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                                       Summer 2015




This newsletter is coming to you during the third week of the 2015 Caux Scholars Program. The twenty scholars from 17 countries have become a learning community. Follow the stories we are posting on Facebook. It is encouraging to meet the many people in Caux who face big challenges with an indomitable spirit. Their stories touch a deeper level than any news media can. 

Christie Shrestha, (CSP 2004) has joined our team as the new Program Manager for CSP-AP (India). Check out her article about this opportunity, December 20th -January 10th.

This past week at Caux, I met two alumni, who spoke at the Trust and Integrity in the Global Economy (TIGE) conference. Emmanuel Mutisya from Kenya and Drissa Kanambaye from Mali. Emmanuel told me of the impact CSP had on his life, leading him to think deeply about his life purpose. He pursued a Rotary International Peace Fellowship, which took him to Japan for an MA. After earning a PhD in Sustainable Development, he now teaches at the UN University in Tokyo. Drissa is doing his PhD in Belgium on Information and Communication. Both Emmanuel and Drissa see the benefits of a more active alumni network.
To support the creation of such a network we recently sent out a survey to our CSP alumni. Have you seen it? The aim is to strengthen alumni collaboration and mutual support. Your answers to these ten questions will improve communication. Thanks!
Because of his work in the field of Restorative Justice, Carl Stauffer, Academic Director of Caux Scholars Program, was interviewed recently by the Huffington Post, eager to understand in the wake of the Charleston massacre how forgiveness on the part of the church and family members would impact the community. 
Lauren Leigh Hinthorne (CSP 2003), now working at USAID, came to the successful and fun CSP 2015 fundraiser held at the prestigious law firm McGuire Woods in Washington, DC. Lauren writes: "The evening felt like a sort of homecoming. I am thankful for having reconnected with Barry Hart and Ajay Rao after all these years, and am deeply inspired by the accomplishments of other alumni." And she affirms: "Above all I am reminded of the collective impact that is possible when such a diverse group of people unites behind a common purpose."  


Best wishes, 

From the Academic Director
Forgiveness in the public domain 
Carl Stauffer, PhD, Academic Director of the Caux Scholars Program, writes: 


On the heels of the tragic AME Church shooting in Charleston, South Carolina, the subject of forgiveness has once again been thrust into the public domain of race relations in the United States. And once again, a rigorous debate has been launched around the merits and demerits of forgiveness with those who praise this pubic display of mercy as a expression of the Divine, to those calling it a shameful miscarriage of justice and a dangerous short-cut to the structural change that needs to happen. In this conversation, the critics and the advocates alike often end up concentrating on the individual acts of forgiveness giving little attention to the political and social dimensions of forgiveness. This is a travesty. It is high time we have a serious dialogue around how it is possible to hold mercy and justice together which is the essence of a growing social movement called Restorative Justice. The conceptions of mercy and justice need not be mutually exclusive in theory and practice OR on the micro and macro levels of society.


Individual Dimensions of Forgiveness

In some circles forgiveness has become a dirty word in the conversation on race in the United States. And rightfully so, as forgiveness has often been distorted as a form of absolution for the dominant white community and a mechanism of silencing the voices of protest calling for an end to structural racism and its prevailing violence in communities of color across the country. Of course, one of the greatest misconceptions of forgiveness is that it is a "gift" to the offender when in fact, all psychological research indicates that the process of forgiveness is even more importantly about the victim-survivor "letting go" of the hold that the memory of the offender and the enacted violation may have over them...


Read more about the political and social dimentions of forgiveness


Check out Carl's interview with the Huffington Post on this same topic.:

CSP alumni report from the field
Reflections on Nepal's earthquake 
Christie Shrestha (CSP 2004), originally from Nepal, shares her reflection on the recent Earthquake in her country. She recently joined Initiatives of Change USA as Program Manager for the Caux Scholars Program - Asia Plateau. 


On April 25, 2015, a massive 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit Nepal, my country of origin. Since then, much smaller, but nonetheless powerful magnitude of 5.0 and 6.0, tremors continue even today. As I reflect back on the early moments immediately after the tragedy hit, I remember feeling overwhelmed with fear for my relatives, who live in Nepal, and a sense of deep loss of watching the place where I grew up, the old neighborhoods that I hung around, and so many historical and cultural heritage sites and architectural treasures turned into rubble in a matter of seconds. For me, the sense of loss was deeply impacted with a loss of identity as a Nepali. The tangible and material things, the nostalgia of Nepal, the temples and sites, the streets, my old neighborhoods, and the vibrant life, all were parts of my childhood memories that I identified as being a Nepali.


Watching the devastation unfold, I felt helpless. However, amidst all the chaos and destruction, I witnessed through social media a rise of new visionaries and leaders - the Nepali youth. Within hours of earthquake, the Nepali youth groups organized themselves into numerous smaller groups and were in the forefront helping the Nepali army and police and International search and rescue teams. Setting aside their pain and suffering, the youths marched on (literally and figuratively) with a dedication to rebuild Nepal brick by brick, house by house, and village by village. Read more ...  

The ups and downs of social entrepreneurship
Laurin Hodge (CSP 2013) shares what she is learning about setting up an NGO:  


Leading a business requires focus; discipline; commitment; out-of-the-box thinking but most importantly find your "tribe." My advice to anyone looking to pursue a path of entrepreneurship is to become a part of a community that supports you. Creating a business can be lonely at times. When you are plugged into a nurturing network of like-minded people you will survive the tough times and learn to trust yourself, your vision, and your abilities.


Mission: Launch, Inc. is a 501(c) (3) tax-exempt organization. Our mission is to improve social outcomes for marginalized communities by building software to uphold human rights, designing opportunities for civic engagement, and amplifying inclusive thought leadership as well as personal narratives. The corporation is committed to the elimination of bias and barriers so that returning citizens (people returning home from prison/jail) can rejoin society and live out their full potential, contributing in meaningful ways.  


I made the decision to start this corporation while enrolled in a business masters degree program at The Johns Hopkins University (Baltimore, MD, USA). It was 2010 and I was searching for what my next steps could be professionally, so I enrolled in a competition - winning 3rd place. For a few years I was still pursuing other passions but 2 years ago I decided that this was the business I was called to create and pursue. The passion for Mission: Launch was sparked by my personal experience.

Read more ... 

Dismantling privilege
Jose Carlos Vargas (CSP 2005) attended the Healing History gathering in Richmond this past April. He and his wife created an organization called Solidaridad Internacional Kanda (SiKanda) , which focuses on social inclusion and economic development of people who live in slums and landfills in southern Mexico.   


In Mexico there is a common belief that we are a society where economic disparities and classism exist, but we do not acknowledge the presence of racism in our culture.  Yet in every advertisement, in every TV program, and in the majority of universities, companies and government entities, middle or top officials featured are white, or have a fair skin tone.


The Healing History conference made me better understand how various practices, customs and ideologies in my society seek to justify the unequal distribution of privileges, rights or goods among different racial groups and also across gender.


One important lesson that I learned at the conference is that privilege, particularly the one linked to whiteness and maleness, is an institutional, rather than personal, set of advantages granted to those of us, who by race or gender, resemble the people who occupy powerful positions in our institutions.


But how do I change that privilege? A simple, but effective step that I learned is not to fall into the making-decisions-for-everyone syndrome. Read more ...  

A cup of humanity
Janjarang Kijtikhun (CSP 2010) was chosen as one of the finalists for the Social Impact Award for a project called 'TeaRak', or 'the beloved' in Thai.  She writes about the needs that propelled her to take on this work:

Just like most tea growers in many countries, tea farmers in Thailand receive low and fluctuating prices for their produce and are the most vulnerable group in the supply chain.


Last year, through my work on rural development, I visited the region called Mae Salong, a mountainous area between the boarder of Thailand and Myanmar. The area is home to many ethnic minority groups known collectively as the hill tribes. All year long, the region is surrounded by mist, mountains, and vast areas of tea plantations.


Amid all the natural beauty lies the not so pretty story of hill tribe people, who are the poorest and the most marginalized group in Thailand. An average hill tribe person lives on less than 1 USD a day and most of the families do not have enough means to support their children through primary school.


I believe that we can change this inequality, and we can do so by marketing one of their best products, which is 'tea'. Cultivated with great care and long tradition, our tea collections come from different hill tribe groups. It is one tea, one tribe, and one unique flavor. Read more ...  

Remembering a peacemaker
Footprints in the sands of time
For years Berea College in Kentucky has been sending students to participate in the Caux Scholars Program. Dr. Michelle Tooley, an Associate Professor of Peace & Social Justice at Berea College, ensured this connection continued through a Berea-funded CSP scholarship. Sadly, Michelle passed away in May 2015. We asked some of her students, who are also CSP alumni, to share her impact on their lives. We have been so grateful for her support over the years. 

Winnie Arthur
, Ghana, (CSP 2012): Michelle was my advisor for all four years at Berea College. She encouraged me. She pushed me. She taught me. I unlearned so much because of her. During my fourth and final Model African Union conference in DC, Michelle came knocking on my door to wake me up: "Winnie, have you forgotten that you are chairing Assembly of States today? Why are you still asleep?" In my head, I was like, "Bruh, it's 5:30am!" But that was Michelle. Always making sure you knew what was expected of you.

She was left-handed and scribbled fast when she wrote on the board. She talked about Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HPIC). She talked about dialogue and systemic violence. She talked about undocumented students and access and nested models of peace and the language of debt and forgiveness and self-care. She was a boat-rocker, gathering her truth and laying it neatly at your feet. She was clear.

I am a Caux Scholar because of Michelle. I'll be resuming my studies, focusing on post-conflict reconstruction in the fall because of Michelle. Yet I have no language for this loss.

Read additional tributes from Nadine Umutoni, Rwanda, (CSP 2014) and Sai Thiha, Burma, (CSP 2012).
We hope you enjoyed this issue of Cauxmunique. Please share this newsletter with your friends and forward it to those you know have a passion for peacebuilding.

Thank you!
Kathy Aquilina 
In this issue
Please help us raise scholarship funds

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Donate online or send checks to our office payable to  
Initiatives of Change 

2015 Caux  Conferences
Exploring the human factor in global change

June 26-July 1
Trust and Integrity in the Global Economy

July 3-8
Just Governance for Human Security

July 10-14
Caux Dialogue on Land and Security

July 16-19
Addressing Europe's Unfinished Business
International Peace-Builders' Forum

July 27-August 2
CATS - Children and Adults - Partners for Change?

August 4-9
Seeds of Inspiration

August 10-15
Impact Initiatives Challenge

More information
Caux Scholars Program in India
Bringing the magic of Caux to India
Bringing the magic of Caux to India! The Caux Scholars Program successfully launched its pilot program at Asia Plateau, Panchgani, India, in December 2014. With 17 scholars from eleven different countries, the first CSP-AP class of 2014 examined fundamentals of conflict resolution, transformation, and peacebuilding, with an added bonus of examining it all through the lens of sustainable development.

Program Overview:
The Caux Scholars Program-Asia Plateau (CSP-AP) is a three week peacebuilding and sustainable development institute for young leaders, aged 21-35. It invites youth leaders, community organizers, and scholars from different countries and cultural backgrounds to learn and experience the integration of sustainable development and peacebuilding. The coursework and extracurricular activities are designed around the themes of fundamentals of conflict and peace, trauma healing, human rights and gender, restorative justice, and non-violent action.

Program Details:
Cost  per scholar:   Rs 60,000 ($1000) (tuition, meals, lodging)
Application Fee:      Rs 1000 ($17)
Application Deadline:   September 1, 2015

For more information or email Christie Shresthra
CSP Survey
Now is the time!
Amaha Selassie (CSP 2013) is in Ethiopia to develop a project based on participatory research (PAR) to help a small village harness its capacity towards building its future.   

I am hoping we can all take advantage of the CSP survey that was sent out, for I think now is the time for a global peacebuilding force to emerge to assist in our transition to a society that acknowledges the worth of every human being.  
I think now is the opportune time for us Caux Scholars, to put into practice our teachings for the maximum benefit of creation.

This is the case all over the world but especially in America. I say this because after the Civil Rights movement of the 60's, there rose an attempt to move us forward through the concept of color blindness, basically denying difference as a way to create unity and harmony. This step was taken without any acknowledgement of past hurts or real national effort to heal our wounds. The result has been layers of artificial skin covering a deep festering wound that has never been healed, which we have been taught to not talk about. But due to recent events, the layers of dead, artificial skin is being removed and the raw open wound is being exposed to air and light, the necessary step towards healing.

Now is the time to really stand in the gap, help all parties develop a mutual understanding that the raw emotions of now, emanating from fear, lack of acknowledgment and unhealed wounds can be transformed into really seeing one another and beginning the process of building a shared future from a divided past.

It will require great courage and fixity of purpose, but I am confident this is the reason we have received all of this training, to enable us to walk with our communities now.  
Healing History 2015
 Conference Report
A report of the conference is now published online. If you would like hard copies please be in touch with our office.
Peace Circles in Washington, DC

Two Caux Scholars participated in Creators of Peace Circles this year held in the Washington, DC, area. Both shared that the experience reminded them of Caux. Do consider participating in the Creators of Peace network which is active in many parts of the world.

If you are interested in discovering more about Creators of Peace Circles
in the US be in touch with Kathy Aquilina
A film from South Africa
Beyond Forgiving
Beyond Forgiving trailer
This award winning film depicts the true story of two South Africans trying to move beyond their pain towards forgiveness and healing.  

Caux Scholars
is a program of 
Initiatives of Change (IofC)
A diverse global network with an 80-year track record of peacebuilding, conflict transformation and forging partnerships across divides of race, class, religion and politics.  
Our vision
We inspire a vision of community where a commitment to reconciliation and justice transcends competing identities and interests.
Our mission
We equip leaders to build trust in diverse communities through a process of personal change, inclusive dialogue, healing historical conflict and teambuilding
Our focus
We connect core values with personal and public action with a focus on racial reconciliation, economic inclusion and interfaith understanding.
For more information 
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