Janell Ryan, She/They

Janell Ryan graduated Messiah University in 2020, majoring in English (writing concentration) and minoring in Psychology. Currently, Janell is the Newsletter Editor and is loving every second of it, learning new techniques and also educating herself on important issues. She is passionate about racial justice, LGBTQ+ rights, mental health education, and feminism. When she's not working, Janell can be found writing, complimenting her cat constantly, trying not to kill plants, and organizing her room for the 30th time. 

  • published MLK Jr. National Historical Park in Blog 2021-07-23 17:10:50 -0400

    MLK Jr. National Historical Park

    Written by Marilyne Njuraita, Prison Justice Organizer


    In the month of May, I was able to stop by Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historical Park in Atlanta, Georgia. The park consists of: a museum; the path of Martin Luther King Jr.; The King Center for Nonviolent Social Change with the burial place of King and his wife Coretta Scott King; an 1894 firehouse that served the Sweet Auburn community until 1991; the "I Have a Dream" International World Peace Rose Garden; a memorial tribute to Mohandas K. Gandhi; and the "International Civil Rights Walk of Fame" commemorating some of the courageous pioneers who’ve worked for social justice.

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  • published Bolivia KNV Training in Blog 2021-07-23 17:10:27 -0400

    Bolivia KNV Training

    Written by Matt Guynn, Church and Community Group Director of Organizing


    On three Saturdays in late June and early July, On Earth Peace sponsored a Spanish-language Kingian Nonviolence training via Zoom for the Bolivian organizing group Standing Rivers/Ríos De Pie. Standing Rivers works for a free, fair & safe Bolivia, protecting forests and promoting human rights, indigenous rights, and sustainable environmental policies. Their goal is a reconciled, democratic society in Bolivia. 

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  • published Kingian Nonviolence Conflict Reconciliation in Blog 2021-07-04 13:29:25 -0400

    Kingian Nonviolence Conflict Reconciliation

    Written by Anna Rodriguez, Kingian Nonviolence Fellow


    During the month of July, On Earth Peace has been organizing a 3-part series to explore tools for organizing and community leadership through the values and practices of Kingian Nonviolence Conflict Reconciliation. Join us for our final session!

    If you are an organizer working for social change, an activist working to reduce violence in your community, or just someone who wants to learn more, join us! We will apply Kingian tools to the context of each organizer/participant - and, you’re welcome if you’re just curious, but don’t have a specific issue in mind. We anticipate participation from members of OEP’s different Learning Action Communities - but no previous involvement is required. Come build relationships and get a taste of Kingian Nonviolence! Participation at all sessions is not required. REGISTER HERE

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  • published Mark Karasek - 6.30 JPL in Blog 2021-06-29 21:13:57 -0400

    Mark Karasek - 6.30 JPL

    This month we've been excited to introduce you to Ruth Karasek and Marie Benner-Rhoades. Our final June newsletter highlights Mark Karasek, educator, innovator, and long time supporter of On Earth Peace! Advocating for peace and justice is a family endeavor for spouses Mark and Ruth, and we are happy to support the Karasek family in their work. 

    We hope hearing from the leaders OEP has supported will inspire you to support us- we hope you will feel led to share these stories with others and donate to help support future leaders in OEP. Let these stories inspire you in your own work towards building a more peaceful, just world. 


    Mark Karasek

    Generation: Baby Boomer (1946-1964)


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  • published Marie Benner-Rhoades JPL in Blog 2021-06-15 11:23:56 -0400

    Marie Benner-Rhoades JPL

    Since its beginnings in 1974, On Earth Peace has been a branch growing on the tree of peace and justice. The fruit of this work is the intergenerational leadership that has been growing for the past 45 years, which is visible through the Just Peace Leaders whose stories we have been proud to share with you this month! As rain sustains a tree, your support is what helps us grow and continue to support leaders in peace and justice. 

    We hope hearing from the leaders OEP has supported will inspire you to support us- we hope you will feel led to share these stories with others and donate to help support future leaders in OEP. Let these stories inspire you in your own work towards building a more peaceful, just world.  

    For our second June newsletter, we are excited to share the story of one of our core staff members, Marie Benner-Rhoades

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  • published 6.9 Highlights in Blog 2021-06-08 12:31:49 -0400

    6.9 Highlights

    • On May 23, Matt Guynn provided a Congregational Peace Health Checkup for Middlebury Church of the Brethren (Middlebury, IN) with support from Anna Rodriguez.  
    • On May 18, Matt Guynn participated in the monthly Q&A session held by David Steele, General Secretary of the Church of the Brethren Mission and Ministry Board (MMB), for members of the MMB.
    • Dunker Punks Podcast #116 features On Earth Peace's Community Engagement Grants for Youth Groups.  Laura Hay interviews each of the youth who received grants through this program.
    • June 20th is World Refugee Day. Get your Refugees Are Welcome Here stickers in time! Available on the JustPeace Outfitters store
    • Dennis Duett attended National Young Adult Conference of the Church of the Brethren on behalf of OEP.

  • published Pinkwashing in Palestine in Blog 2021-05-30 14:57:45 -0400

    Pinkwashing in Palestine

    Image by Phoebe Pannier

    Written by Annabell Knapp, Palestine Organizer


    Pinkwashing is a term used to describe when a country, organization, or company uses its positive actions towards the LGBTQ community to distract from their negative actions. The Israeli government is notorious for using this as a propaganda strategy to distract from their human rights abuses that they commit against Palestinians.

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  • published US Pride History in Blog 2021-05-30 14:45:46 -0400

    US Pride History

    Photograph by Angela Weiss

    Written by Kylee Lorio, LGBTQ+ Organizer


    In the United States, Pride has a complicated history. Pride truly began in 1969, but the current celebration we recognize today emerged in 1970. On June 28 of 1970, thousands of people arrived outside the former Stonewall Inn, determined to march to Greenwich Village in honor of members of the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Questioning/Queer Intersex Asexual (LGBTQIA+) community that stood against police violence the year before. Each year following, the same peaceful march honoring members of the LGBTQIA+ community occurred, eventually earning the title of Pride. Since 1970, Pride has been an annual commemoration of the identity that has been the source of generations of oppression. 

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  • published OEP Endorses Palestinian Bills in Blog 2021-05-30 14:23:35 -0400

    OEP Endorses Palestinian Bills

    Photo by Justin Tallis

    Written by Annabell Knapp, Palestine Justice Organizer


    For 73 years Palestinians have been living under an oppressive apartheid state enforced by the Israeli government. This oppressive state has been funded by the United States which has only aided the human rights abuses that Palestinians face every day. This is why it is important for us in the United States to hold our government accountable for their part in committing human rights abuses against Palestinians. In the recent few weeks On Earth Peace has stepped up and has endorsed pieces of legislation and signed on to joint statements condemning the actions of the United States government in relation to Palestine.

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  • published 6.2 JPL Ruth Karasek in Blog 2021-05-25 19:19:33 -0400

    6.2 JPL Ruth Karasek

    For 45 years, On Earth Peace has been a force in justice and peace. Our mission is to develop intergenerational leadership for a better world and your support is what will allow us to carry on this work for another 45+ years. Our roots go back more than 300 years in the historic peace church that birthed our movement and community and in that spirit, we are excited to share this campaign with you.

    We hope hearing from the leaders OEP has supported will inspire you to support us- we hope you will feel led to share these stories with others and donate to help support future leaders in OEP. Let these stories inspire you in your own work towards building a more peaceful, just world.  

    For our first issue of June, we are highlighting one of our incredible leaders and supporters, Ruth Karasek!

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  • published Early April Board Meeting in Blog 2021-04-28 20:47:45 -0400

    Early April Board Meeting


    The On Earth Peace (OEP) board held its spring meeting, April 8-10, 2021, gathering virtually by zoom for the third time due to the pandemic.  

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  • published Late March 2021 PeaceBuilder Highlights in Blog 2021-03-31 11:22:13 -0400

    Late March 2021 PeaceBuilder Highlights

    During the final weeks of March, OEP and it's greater community engaged in peace making and justice activities:

    • Celebrate World Health Day on April 7th with the Healthcare is Hope sticker pack from JustPeace Outfitters! Available here on our shop.
    • The Elizabeth Church of the Brethren (Elizabethtown, PA), part of OEP’s community, is currently searching for an Executive Pastor who can guide and equip their community for faithful witness and ministry, locally and globally. You can find out more by contacting [email protected] or [email protected] 
    • The Kingian Nonviolence Coordinating Committee met twice in March, facilitated by Matt Guynn, with representatives from the Addie Wyatt Center for Nonviolence Training; Alive Community Outreach; Join Hands East Saint Louis; the Selma Center for Nonviolence, Truth and Reconciliation; the Connecticut Center for Nonviolence; East Point Peace Academy; Nonviolent Schools Rhode Island; the Institute for Human Rights and Responsibilities; and OEP.
    • With leadership from Radiah Shabazz, Tamera Shaw, and Matt Guynn, OEP's Racial Justice Accountability Cohort met for its third session in a six-part series. Members are reflecting on their own development and future as leaders for racial justice and researching racist/biased policies in their own communities using tools from the Kingian Nonviolence toolbox. 
    • Matt Guynn facilitated strategic planning meetings with the Coordinating Committee of the Oregon Poor People's Campaign.  

  • published Building Community: Meet Horace Huse in Blog 2021-03-31 11:10:56 -0400

    Building Community: Meet Horace Huse

    Written by Jessia Avila, On Earth Peace’s Migrant Justice Organizer Intern

    As I was transitioning into my role as On Earth Peace’s Migrant Justice Organizer, I received a kind and supportive email from Horace Huse, who provided a snippet of his life story. This email was not only an entrance into Huse’s diverse experiences and commitment to migrant justice, but it was also an invitation to build community. It illustrates how genuine curiosity can foster meaningful engagement, and it reaffirms how storytelling can bring people together. Horace Huse granted me permission to share parts of his story, and I have done so below to grant others the opportunity to connect with and learn more about fellow On Earth Peace supporters:

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  • published March 17 PeaceBuilder Highlights in Blog 2021-03-17 12:00:14 -0400

    March 17 PeaceBuilder Highlights

    OEP's Highlights from between March 3rd and March 17th are as follows:

    • OEP’s Easter Resources are now available!
    • Kharis Murphy completed her internship as Stop Recruiting Kids Organizer.
    • Shayla Certain completed her internship as Prison Justice Organizer.
    • Tiffany Byers completed her term as Communications Fellow.  Previously, Tiffany served as Social Media Organizer.  We thank Tiffany for her two years of service with On Earth Peace.
    • Our executive director Bill Scheurer represented OEP at an online community meetup of the Fellowship of Reconciliation, the monthly steering committee meeting of the National Network Opposing the Militarization of Youth, and the spring meeting of the Church of the Brethren Mission and Ministry Board.
    • On March 12, Matt Guynn spoke via zoom about nonviolence for a personal and social ethics course at McPherson College (McPherson, KS). 
    • The OEP-Racial Justice Accountability Cohort had its second meeting on March 10, facilitated by Radiah Shabazz, Tamera Shaw, and Matt Guynn. The group of Quakers and Brethren has members from Nebraska, Virginia, Illinois, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania.  
    • On March 11, Matt Guynn was interviewed about nonviolence and the work of On Earth Peace by Jason Derr, United Campus Ministries minister with Common Ground Campus Ministry, a program of the University of Wisconsin - La Crosse, Viterbo University, and Western Technical College, in a recorded program for students.
    • The second meeting of the Healing Resistance Book Club was on Monday, March 15. If you’d like to join our third meeting to get to know each other and discuss Kingian Nonviolence, join us at 7 pm EST on March 31st!

  • published Women in Peace and Nonviolence Work in Blog 2021-03-17 11:57:12 -0400

    Women in Peace and Nonviolence Work

    Picture from https://gaps-uk.org/uk-launches-new-national-action-plan-women-peace-security/

    Written by Annabell Knapp, OEP’s Palestine Justice Organizer


    Often when we think of peaceful leaders who practiced nonviolence, we think about individuals such as Nelson Mandela and Dr.King, and while the work of these individuals has been massively important, this immediate jump to men leaves out the important work of women in the field. Women have been essential to peace work and have helped to create a more peaceful society. In honor of Women’s History Month, I want to highlight important women in the peace work field and what they have done for the greater global society. 

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  • Women’s History Month: Recognizing the Suffering and Honoring the Contributions of Cisgender and Transgender Women in Migrant Justice

    Written by Jessia Avila, On Earth Peace’s Migrant Justice Organizer Intern

    Women’s History Month invites us to recognize the suffering and honor the contributions of cisgender and transgender women. It is a time when both hope and despair collide. The words that follow explore the painful journey of transgender women seeking protection and the stories of two transgender women who lead and serve with dignity. Women’s History Month both reveals painful truths that go unnoticed and celebrates inspiring women, and we invite you to continue this conversation in an upcoming virtual event hosted by On Earth Peace’s Migrant Justice Learning Action Community.

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  • published March 3 PeaceBuilder Highlights in Blog 2021-03-03 11:58:56 -0500

    March 3 PeaceBuilder Highlights

    Here are the highlights from the OEP community for the March 3rd PeaceBuilder:

    • The Westminster Maryland Church of the Brethren, part of OEP’s vast community of churches, is running a March webinar series focused on Racial Justice. Running March 2, March 9, March 23, and March 30, the webinars look to highlight topics like healing the racial divide and racism in teaching and history. You can register here!
    • OEP has signed onto Pax Christi Northern California, the World Council of Churches, and Soka Gakkai International’s joint interfaith statement in support of the work of the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots, titled "A Plea for Preserving our Shared Humanity." You can learn more here!
    • OEP has signed onto CodePink’s letter to Lewis Hamilton asking him to boycott or make a statement at the F1 race in Saudi Arabia. The letter highlighted the Saudi-led war on Yemen, the treatment of Loujain AlHathloul, and the murder of Jamal Khashoggi. The letter was sent to his team on February 22nd, and  Middle East Eye covered the story.
    • Tabatha Lanning completed her internship as Social Media Organizer.
    • Priscilla Weddle completed her internship as Children’s Peace Formation Organizer.
    • OEP welcomes Marilyne Njuraita as Social Media Organizer.
    • The first two Training for Community-Based Responses to Asylum Issues took place on Monday, February 8 and February 22.
    • Matt Guynn, Anna Rodriguez, and Cristobal Van Breen worked with five clusters of participants from OEP's fall 2020 Kingian Nonviolence Level One certification who are organizing local workshops as an opportunity to practice their skills and complete their certification. 
    • Matt Guynn provided nonviolent strategy and campaign consultation with members and supporters of Hazelnut Grove, a tiny house village in Portland, Oregon, as they gathered petitions and negotiated with city officials about a possible imminent closure of the village. More info here. 
    • Matt Guynn provided a Kingian Nonviolence session focused on the social dynamics of nonviolence for members of the Oregon Poor People's Campaign. 
    • The Kingian Nonviolence Coordinating Committee met to discuss an emerging online toolbox for Kingian Nonviolence trainers. 
    • Matt Guynn and Clara McGilly facilitated a one-hour Kingian Nonviolence session for On Earth Peace interns, focused on positive peace versus negative peace and the types and levels of conflict. 
    • Emma (LGBTQ+ Organizer Intern) and Jessia (Migrant Justice Organizer Intern) hosted Coffee Hour with Migrant Justice and LGBTQ+ Justice on February 27 to build community and reflect on LGBTQ+ migration. 
    • OEP held its monthly meetings of the Board and the Anti-Racism Transformation Team.
    • Our executive director represented OEP at monthly board and steering committee meetings for the National Network Opposing the Militarization of Youth, Military Families Speak Out, and the Church of the Brethren, and the “The Reunited States: The Red and Blue Carpet Premiere” online event.

  • published International Women’s Day is for All Women in Blog 2021-03-03 11:45:24 -0500

    International Women’s Day is for All Women

    By Ari Murphy


    International Women’s Day (IWD), celebrated annually on March 8th, is a day to honor and uplift the accomplishments of women around the world and raise awareness for issues facing women today. 

    This year, the campaign theme for IWD is #ChooseToChallenge. In order to create change, we must challenge personal biases and structural inequality. We must call out those biases and inequalities when we see them in ourselves and in our communities. 

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  • published Racial Justice Accountability Meetings in Blog 2021-03-03 11:42:44 -0500

    Racial Justice Accountability Meetings

    In December 2020, the On Earth Peace Racial Justice Learning Action Community hosted a meet-up to help members of the group reflect and “re-situate” themselves in their racial justice advocacy. During that meeting, participants had time to reflect on their racial justice journey, discuss hopes and plans for 2021, and brainstorm what recurring accountability meetings could look like. 

    For the next couple of months, the OEP Racial Justice LAC will host a six-session program of bi-weekly accountability meetings to talk about confronting policies and practices of racial injustice. In these meetings, we will hold each other accountable as we build on the educational work we’ve done in past years. We will build space in our cohort to “do the work” personally and to strategize together about organizing to dismantle systems of oppression. What are the specific policies and practices in your communities that uphold racial injustice? Who is in charge of these policies? Who is already working on change efforts?  How can you join or strengthen that work? 

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  • published Internships: A Pandemic Recap in Blog 2021-03-03 11:39:03 -0500

    Internships: A Pandemic Recap

    We are approaching the one-year anniversary of the Covid-19 pandemic shut down in the US.  A year ago, colleges began to close campuses and send students home- ending not only their in-person classroom experiences but also campus jobs and many internship opportunities.  A month later, OEP began to experience a growth in its internships, doubling the cohort from 10 to 20 interns.  We were ready to support students in remote internships, which was the original design for the program.

    Throughout the pandemic, interns have contributed to the many offerings OEP has created to connect with constituents in their work for justice and peace.  As our Executive Director, Bill Scheurer, says  “Interns are involved in everything we do.”  In 2020, interns provided daily content on social media developed the #ReadAloud program for children (and adults), assisted with Community Meet Up webinars, facilitated Learning Action Community opportunities including book clubs, webinar series, community connections, and advocacy, supported the Kingian Nonviolence certification cohort, and collected stories for OEP’s JustLeaders campaign.  

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