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“When I was in Hebron, heading through checkpoints meant our Palestinian guide had to show his ID while I breezed through,” said Jessica Dyck, 2015 graduate of the Master of Peace and Conflict Studies (MPACS) program. “He wasn’tpermitted to walk down certain streets in his hometown while I could. I was struck by how this mirrored what I have read and learned about apartheid South Africa.” 


Her grandfather was forced to flee from Palestine. Religious persecution chased her father out of Cuba. Growing up in a refugee and immigrant faith community in Kitchener, discussion and tales of hardship became a recurring sound for MPACS graduate, Kaylee Perez. “Surrounded by these conversations growing up, I grew to love the aspects of cross-cultural communication,” she said of her upbringing, which led her down a path of peace work that spanned not only cultures, but continents.

For Darren Kropf, the foundation for equity starts from the ground up, quite literally. As the City of Kitchener's Manager of Active Transportation and Development, he explained that “A transportation network that’s predominantly functional for motor vehicles privileges a certain demographic.” While this may be a foreign idea to some, Darren’s mantra is simple, “we must not privilege one group over the other in our transportation planning.” 

“The world of work today is defined by disruptive business models, flattened hierarchies, integrated networks of teams, and global hiring practices. As a result, the workplace is more diverse than ever before,” explained Grebel alumni Wali Muhammad, who studied in the Master of Peace and Conflict Studies program at University of Waterloo, based at Conrad Grebel University College. "When people from diverse backgrounds try to work together as teams, it creates a huge potential for conflict. Simple misunderstandings often result in wasted potential and depleted team performance.” For more than 10 years, Wali has worked to fix this persistent problem of cultural incompatibility.

The third Global Mennonite Peacebuilding Conference and Festival (GMP) took place on June 15-18, at Eastern Mennonite University (EMU) in Harrisonburg, VA. A diverse range of scholars, Mennonite practitioners, artists, and theologians from around the world were invited to share about their work for peace and listen to each other’s stories.

Article detailing the tenth anniversary of the MPACS program at Grebel and the University of Waterloo, which was celebrated on March 4, 2023. The celebration brought together upwards of 80 guests, including 42 alumni and most of the faculty and staff involved in the program’s establishment, growth, and mission during the last decade.

Wednesday, March 29, 2023

MPACS Society: Meet the Team

You have most likely received emails from, or attended events hosted by, the Masters of Peace and Conflict Studies (MPACS) Student Society. This is a student-led group that focuses on building community, running events, establishing connections with related organizations in the field, and advocating for MAPCS students.  

Zerihun Kinate, an outgoing student in the Masters of Peace and Conflict Studies (MPACS) program, has a rich background of knowledge in law, political science and international relations, combined with experience as an economic diplomat and expert in foreign trade relations and negotiations. Before joining the MPACS program, Zerihun described himself as a change-maker determined to disrupt systems and practices for the greater good. As he nears the end of his studies, he recognizes increased nuance and sensitivity in the issues he is passionate about, along with a critical understanding that there are no easy solutions to complex problems.  

Thursday, November 10, 2022

Student Profile: Sidra Khan

Sidra Khan is an MPACS student from Pakistan with a passion for grassroots movements and community-building. Now in her 3rd semester, she is strongly driven to connect with people – a quality that ties directly into the MPACS program. 

Sidra completed her undergraduate studies in social sciences, with a major in advertising and went on to work as a journalist before choosing the MPACS program. She chose the MPACS program due to its robust courses, rich discussions, diverse community, and balanced mix of professional and academic elements. 

When the pandemic first closed down workplaces in March 2020, Simon Guthrie, like so many others at the time, found himself struggling to make sense of the world around him. A student in Grebel’s Master of Peace and Conflict Studies (MPACS) program, he soon had the idea to take advantage of this unusual opportunity and conduct research on the impact of a global pandemic -- right in the middle of one.