Matt Guynn

Building Capacity for Nonviolent Social Change

Stories of Key Peace & Justice Work

Matt has been a lifelong fighter for peace and justice and has worked with numerous organizations as a participant or in a leadership capacity.

Matt's major focus at this time is serving as director of organizing for On Earth Peace, directly supporting churches and community groups across the country and around the world. Through OEP, he has played a central role in the formation of the Kingian Nonviolence Network, an informal group of Kingian trainers, organizers, and centers. He is also part of the online training team with Training For Change, helping lead webinars about online facilitation skills. Matt is active with the Oregon Poor People's Campaign, where he was on the founding Coordinating Committee and has helped develop their organizing model as well as supporting training and leadership development.

His past involvements included serving with Christian Peacemaker Teams as a full-time Corps member and as co-coordinator of training during the period of 1999-2001. In 2020, he was a co-editor for the textbook, Resist, Organize, Transform: An Introduction to Nonviolence and Activism

Read Matt's stories at the key organizations he has been a part of:

Oregon Poor People's Campaign Training For Change On Earth Peace

Read about other organizations he has been a part of:

Kingian Nonviolence Network Christian Peacemaker Teams Co-editor of Resist, Organize, Transform: An Introduction to Nonviolence and Activism

For additional information about Matt's work, follow his social media outlets and how On Earth Peace has impacted his work.

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Oregon Poor People's Campaign

Oregon Poor People's Campaign is one of more than forty affiliates around the country working to reignite the movement that Martin Luther King Jr. was developing when he was assassinated-- a cross-class, cross-racial fusion movement. Today's PPC unites people to tackle the challenges of systemic racism, pervasive poverty, ecological devastation, the war economy, and the distorted moral narrative of fundamentalist Christian white supremacy. In Oregon, the PPC develops members and organizes local circles which work on Poor People's Campaign issues and projects. Matt has played a meaningful role in helping organize the Oregon Poor People's Campaign, serving on the Coordinating Committee since its second meeting in 2018, and continuing to especially support training, strategy, and leadership development across the Oregon PPC. 

Follow Oregon Poor People's Campaign's progress and work:

Oregon Poor People's Campaign's Website

Oregon Poor People's Campaign's Facebook

Oregon Poor People's Campaign's Twitter

Poor People's Campaign's Twitter

Poor People's Campaign's Instagram

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Training For Change

Training For Change provides facilitation training for social change activists in the US and around the world. TFC's primary constituency is people from grassroots social change organizations who are seeking skills and practice in effective facilitation and training. TFC has a unique model called "direct education," a method in which people are not just given key information but are offered the space to connect the dots for themselves, learn their own lessons, and apply new insights immediately. Since 1996, Matt has served as a staff member, board member, including board chair, and trainer in various capacities. Matt's current role is as part of the online training team, which greatly expanded its offerings and reach after the pandemic started in 2020. 

Follow Training For Change's progress and work:

Training For Change's Website

Training For Change's Facebook

Training For Change's Twitter

Training For Change's Instagram

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On Earth Peace

On Earth Peace focuses on supporting people who are working for justice and peace, helping them to develop skills and capacity for nonviolence leadership in their communities. After an internship with OEP at age 19, Matt served on the board for 6 years. In 2001 he joined the staff, and in the intervening 20 years he has helped OEP develop its own capacity for nonviolence and social change support. He has served as a conflict consultant with churches, assisting OEP's ministry of reconciliation, and supported social change organizing on projects from the death penalty to racial justice. His current role is director of organizing for church and community groups, where his time is spent consulting and training with groups as they develop their own capacity for organizing; walking with churches who seek a bolder call and sharper skills for social engagement; and supporting interns working in Kingian Nonviolence and Learning Action Community organizing.  

Follow On Earth Peace's progress and work:

On Earth Peace's Website

On Earth Peace's Facebook

On Earth Peace's Twitter

On Earth Peace's Instagram

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On Earth Peace's Impact on Matt

“I first connected with On Earth Peace as a sixteen-year-old attending a Peace Retreat at the Roann Church of the Brethren in rural Indiana. That first peace retreat combined faith formation, history, politics, and practice for living a life of peace and justice.  A few years later, while a peace studies major at Manchester University (then College), I had an OEP summer internship with a primary task of tasks compiling information about nonviolence training programs in the United States. That summer, the executive director of OEP drove me up to Philly to attend my first nonviolence training with George Lakey at Training for Change (TFC). OEP and TFC have been the constants for nearly 30 years now - with a common focus on leadership and capacity-building for nonviolent social change.  When I was about twenty, I joined the OEP board, where I got my first exposure to how nonprofit organizations actually function. Soon after 9/11, I started working for OEP, initially as a contractor to organize congregations around the war we thought would start soon. In 2002, I started as a full-time staff-person focused on congregational conflict and peace witness. While working at On Earth Peace, I was introduced to Kingian Nonviolence Conflict Reconciliation by former OEP board member David Jehnsen, a co-author of the Kingian curriculum. Kingian Nonviolence has become a main focus of my work as well as OEP's work and a source of personal grounding and orientation. Over the years, my work has mostly focused on organizing congregations to make a difference - either around specific issues like racial justice, or through leadership development, most recently focused on Kingian Nonviolence. OEP’s journey since the early 2000's to dismantle institutional racism and move toward new ways of operating has profoundly shaped how I move in the world. I am excited about the vision OEP has claimed of building Beloved Community and the work that is now unfolding!” 
-- Matt Guynn

Where To Follow Matt





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