Conrad Grebel University College
140 Westmount Road North
Waterloo, ON, Canada N2L 3G6
Director Paul Heidebrecht is shown here visiting with Helen Epp at an Incubator showcase event at the Waterloo branch of Kindred Credit Union. As innovative trailblazers for peace, the Epp Family inspired the Grebel Peace Incubator. Read the message from the director.
7 affiliate organizations have been co-located in the Kindred Credit Union Centre for Peace Advancement
We provide an inspiring and flexible work environment for our core collaborators, as well as access to researchers, students, and community engagement opportunities.
Project Ploughshares works with churches, governments, and civil society in Canada and abroad to advance policies and actions to prevent war and armed violence.
Tamarack Institute develops and supports collaborative strategies that engage citizens and institutions to solve major community issues, both across Canada and abroad.
The Ripple Effect Education supports and equips youth with conflict resolution tools that allow them to support their peers with empathy and problem-solve respectfully.
Christian Peacemaker Teams sends volunteers who are trained in nonviolent peacebuilding to advocate for justice and stand in solidarity with the oppressed.
Waterloo Public Interest Research Group supported University of Waterloo students and community members to research, educate, and take action on pressing social and environmental justice issues.
19 peace start-ups have been supported by the Grebel Peace Incubator program
Embedded in Waterloo region's dynamic social innovation ecosystem, our incubator program attracts students and community members who benefit from our particular approach to mentorship, training opportunities, and seed funding.
Thinking and working politically to advance peace
A diversity of peace practitioners, entrepreneurs, and researchers creates a dynamic community that breaks out of disciplinary and institutional silos.
Catalyzing collaboration through community connections
Joining IVEP from Cambodia in 2016-2017, Socheata became immersed in Waterloo’s innovation ecosystem, sparking an interest in innovation and value creation that led her to a graduate degree in Global Management. Socheata plans to start her own social venture in education technology to bridge the gap of access to digital literacy among students in South East Asia.
In 2017-2018, Lorenzo joined the Centre for Peace Advancement from Indonesia. Lorenzo has recently finished training in Cambodia with the General Board of Global Ministries of the United Methodist Church and will soon be commissioned as a Global Mission Fellow for a two-year overseas mission service.
The Centre for Peace Advancement’s most recent host from 2018-2019, Suyeon, joined IVEP from South Korea. Suyeon’s year with the Centre exposed her to the options available for peacebuilding in her own region. After returning to South Korea, Suyeon attended the Northeast Asia Regional Peacebuilding Institute summer training program in Nanjing, China.
- November 2011
Announcement of transformative gift from Mennonite Savings and Credit Union (now Kindred Credit Union)
- March 2012
- June 2012
Grebel Board approves vision and mission
- June 2014
Paul Heidebrecht named director
- September 2014
Mennonite Savings and Credit Union Centre for Peace Advancement opens (Now Kindred Credit Union Centre for Peace Advancement)
- November 2014
Michelle Jackett named coordinator
- July 2016
Renamed as Kindred Credit Union Centre for Peace Advancement
- October 2016
Grebel Gallery Fund established
- August 2017
First cohort of Peace Innovators
- September 2017
Peace Incubator Fund and Barry Bauman Mentorship Fund established
Annual Peace Week for Waterloo Region is first coordinated
- November 2017
Epp Peace Incubator Mentorship Circle is formed (now Grebel Peace Incubator Mentorship Circle)
- October 2018
Facilitated UWaterloo's participation in Map the System for the first time.
- September 2019
Inaugural PeaceTech Living-Learning Community
- September 2019
Celebrating the Centre's 5-year anniversary.
- November 2019
Epp Peace Incubator approved as the first social innovation incubator in Mitacs' Accelerate Entrepreneur and Entrepreneur International programs.
- June 2021
Epp Peace Incubator re-branded as Grebel Peace Incubator
100 students have worked for the Centre for Peace Advancement, affiliate organizations, and incubator start-ups
We connect bright and committed university students from a variety of disciplines to practical learning opportunities with the peace practitioners, entrepreneurs, and researchers who call the Kindred Credit Union Centre for Peace Advancement home.
As a Peace and Conflict Studies student at Grebel, Charity’s co-op placement as the Centre for Peace Advancement’s Communications Assistant in Fall 2017 exposed her to the role that innovation and entrepreneurship play in solving social and environmental challenges. Charity went on to intern with Mennonite Central Committee’s Ottawa Office, and then the University of Waterloo’s Entrepreneurship at Environment program. “The Centre for Peace Advancement introduced me to social innovation and using entrepreneurship as a vessel for change. My time at the Centre gave me a lens to look at problems as part of a system which has helped me to understand the social/environmental issues I work with.”
Grace joined the Centre for Peace Advancement as the Communications Assistant in Winter and Fall 2018. Grace’s experiences with the Centre for Peace Advancement encouraged her to actively pursue the intersection of peacebuilding with technology, and allowed her to explore the ethical and social implications of new technologies. Grace used the skills and knowledge she learned from her time at the Centre at her next co-op placement with the University of Waterloo’s Ethics, Technology, and Social Impact Committee. “Working in the Centre positioned me incredibly well for this role, as it was the source of my interest in this impact space and allowed me to explore more questions and what they mean for the world.”Grace went on to rejoin the Centre for Peace Advancement as a PeaceTech Living-Learning Community Peer Leader at Grebel.
We are eager to draw in organizations and individuals beyond the Centre for Peace Advancement's community to strengthen our capacity and extend our reach.
We are an outward facing program of Conrad Grebel University College that promotes - and is shaped by - mutual learning and shared action between our campus and broader community.
A few memorable events
Advancing peace through the arts