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International criminal prosecution is seen by some as an essential tool to end impunity and reduce the extraordinary impact that war crimes and crimes against humanity have on civilians who are trapped in war.  Others criticize international prosecution as simply another form of Westerners attempting to impose their view of justice on a skeptical world while ignoring and silencing the voices of the victims and the communities from which they come. 

This event is part of the Intercollegiate Peace Fellowship Conference, a three day conference that explores the meaning, history, and practice of restorative justice.

This is a public event that is free to attend and open to all. This event is available with American Sign Language (ASL) interpretation.

For Imogen Sloss, the desire for peace has always been an anchor in her life; growing up, it was a central value in her family and her community. Throughout high school, Imogen fostered this desire for peace through her passion for social justice, and after graduation, she continued to seek out opportunities to make a difference.

As she searched for the right undergraduate program to further her studies, her passion for peace and restorative justice drew her towards the Peace and Conflict Studies program at the University of Waterloo.

Navigating a gunpoint situation in Kenya. Camping near the flaming Darvazaa gas crater in Turkmenistan. Manually flagging down a train in Sicily. Co-creating a Great Lakes funding program with Ontario Indigenous groups. Relaxing in hot springs in Iceland. Developing a climate peace and security policy for the Canadian government. Grebel alumnus Patrick Quealey (BES 2002) enjoys regaling friends with stories of his adventures – anecdotes collected during his extensive personal travels and experiences from his career with Canada’s government. Patrick shines while trying new things, exploring unknown territory (both physically and in policy), and creating connections.

“Openness to possibility has been really important to me and my journey,” shared Katie Gingerich (BA, 2015), a Grebel alumna who founded The Ripple Effect Education (TREE) – a non-profit peace education organization, during her undergraduate studies. “Stepping out and starting this organization didn’t just happen overnight,” explained Katie. “Grebel’s opportunities are what made me who I am.”

“Growing up, I was–and still am–terrified of conflict. I run away from conflict, which is hilarious considering what I do,” shared Hannah Redekop (BA 2011), who has facilitated meetings between warring groups in Colombia, documented the Israeli occupation's human rights abuses against Palestinians during a year spent in Palestine, and now shares the stories of those who bear conflict's violent burden.

It is a cliché story—the one where the hopeful, career-hunting traveller stumbles into New York City and discovers it is the promised land of opportunity—but for Kenny Hildebrand (BA 2015), the story is all too real. He laughed when summarizing his journey from St. Catharines to New York City; it started with an old friend jokingly suggesting he move there and ended shortly after with an offer to work at one of the largest law firms in Manhattan. “Moving here was an inside joke that went a little too far,” he mused.

The annual C. Henry Smith Peace Oratorical Contest, established in 1974 by the directors of the C. Henry Smith Trust, offers Peace and Conflict Studies (PACS) students and Grebel residents/associates an opportunity to discuss peacebuilding and social justice issues on campus and beyond. The intercollegiate competition is administered by the Peace and Justice Ministries of the Mennonite Central Committee (MCC). Undergraduate students from every Mennonite and Brethren in Christ college in North America, including Canada, are eligible to participate.  

Henry Smith was an American Mennonite historian and professor at Mennonite colleges and the University of Chicago. Overall, he taught history for nearly 50 years at the collegiate level. He is well-known for his many books on Mennonite history and his attention to the peace commitments of the Mennonite tradition.   

On March 13, 2024, from 7 pm to 8 pm in Grebel’s Community Education Room, the PACS Department and the Grebel Chaplaincy’s Offices are organizing a speech performance and inviting you to participate. This year marks the 50th Anniversary of this peace speech competition, and for that reason, we have increased the cash prizes for the winners. The stakes have never been this high! The contest winners will be rewarded with cash prizes of $1000 for first place, $500 for second place, and $300 for third place. For more information, reach out to the PACS Academic Advisor

To learn more about the contest and meet previous PACS or Grebel resident participants, visit this link here. 

Application deadline - February 29, 2024.

Are you planning to attend the event? Fill out this registration form

Kristin moved into Grebel and the University of Waterloo in the fall of 1995 initially to pursue her first love – acting. She enrolled in the theater program but transferred after her first year as she developed a keen interest in her Peace and Conflict Studies (PACS) electives and decided to keep acting alive as a hobby. After graduating in 1998, she ventured off alone to the United States for work, where she quickly began missing her friends. “I decided I needed one day in my life where everyone I’ve ever met in the entire universe could get together and just party and celebrate life together,” said Kristin. “And so that’s when the 2010 party was born.”