are especially encouraged to participate.
Applications closed on October 6, and the seminar is full.
The Russian military invasion of Ukraine is a world-changing event and the biggest crisis to hit the United Nations in decades. Many have warned that the UN risks irrelevance if it doesn’t do more to mediate peace. For suffering people not only in Ukraine but in places like Myanmar under military rule, hard questions about pursuing peace and justice are not hypothetical. Does diplomacy and do non-violent, non-military responses to violence have credibility in the face of armed aggression?
MCC has worked in Ukraine since our beginnings in 1920, and is deeply present with leaders, churches, and citizens facing armed conflict there now. MCC is also close to people in other armed conflicts, from Myanmar, to Syria, to the Democratic Republic of the Congo. And we are present at the United Nations, engaging diplomats about these crises. In this three-day seminar, students will:
- Explore the complex challenge of pursuing peace and justice in the face of armed conflict. While the primary focus is Ukraine, we will engage perspectives from other global conflicts as well.
- Wrestle with the call to nonviolent approaches for peacemaking, in conversation with what MCC partners are facing in Ukraine and elsewhere.
- Learn from and connect to leaders in the fields of UN diplomacy, international NGOs, and faith-based engagement.
- Engage a mix of plenary sessions and small groups offering high interaction with experts.
- Take a tour of the United Nations building and engage with one another within the UN’s dynamic setting in New York City.
- Learn about the work of the UN, about faith-based advocacy, and about calls to reform the UN in light of conflicts such as Ukraine and Myanmar.
- Connect with and learn from fellow students.
- Apply learnings to their own context.
Confirmed presenters include:
Andrew Geddert served with MCC in Ukraine (with his spouse Katherine Geddert) as Peace Resource Person (2015-2017) and then as Country Representative (2017-2020). Andrew currently works as a psychologist in a center that provides services to immigrants and asylum-seekers. Andrew and Katie are actively involved at Living Water Community Church in Chicago, a church in which four language groups worship together every week. Since June 2022 Andrew has been working remotely for the MCC Ukraine program as Trauma Support and Resourcing Specialist. In this position, Andrew is in close contact with MCC partners in Ukraine.
Mana Tun is a lecturer at a Christian institution for higher education in Myanmar. He teaches both graduate and undergraduate level courses in the areas of Christian social ethics, peace and conflict studies. He also leads the Peace Studies Center, a local peace organization, that has worked for the promotion of peace education and peacebuilding with grassroots communities, churches and interfaith networks. Most of these activities are supported by and partnered with MCC. Mana Tun has recently arrived in the US and started doctoral studies focusing in the area intersecting Christian social ethics and peace studies.
Dr. Mulanda Jimmy Juma is from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo) and serves as MCC representative for DR Congo. He holds a doctoral degree (PhD) in Politics, Human Rights and Sustainability from Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, Italy, and a master’s degree in Peace Studies from the University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. He is the former Coordinator of the Dag Hammarskjöld Center for Peace, Good Governance and Human Rights in Zambia, and former Coordinator of Africa Peacebuilding Institute. Mulanda has introduced many practical peace initiatives in Africa, including peace clubs in Zambia and Women’s Situation Rooms in Congo. He has also led the development of many peace studies curriculum in Africa.
Ambassador Ferit Hoxha is Permanent Representative of Albania to the United Nations in New York. Albania is a 2022-2023 member of the UN Security Council. Ambassador Hoxha joined the Albanian Foreign Service in 1991 and has been active in Foreign Affairs and International Relations since. He previously served as Albanian Ambassador to the European Union and to France, and as the Secretary General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the highest civil service position at the headquarters. He has also served as Director General for Political and Strategic Issues at the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs of Albania. Mr. Hoxha has been bestowed the “Dignité de Grand Officer” of the French National Order of Merit; the title “Ufficiale del Ordine della Stella of the Italian Republic” and the title “Personnalité francophone de l’Albanie pour l’année 2007” by the Albanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Faith Kroeker-Maus is a U.S. Foreign Service Officer currently serving as an economic advisor at the U.S. Mission to the UN (USUN). Faith’s previous diplomatic service was in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Montreal, Quebec, and the State Department 24/7 Emergency Operations Center in Washington DC. Prior to joining the Foreign Service, Faith was a counterterrorism analyst at the FBI field office in Minneapolis, a monitoring and evaluation advisor for the Infectious Diseases Institute in Kampala, Uganda, and the Sustainable Livelihoods Program Advisor for the Salvation Army in London, UK. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Bethel University in Saint Paul, MN and a masters from the University of Denver.
Hyacinth Stevens works for MCC East Coast as the Regional Executive Director. She is a New York City Bishop Oversight Team member serving as a Bishop, and has served the church as a pastor, teacher, mentor, and program developer. A wife and mother of four children, Hyacinth has served over a decade on various organizations and denomination boards. A hallmark for Hyacinth is a commitment to the ministry of reconciliation and working with congregations and faith-based organizations to implement biblically based models for intercultural development. Hyacinth holds a Bachelor of Science in Education and Bible, a Master of Administration, and a Masters of Public Affairs. Hyacinth will be leading worship during the seminar.
Chris Rice, the seminar facilitator, has served as Director of the MCC UN Office since 2019. From 2014 to 2019 Chris and his wife Donna served as MCC Co-Representatives for Northeast Asia, based in South Korea. This included regional peacebuilding work and Chris leading six MCC teams on humanitarian visits into North Korea. Prior to MCC, Chris served 10 years as cofounding director of the Duke Divinity School Center for Reconciliation. His three books include Reconciling All Things: A Christian Vision for Justice, Peace, and Healing. His new book, From Pandemic to Renewal, will be published by InterVarsity Press in spring 2023.
Priority will be given to students from Anabaptist-related schools in Canada and the U.S. Applicants must meet the following criteria:
- Be an undergraduate student from a U.S. or Canadian school
- Have a strong interest in issues related to armed conflict, peacemaking, international relations, Christian nonviolence
- Commit to full participation in the seminar and all its activities
Location: The seminar will be held in New York City at the Church Center of the United Nations, across the street from the UN building. The address is 777 United Nations Plaza, New York, New York 10017. The MCC UN Office is located in the building.
Schedule: The seminar begins with registration at 4 p.m. on Wednesday November 2, and ends at 2 p.m. on Friday November 4. The full schedule can be found here.
Application deadline: October 6, 2022
Registration & payment deadline: October 12, 2022, 5:00 pm EST
Application: Online Application Here
Seminar fee: $75 USD from accepted participants.
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 about how to register and pay the $75 USD seminar payment.
Lodging: Participants are responsible for costs and arrangement of their travel to and lodging in New York City. See list of some more affordable options here.
Meals: Three meals will be provided for participants during the seminar: Wednesday dinner, Thursday and Friday lunch. All other meals during the seminar are the responsibility of the participant.
Scholarships: Students should contact their school regarding scholarship possibilities.
More information: For more information about this seminar, please e-mail Travis Dyck at firstname.lastname@example.org