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                                       Winter 2016

This year marks a special milestone in the history of the Caux Scholars Program. We celebrate our 25th anniversary in 2016. 

Over the years, a reoccurring need has emerged: how do we sustain the learning and experience of CSP when scholars return home? While we have communicated with you through our newsletter, Facebook and reunions, we are now aiming to set in place local networks. As suggested during our last reunion at Caux, we will appoint an alumni officer in every region who will connect with local graduates. Our goal is to provide a network that supports and responds to the needs of our alumni. 

A fundamental principle that has underpinned CSP for 25 years has become a priority of the United Nations (UN). For the first time in the history of the UN, on December 9th, 2015, the Security Council adopted a resolution Resolution 2250 that recognizes that young men and women play an important and positive role in the promotion of peace and security. Mr. Ahmad Alhendawi, UN Secretary-General's Envoy on Youth, said, "Youth have for too long been cast away as either the perpetrators of violence or its victims. With this resolution the Security Council recognizes the important contributions that young people make in countering violent extremism and supporting peacebuilding efforts around the world." 

Resolution 2250 reflects that youth are changemakers! I encourage you to read the resolution. For those who are engaged in some form of peacebuilding, look for opportunities to use Resolution 2250 to gain access and opportunities for involvement.
As you will read in this issue, our alumni are at work on environmental issues and global education. Our Academic Director, Carl Stauffer, addresses white privilege from his sense of urgency that justice must become a priority in our lives. It would be interesting to know how Carl's thoughts resonate with you.   

This anniversary year is a time to reflect and say thank you to the many families and friends who have made investments of time and resources to advance our cause. I hope that this program continues for at least another 100 years, to provide an opportunity for aspiring leaders to discover that another world is possible.

Best wishes, 
Program Director

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From the Academic Director
Sitting in the fire of truth
Carl Stauffer, PhD, Academic Director of the Caux Scholars Program, writes:

Carl Stauffer with Kiprono Kemboi from Kenya
In January we commemorated the incredible legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. and the struggle for civil rights of all people around the world. Unfortunately, this past year was marred by heightened expressions of racial and political divisiveness for many communities across the United States. And while I would desire to call forth MLKs beautiful visions of the beloved community where white and black children play together unhindered, I feel the urge to lift up his prophetic message at this time and in so doing I am primarily writing to my white brothers and sisters in America. 

Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, "Privileged groups seldom give up their privileges voluntarily." We as the white community have sanitized and sterilized King's historical message in order to stay in our status quo comfort zone. Freelance journalist Robert Jenson (1999) put it this way, "White people, whether overtly racist or not, benefit from living in a world mostly run by white people that has been built on the land and the backs of non-white people." From my reading of MLK, I am hard pressed not to believe that if he were still alive today he would make all of us feel quite uncomfortable. 

The dominant white culture that we live in wants us to believe that the "Beloved Community" that MLK so fervently spoke about is the same as being racially "color blind." It is not. The myth of "color blindness" simply serves to reinforce the dominating ideology of free radical individualism - that each of us can independently control our lives and the decisions that we make and that this is done completely detached from the influence of societal barriers of race, poverty and class. In the words of Omowale Akintunde (1999), "For most whites, racism is like murder: the concept exists but someone has to commit it in order for it to happen."
Read more
CSP alumni report from the field
Refreshed and re-energized
Janet Jeruto Kirui (CSP 2012) is a lawyer, mediator, and community peacebuilder in Kenya.  

As we disembarked from the train in the hot summer afternoon of 9th July 2015, my mind, body and soul were ready for an inspiring moment at the Initiatives of Change Land, Lives and Peace third annual conference in Caux, Switzerland. I was honored to accompany, along with Ednah Kang'ee (CSP 2011), the Deputy Governor of my home county of Elgeiyo Marakwet and one other Officer.

The theme of this year's conference was Grounding Sustainable Development. Numerous scientific studies have shown a clear link between climate change and conflict. Up to 80% of the conflicts today take place in dry countries. This conference sought to address the human connection between poverty, conflict and land degradation by encouraging sustainable land management as a driver of peace. The other objective was to scale up what already works.
Kenyan delegation meets with Caux Scholars
Elgeiyo Marakwet County in the Rift Valley is divided into three topographies: highlands, escarpment and the valley. Little rainfall, soil erosion, and unsustainable land practices have been key in contributing to land degradation, hence the conflicts between farmers and pastoralists over many years. Added to this, a recent discovery of mineral deposits is creating reverse migration, threatening the relative peace. 

My county delegation did a presentation on working with the community in reclaiming land to resolve conflicts. Read more
Take action to care for our common home
Marcia Lee 
(CSP 2009) is Director of the Franciscan Volunteer Corps in the MidWest USA (, which encourages people to "Join us to work for a more just and compassionate world. Live in intentional community and become a better version of yourself!" She attended the Paris COP21 with a Franciscan delegation.

I live in the state of Michigan in the United States. Michigan is surrounded by one fifth of the world's fresh water. Currently, in Flint and Detroit, we have a human-created water crisis. In Flint, in 2015, the governor-appointed, non-elected emergency manager moved the city's water source from Lake Huron to the Flint River as a cost-saving measure. For a while, even though doctors were saying that the water was not safe, the state and mayor did not acknowledge the problem. 

Seven months later, after much public pressure, the water source was changed back, but the damage had already been done. The city's water supply was contaminated and for at least one generation to come, the children who drank the water will suffer. In Detroit, hundreds of thousands of people have had their water shut off when they could not afford to pay. The United Nations has declared that water is a human right, and yet, in the place that is surrounded by the largest bodies of fresh water in the world, people do not have access to fresh water. 

This contradiction is not unique to my home. I also see it in the global political arena. My journey to international climate change work began with the 15th United Nation Climate Change Conference (COP15) in Copenhagen as a representative for the Initiatives of Change Environmental Action Group that began during my time as a Caux Scholar. At that time, we heard the governments talk about working for the common good, and yet not all countries agreed that climate change was real. Read more
A smaller ecological footprint
Brooklet Farm is a hundred acres of pasture and woodlands far north in the State of New South Wales, Australia, located in an eco-tourism area renowned for its natural beauty and creative industries. Here Tom Duncan (CSP 2009) and his wife Chau have decided to put their vision into practical action, working the land and offering with partner Scott Darby a six-week Land Restoration and Peacebuilding course. Tom currently teaches Permaculture Design on site and is partnering with a local college:

We encourage everyone to try and take small steps in creating a smaller ecological footprint on the earth. Composting food waste and putting the rich nutrients in food gardens closes the loop of nutrients and avoids hateful methane from being emitted from landfill.

I like to encourage people to grow their own food, whether in the backyard, school, college gardens, community garden plot, acreage or inside an apartment or on a balcony. Vertical food gardens are becoming easier to build now making urban food production even more accessible. We encourage you to meet your local neighborhood and start planting nature strips next to walkways with fruit and nut trees. For people with access to grazing land we highly recommend studying holistic management and planned grazing to build soil and animal health whilst improving productivity dramatically. 

Allan Savory, founder of Holistic Management, and I wrote about these skills in the Journal of Land Restoration, a chapter entitled, Regenerating Agriculture to Sustain Civilization.  (Would also like to put in a big thanks to Scott for his editing skills!) Read more 
Between the world and whom?
Winnie Arthur (CSP 2012) is the UNESCO fellow for Global Education at the University of Pennsylvania. She is getting her Masters in International Education Development and is passionate about the economics of education. She writes about the work of a 2015 MacArthur Foundation* fellow, Ta-Nehisi Coates, who is a national correspondent for The Atlantic magazine. The MacArthur Foundation supports the role of "journalism in a responsible and responsive democracy:"

When Toni Morrison - Queen Regent of All Things Good - says something is required reading, it probably behooves you to read it. Ta-Nehisi Coates' Between the World and Me is the most important book of 2015 for many reasons. It is a lyrical admonishing of America's claim to exceptionalism, despite its unbothered disposition towards the plight of a segment of its population, on whose backs the nation was built.

But even if we accept Morrison's claim, for whom exactly is this reading required? People, in Coates' own words, who consider themselves to be White? 15 year-old Black boys in northern Philadelphia, who have little control of the forces out to take their bodies? Or 15 year-old Black boys who attend Montessori School and are just as likely to be plundered by the 'system' as their peers in Philly?

Despite its radical Baldwin-esque** thoughtfulness on race, Between the World and Me is most insightful when it speaks about institutions and intentions. In perhaps the most arresting paragraph, Coates writes, "Fail in the streets and the crews would catch you slipping and take your body. Fail in the schools and you would be suspended and sent back to those same streets, where they would take your body. And I began to see these two arms in relation - those who failed in the schools justified their destruction in the streets. The society could say, 'He should have stayed in school,' and then wash its hands of him." Read more

**James Baldwin was an African American novelist, playwright, and cultural critic whose notable works include The Fire Next Time and My Dungeon Shook.
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

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Initiatives of Change 

2015 Caux  Scholars Report
2016 Caux  Conferences
Plan on coming back 
this year!

June 29-July 3
Caux Dialogue on Land and Security

July 5-10
Trust and Integrity in the Global Economy

July 12-17
Just Governance for Human Security

July 19-23
Addressing Europe's Unfinished Business

July 19-23
International Peace-Builders' Forum

July 26-August 1
CATS - Children as Actors for Transforming Society

August 4-10
Creators of Peace
Living Peace: Celebrating 25 Years of Creators of Peace

August 12-17
Seeds of Inspiration

For more information
2015 Caux Report
More than 1400 people from all continents attended the eight International Caux Conferences in 2015, all striving for a more just, peaceful and sustainable world.

Caux Scholars Program in India
A commitment to peace and justice
Casandra Lawrence (CSP-AP 2016) is from and writes this report of the program.

The Caux Scholars Program in India finished just over a week ago. Despite severe floods and last minute visa challenges that prevented some from coming, 14 scholars from 10 countries completed the three-week intensive course on conflict transformation and sustainable development.

The scholars were able to connect and learn from each other, as well as from Dr. Florina and Dr. Gladston Xavier, the core faculty. Dr. Xavier is from Loyola College in Chennai, India. He is an expert in the field of conflict resolution. He and Dr. Florina have given workshops on peacebuilding for people in the grass roots, as well as policy makers in Asia, Europe and America. The scholars also had the opportunity to meet with several guest lecturers from the Asia Plateau conference center.

In addition to the case studies presented by the faculty, each scholar presented a conflict where they come from, ranging from political conflicts in Ukraine, Burundi, Bangladesh, India, Nepal, and others, to identity formation in Malaysia, family conflicts, and corporate social responsibility. Several of the scholars had already had some work experience which deepened their understanding of how the ideas expressed in the course could be applied in the real world. Read more
Living Peace

Celebrating 25 years of
 Creators of Peace

August 4-10, 2016 
Caux , Switzerland

In 1991 this women's peace initiative was launched at Caux. With delegates from the over 40 countries where this Creators of Peace has a presence, we will explore the ever elusive challenge of actually "Living Peace" and how this can change the global narrative from the current inevitability of violence and despair to one of compassion and hope.

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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