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“WELCOME FROM THE DIRECTOR”

As the African quote reminds us, “if you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” The Center for Dialogue and Conflict Transformation seeks to engage with LCC students, staff, local and international researchers, practitioners, activists, and communities to promote and strengthen a culture of peace both locally and globally.  We invite you to join us on our journey towards building peace.

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Naomi Enns
Director, Center for Dialogue and Conflict Transformation

Purpose statement

LCC’s peace center, grounded in Christian faith, offers opportunities for building bridges of trust, transforming relationships, and equipping communities. The center aims to strengthen, transform, and sustain servant change agents towards the creation of a more just and peaceful world. Opportunities for gathering and growing together strengthens the LCC ethos of non-violent peacebuilding guided by 4 pillars articulated below. These pillars advance our understanding and action towards peace in local and global pathways through dialogue, trainings, and action. The Center is a catalyst for strengthening communities in nonviolent social change, generous hospitality, and holistic justice to promote the greater common good of our society.

4 Pillars

The Center strengthens the LCC ethos of non-violent peacebuilding with the following 4 pillars for transforming relationships and equipping communities. 

We work with people to transform conflict on personal, interpersonal, community and societal levels by building bridges of trust, fostering reconciliation, and strengthening resiliency. Through respectful engagement we equip communities to live justly and nurture a sustainable peace. 

We work with students and researchers in the areas of conflict and peace studies and promote events that stimulate dialogue on critical issues that impact our world.  The goal is to invite students, international researchers, and others to connect academic research to practice.

We challenge a culture of oppression, promote actions which pursue justice, increase understanding and engagement in human rights issues, and strengthen positive service and citizenship. We use dialogue, learning events and workshops to empower communities to live generously.

We foster an awareness of the cycles of violence and provide tools to nonviolently engage conflict, oppression, and trauma. We use human encounters to transform relationships, expand our understanding and actions toward peace, and nurture health and healing towards a more just and peaceful world.

News and Events

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LCC Staff, Faculty, and Students attend Refugee Conference

2022-06-20

On June 15th, LCC's peace Center for Dialogue and Conflict Transformation took 5 students and 3 faculty/staff to the Lithuanian migration conference “Policies of (Un)welcome - Regional Perspectives” in Vilnius. At the conference, a panel of humanitarians from various European countries (Slovenia, Greece, Spain, Czech Republic, and Lithuania) presented their ongoing migration challenges. Both the Syrian civil war and Russia’s unprovoked war against Ukraine (among other conflicts) share a common consequence – a sudden and mass influx of refugees into the European Union.These influxes are humanitarian disasters. How to care for these refugees is always controversial. The panelists highlight that partisan politics only make matters worse. However, the current bipartisan support for Ukrainian refugees offers keen insight into the European attitude towards migrants. The open arms and 100% acceptance of Ukrainian asylum seekers is proof that we need to know the other’s story. Europe, especially Eastern Europe, understands Ukraine. This begs the question, does the EU understand their Near East neighbors?At one point, the term ‘abusers’ was attributed to asylum seekers whose cases were determined “manifestly unfounded”. For a case to be manifestly unfounded the refugees must be unable to prove a credible threat to their life throughout their entire home country. The models used to determine the validity of these threats are something LCC wants to call into question. Europe knows that an unjust war is being waged on Ukraine, and Europe trusts the Ukrainian Asylum seekers. Europe knows that Near East countries are also victims of war, but the lack of European trust towards Near East asylum seekers is reflected in their migration policies, their policies of (un)welcome. As the LCC Ukrainian IRD student, Yulija Odenetts reflects “Human rights need to be upheld for all nationalities”.Many of the LCC participants at this conference lived in the Rukla refugee camp for five days – they have heard the stories of asylum seekers.  Attending the “Policies of (Un)welcome” conference was a continuation of their effort to understand the refugee crisis in Lithuania and to learn how to better build peace. LCC’s peace center works to build up students' agency while simultaneously positively impacting its community.1 photo - left to right: Naomi Enns, the Director of the Center for Dialogue and Conflict Transformation, Assel Ushanova, Naomi Deboer, Agapi Keshishyan, Jesse DiBlasi, Douglass Enns, Yuliya Odynets, and Ieva Rūkė;2 photo - Imanol Legarda Díaz-Aguado, from SOS Racismo Arrazakeria, Spain;3 photo - Ziva Gabaj, Slovenska Filantropija, Slovenia;

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Fasting & Feasting: Iftar - A Muslim Prayer for Peace in the World

2022-04-12

Article by Karolina Vakula, The Center of Dialogue and Conflict Transformation InternHolidays have always been a reason to gather and have a good time with family or friends and celebrate something special. One such holiday, hosted by the Center for Dialogue and Conflict Transformation through the Public Theology Forums was celebrated at LCC International University. On April 12, LCC students gathered together to celebrate the Muslim holiday called Ramadan. Students learned about the holiday from 3 LCC Muslim students. Ramadan is usually celebrated for the whole month, and it is in the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. The holiday is special and a valuable holiday for the Muslim community.Feasting reminds them that they should be thankful for their lives and the food they have. It is also a time for a focus on sharing food and money with the poor. Muslims continue to fast for the whole month; this means that they are not allowed to drink and eat from sunrise to sunset. The day’s abstinence is offset by a pre-dawn meal called sehri and a nightly meal known as iftar. Muslims break the fast at sundown with dates to begin the special meal since it is a Ramadan tradition that has spiritual significance. The most surprising thing for me was that each day they have a family gathering and depending on their community, read the whole Quran in one night. As students got to know more about the Ramadan celebration and its importance, they had a chance to hear how one of the students read the Quran and prayed in Arabic. It was interesting to listen to the way they prayed and read since they don’t just say a prayer and read the Quran, they use a singing tone in reciting. At the end of the event, as we sat together on the floor, students were eating dates, fruits, and samosa and drinking dogh.A few students shared their impressions of the event. Lika Kurdaze remarked that a highlight for her was that “volunteers of the event shared food with us, which perfectly proved the whole point of Ramadan” which focus on community Also, she learned that people follow Ramadan as soon as puberty begins”. Lika gave thanks to volunteers for organizing the interesting event. Another key learning perceived by Jana Ozolina is that “Ramadan is not only beneficial for mind and spirit but also for body as it renews itself during the process of fasting”. I believe it was a great idea to celebrate the holiday at our university since it was interesting to experience another culture and to get to know the values of the Muslim community. I appreciate the efforts of the organizers. Public Theology Forums provide an opportunity to come together and grow an understanding of the various faith experiences in our community.

Conference "Stories shaping peace"

March 16-19, 2022

Our opening conference will offer 3 strands of critical thinking on the theme of Narratives, the place of storytelling, and their role in healing and building a democratic society. By engaging holistically with our heads, hearts, and hands we will nurture our walk together towards peace.

*COVID-19 Note: Presently the conference is planned to be fully on site and in person at LCC International University.

Evening events > Full schedule >

Conference information

Featured guests

Dr. Fernando Enns

Prof. Dr. Fernando Enns holds a chair in (peace-) theology and ethics/ecumenical studies at Free University of Amsterdam/The Netherlands (where he is also director of the Amsterdam Center for Religion, Peace & Justice Studies) and has an endowed professorship "Theology of Peace Churches" at the University of Hamburg/Germany. Fernando Enns was born in Curitiba/Brazil and belongs to the Historic Peace Church of the Mennonites (ordained, vice-chair of the Association of Mennonite Congregations in Germany). He has been a member of the Central Committee of the World Council of Churches (WCC) since 1998."

Raffi Fegahli

A performer, peacebuilder and training consultant on Peacebuilding based in Beirut-Lebanon. His debut storytelling, biographical monodrama was launched in the Amsterdam Storytelling Festival in 2018. He currently tours with it alongside his other theatre and improv performances. As a peacebuilding consultant, practitioner, and trainer, Raffi has worked on projects in Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Egypt, Libya, Iraq, Yemen, and Turkey in his 15-year career. A practitioner of Theatre of the Oppressed, Playback Theatre, and other related formats, Raffi uses project-based and experiential learning and as such has a holistic approach to learning. For him, learning doesn’t only happen at the cognitive level of the human’s existence, but through all of their aspects of existence.

Registration

To register for the ‘Stories Shaping Peace’ Conference you need to complete an online registration form by March 14th.

*COVID-19 NOTE: Presently the conference is planned to be fully on site and in person at LCC International University.

Register >

Payment

  • Registration Fee for Participants – 60 € (LCC Students – Free, Students from other institutions – 40 €)
  • Certificate of Participation/Training – 10 €
  • Public Evening Events – FREE
Pay online > Pay via bank transfer >

Refund policy

Unforeseen circumstances may sometimes cause a need to request a registration fee refund. Please read our rules.

Opportunities for Service

  • Volunteers
  • Internships
  • Partnerships

Email the Center Director for more information.