Frank and Helen on the Great Wall of ChinaThe second president of Conrad Grebel, Frank H. Epp, was an innovative trailblazer for peace throughout his life and career. He spoke out against the Vietnam War in the 1960s and welcomed draft resisters in Ottawa during that time. He initiated the Peace and Conflict Studies program at Conrad Grebel in the mid-1970s and was instrumental in the creation of Project Ploughshares. Epp was a prolific scholar, journalist, church leader, and professor of History and Communications at Conrad Grebel. His pacifist writings on peace from a “third way” religious perspective were prophetic in many ways. For instance, long before the inter-faith initiatives that Mennonites convene today, Frank was advocating for peace between Israelis and Palestinians in the Middle East and was involved in Christian-Jewish dialogue locally. In short, he was on the forefront of challenging peace issues for the church and society.

His impressive scholarship and advocacy regarding active Christian peacemaking locally and globally was the very kind of expansive, “cutting-edge” peace-making that the MSCU Centre for Peace Advancement will promote.

His wife, Helen L. Epp, worked toward peace on a more personal and local level through her numerous roles with civil society organizations. After completing a graduate degree in Social Work, she was program director at the House of Friendship and counselor at Shalom Counselling Services and HopeSpring Cancer Support Centre. She worked for Mennonite Central Committee for many years, as both staff and volunteer, including advocacy for Low German-speaking women in Mexico and Canada. This community involvement in peacemaking is critical to an expansive view of peace which is part of the vision for the MSCU Centre for Peace Advancement.

What is a "Peace Incubator?"

Ideas need warm and nurturing spaces to be conceived and to grow. Incubators are just such a space - a place where concepts are hatched.

The Epp Incubator is a space of over 450 square feet within the CPA and contains 6 work stations adjacent to the Buzz Space and  Grebel Gallery, with windows overlooking the south side of the campus. The Incubator space itself is designed to be a “beehive” of entrepreneurial, interdisciplinary activity around peace advancement and will spur collaborative thinking.

The Epp Incubator is an open and collaborative space for short term peace practitioners to interface with Grebel students and faculty and longer affiliate groups who have tenant space. By bringing occupants of the floor together in an incubator space for discussion, the cross-fertilization of peace start-up ideas is more likely to happen.

The Epp Peace Incubator is located on the new fourth floor of Grebel, in the Mennonite Savings and Credit Union Centre for Peace Advancement.

Interested in getting involved? Sponsor a Hot Desk by visiting the Centre's donation page or apply to be an incubator participant. For more information, contact:

Paul Heidebrecht - Director of the Centre for Peace Advancement 

pheidebrecht@uwaterloo.ca
 
Phone 519/885-0220 x 24225