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 10.15 Highlights in Blog 2021-10-15 11:23:53 -0400

    10.15 Highlights

    • On September 29, Matt Guynn spoke on nonviolence in personal and social ethics for a class at McPherson College.
    • Matt Guynn continued as part of a curriculum development workgroup for a revamped Level Two Kingian Nonviolence training focused on organizing and mobilizing, to be piloted in late winter/early spring 2022. This was spurred by requests from partners in Arizona, at the Nonviolence Legacy Program of the Culture of Peace Alliance. 
    • In August, On Earth Peace's Stop Recruiting Kids organizer Sebastian Muñoz-McDonald organized "The Truth About Military Recruiting: A Dialogue with Veterans," featuring sharing from Rosa Del Duca, Ian Littau, and Eddie Falcon. The video recording is available online here
    • On Earth Peace Board of Directors held their biannual meeting October 7-9.
    • Sebastian Munoz-McDonald, Stop Recruiting Kids Organizer, and Cheylyn Grant, Racial Justice Organizer, completed their internships. Thank you both for all your hard work!
    • OEP welcomes Allie Dobson as our Graphic Communications Organizer intern. Welcome Allie!

  • published Tools for Organizing Series in Blog 2021-10-15 11:17:31 -0400

    Tools for Organizing Series

    Caption: An infographic showing information on a new Kingian Nonviolence series. 

    Written by Anna Rodriguez, Kingian Nonviolence Fellow


    Join On Earth Peace in October and November 2021 for a 4-week series to explore tools for organizing and community leadership through the values and practices of Kingian Nonviolence Conflict Reconciliation.  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! 

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  • published Fall Board Meeting Review in Blog 2021-10-14 11:47:35 -0400

    Fall Board Meeting Review

    Caption: A screenshot from ZOOM shows OEP board members holding up candles representing the light they see in the world.

    Written by Irv Heishman, Board Member


    On Earth Peace (OEP) held its two and a half day fall board meeting virtually on October 7-9, 2021. Two new members were welcomed to the board: Rudy Amaya, from the Principe de Paz Church of the Brethren, Pacific Southwest District, and Alyssa Parker from First Church of the Brethren, Atlantic Northeast District. Tim Button-Harrison, District Executive for the Northern Plains District, was welcomed as the new liaison to the board appointed by the Council of District Executives.  With regret, the board received notice that Ruth Aukerman, who had been elected to the board by Annual Conference, needed to resign for personal reasons. Jordan Bles, who concluded over ten years of service as a board member was thanked for his many contributions in a number of capacities.  

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  • published Common Good Premiere in Blog 2021-10-12 20:01:43 -0400

    Common Good Premiere

    Caption: An image of the York Center Cooperative is seen. 

    Written by Jonathan Wieand, 'Co-op Kid'


    In 1947, the idea of creating a cooperative community was thought up by Louis Shirky, a member of the Church of the Brethren. He gained the support of fourteen families who helped raise the funds needed in order to make this idea reality, where membership was open to 'those of good will' and there was political and religious neutrality. While the community was legally dissolved in 2010, remnants of it still remain, and it's legacy is still felt today, as 'Common Good: The Story of the York Center Cooperative' was released this year. This documentary accounts for the cooperative community and tells of its history. 

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  • published Priscilla Weddle JPL in Blog 2021-09-28 01:16:36 -0400

    Priscilla Weddle JPL

    Caption: A photo of Priscilla Weddle is shown underneath text stating: 'Just Peace Leader'

    Written by Kharis Murphy, Communications Fellow


    Developing intergenerational leadership in peace and justice has long been a goal for us. We have been collecting the stories of dozens of leaders OEP has helped in each generation, and would like to share their work with you here. Keep an eye on upcoming Peacebuilders for new profiles of the many Just Peace Leaders and their work! We hope hearing from the leaders OEP has supported will inspire you on your own journey in peace and justice!

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  • published Kharis' Pick in Blog 2021-09-28 01:01:33 -0400

    Kharis' Pick

    Source for image here

    Caption: Text stating 'This Land' is written in bold red next to a photo of Rebecca Nagle

    Written by Kharis Murphy, Communications Fellow


    As a fighter for peace and justice, and particularly as a white ally living on stolen and colonized land, I believe one of the most important things I can do is listen to those who are more marginalized than I am, learn our collective history and absorb their stories. That’s why my recommendation this month is the podcast “This Land,” by Rebecca Nagle and Crooked Media.

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  • published Hannah's Pick in Blog 2021-09-28 00:51:04 -0400

    Hannah's Pick

    Source for image here

    Caption: The cover of The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid is shown. 

    Written by Hannah Bentley, Gender Justice Organizer


    In present-day New York City, Monique works as a writer, trying her best to climb up the ranks of journalism. Through her workplace, she receives an odd, yet at the same time appealing and life-changing, offer: to interview Evelyn Hugo, famed Cuban-American Old-Hollywood movie star. While she expects a quick interview with Evelyn, what she receives is much greater than that: the opportunity to hear her entire life story, including secrets from all of her past relationships—and one hidden relationship, one that could have destroyed her career years ago.

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  • published Intern Picks: Janell's Pick in Blog 2021-09-26 16:46:35 -0400

    Intern Picks: Janell's Pick

    Image source here

    Caption: A graphic of a tree shaped into a fist is shown behind the words ‘Environmental Justice.’

    Written by Janell Ryan, Newsletter Editor


    For my recommendation, I wanted to do something I wouldn’t usually focus on; I typically lean towards LGBTQ+ or racial justice, or anything spreading awareness for mental health. Luckily for me, I found a podcast that encapsulates all of those things while also spreading awareness for a larger topic: environmental justice.

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  • published 9.16 Highlights in Blog 2021-09-15 21:27:56 -0400

    9.16 Highlights

    • On September 23, at 3:00pm, there will be an Intro to Kingian Nonviolence session facilitated by Dr. Mark Friedman and Anna Rodriguez. Register by clicking here!
    • On September 8, Matt Guynn preached for the weekly chapel service of Bethany Theological Seminary as part of a multi-week series on "Active Pacifism."
    • On September 7, David Jehnsen, Clara McGilly, and Matt Guynn offered a workshop on the Brethren roots of Kingian Nonviolence as part of the Church of the Brethren National Older Adult Conference.
    • On October 19, there will be an Intro to Kingian Nonviolence facilitated by Pam Smith and Clara McGilly. Register by clicking here!
    • On September 9, Matt Guynn participated in the board meeting of the Institute for Human Rights and Responsibilities, which publishes the Kingian Nonviolence curriculum.
    • On September 14, OEP connected with congregational donors and supporters through three updates conducted via Zoom.

  • published Community Meetup #15 in Blog 2021-09-13 11:18:34 -0400

    Community Meet-up #15

    Caption: An image of Samuel Sarpiya, as well as his book The Highest of All Mountains

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


    We are also pleased to welcome Samuel Sarpiya for our 15th OEP Community Meetup on September 17. Samuel first connected with OEP as part of Peace Day-inspired organizing in 2009, when he was planting a church in Rockford, IL.  Samuel will draw from his peacemaking and ministry experiences in Nigeria, South Africa, Hawaii, Illinois, and now Quebec. He recently published the book, The Highest of All Mountains: A Guide for Christians Seeking Peace and Becoming Peacemakers.  Samuel will share from his journey as a nonviolent practitioner, about the book, and respond to any questions about nonviolence as a way of life. More info and registration here

    About the novel: This book is for people who believe that the gospel is a message of peace and this gospel of peace is relevant for our time. Peacemaking is a core part of our Christian discipleship just as we learn how to pray, just as we learn how to love our neighbors, just as we learn how to feed the hungry. We can also learn how to be peacemakers. This book will serve as a guide that will offer a scriptural guide with practical stories and applications. Readers will be challenged by Scripture to take the call to peacemaking into their communities.

  • published Peace Day Resources in Blog 2021-09-13 11:04:09 -0400

    Peace Day Resources

    (Source for painting)

    Caption: A painting with a sprouting seed being the main focus. 

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


    This is the 15th year that On Earth Peace has invited congregations and community groups to participate in the International Day of Peace (September 21).  This year we offer “Seeds of Peace,” a reflective meditation or prayer for use in personal meditation or congregational worship. Congregations are invited to incorporate this prayer into services on Sunday, September 19, or Sunday, September 26.  Please let us know how you use it by writing to [email protected].  You can find the prayer here.

  • published Misogyny in the Olympics in Blog 2021-09-10 13:29:06 -0400

    Misogyny in the Olympics


    Illustration by Neil Jamieson for TIME

    Caption: An artist's rendition of several Olympians competing in their respective sports for the 2020 Summer Olympics. 

    Written by Cheylyn Grant, Racial Justice Organizer


    Every four years my family and I, along with millions of other families, huddle around the TV to watch the Olympics. During the summer however, the TV is not on. Instead of watching the sports we admire, like soccer, skateboarding, or gymnastics, we do it ourselves and cheer for one another. We set the stage like any other sporting event: rules with an objective, consequences for rules being broken, along with winners and losers. That is what we would call a “fair game." 

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  • published Building Peaceful Communities in Blog 2021-08-26 19:15:46 -0400

    Building Peaceful Communities

    Caption: Information of the event is shown, along with an image of a dove holding an olive branch to it's right. 

    An event hosted by Beaverton Rotary Club Peace Builders Committee


    Presented by Adam Vogal, President of the Oregon Peace Institute, this film tells the story of nonviolence, the greatest overlooked resource in human experience. Revealing the convergence of modern science and the world's great wisdom traditions, the film explores the important role that nonviolence plays in the wider struggle to develop a 'new story' of human nature, contrary to the 'old story' that scarcity, competition, and violence are inevitable. Rather, the universe is conscious and purposeful; we are spiritual beings, and cooperation and collaboration are our natural way of interacting. 


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  • published August PBL Highlights 2021-08-05 13:00:16 -0400

    August PBL Highlights

    • Brooklyn Schumm completed her internship as Environmental Justice Organizer.
    • On Earth Peace hosted a three week series ending July 26 on Tools for Organizing and Community Leadership. 
    • OEP's Anti-Racism Transformation Team met for their annual retreat July 31-August 1.
    • On August 2, On Earth Peace held a graduation ceremony to celebrate the certification of twenty-one Level 1 Kingian Nonviolence trainers who completed their practice teaching this spring and summer. The group hailed from 7 countries and 10 US states.
    • Matt Guynn and Dennis Duett will be running our 14th OEP Community meetup. Link to the webpage is here.

  • published Children as Peacebuilders in Blog 2021-08-04 10:27:06 -0400

    Children as Peacebuilders

    (Picture from https://educatingfordemocracy.education.virginia.edu/)

    Written by Hadil Alhayek, Children's Formation Organizer


    In October, On Earth Peace will be launching its seminar series “Children as Peacebuilders: Equipping Resilient Leaders.” Starting October 2nd, the seminars will invite parents and educators from all around the US to address common, and sensitive topics that their kids are exposed to now more than ever surrounding justice and inclusion. Nowadays, it is important to raise kids that are understanding, inclusive, and respectful of their peers' differences and uniqueness. It’s also important to teach them ways in which they can respect their own differences.

    Furthermore, the series plans to address other related topics such as bullying, military recruiting, and more! The series invites parents and caregivers to talk about ways in which topics such as racial justice, LGBTQ+ justice, migrant justice, and many other important topics can be addressed! OEP will host speakers and psychologists that specialize in children development to discuss the safest and most efficient methods of how we can raise healthy children that are compassionate, caring, and inclusive of others.

    To join our email list for the series, please click here!

  • Reflections on the Annual Conference

    Written by Kharis Murphy, Communications Fellow


    For over 40 years, On Earth Peace has nourished our connection with the Church of the Brethren. Last month OEP was proud to continue this legacy and be a force for peace, justice, and inclusion by participating in the Church of the Brethren’s first ever virtual Annual Conference. Staff members, fellows, interns (both current and alumni), and supporters presented and participated in conference events, including six insight sessions hosted by OEP and a Q & A session focused around the work of OEP as an agency of the Church of the Brethren. Through those sessions, OEP was able to reach almost 300 participants who attended the sessions and were able to support each other on their journeys towards being leaders in peace and justice.

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  • published Fellows Celebration at OEP in Blog 2021-08-01 14:04:40 -0400

    Celebrating Our Fellows

    Written by Marie Benner-Rhoades, Youth and Young Adult Peace Formation Director


    Early in our internship program, we began lamenting when our highly skilled and committed interns left their positions after a year with us.  As early as 2016, we began to dream of a fellowship opportunity to keep interns with us for a second year.  In 2020, we piloted the Fellowship Program with Tiffany Byers as Communications Fellow.  And now in 2021, we have a full fellowship cohort with five second year interns!

    These fellows take their experience in their internships and apply what they’ve learned to help us build our capacity as an institution in work across the organization.  Internships tend to be constituent facing, while fellowships support best practices and institutionalization of key commitments internal to OEP.  Our five current fellows work in Communications, Development, Kingian Nonviolence, Organizing, and with our Anti-Racism Transformation Team.  Here is a bit from each of them as they move from their internship into their fellowship year:

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  • 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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