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. 

  • 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.  

  • 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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  • 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!

  • 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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  • 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.

  • 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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  • 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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  • published February 3 Highlights in Blog 2021-02-03 12:27:13 -0500

    February 3 Highlights

    Here are the happenings of OEP and its greater community from January 20th to February 3rd:

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  • published OEP’s New Grant Recipient in Blog 2021-02-03 12:22:29 -0500

    OEP’s New Grant Recipient

    Pictured above are Lauren and her mother, Karina Anderson. 

    Community Engagement Grants are happy to announce our next recipient! We asked Lauren to introduce herself and the project: 

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  • Priscilla, OEP’s Children Peace Formation Coordinator, and her Legacy at OEP

    As Priscilla Weddle, OEP’s Children’s Peace Formation Coordinator, finds herself at the end of her year-long internship, she would like to take a moment to look back at her work with OEP. Known for the #ReadAloud program, Priscilla has worked tirelessly on what has become a major part of OEP’s identity during the 2020 pandemic. 

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  • published Introducing Just Peace Leaders in Blog 2021-02-03 10:12:16 -0500

    Introducing Just Peace Leaders

    On Earth Peace has been working with peace and justice leaders for 45 years, but our roots go back more than 300 years in the historic peace church that birthed our movement and community.

    We have started collecting the stories of dozens of leaders OEP has helped in each generation, and now are excited to begin sharing their work. Hopefully, you will find inspiration in these stories and share them with others.

    JustPeace Leaders is a new biweekly email for sharing stories about some of these leaders who have worked with OEP. Because it is new, our team of interns decided to start out with this first edition featuring our executive director Bill Scheurer. (He was easy to get, all we had to do was offer him a sticker from the new JPO online store!)

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  • published OEP on RoundUp in Blog 2021-01-20 11:04:22 -0500

    OEP on RoundUp

    During this holiday season, you are able to give back every time you use your credit card. Sign up with OEP on RoundUp and support our work for justice and peace. 

    Roundup is a service that collects the loose change left over after purchases and makes a gracious donation to the OEP community. Your pennies could help OEP create and run some of our community-favorite events this year.

    Learn how it works here: https://roundup.app/p/onearthpeace

  • Black History Month with OEP’s Read Alouds

    The Read Aloud Project was created by Priscilla Weddle and Marie Benner-Rhoades to provide homeschooling resources in peace and justice during the pandemic. For the project, members of the community record themselves reading children’s books about peace, courage and justice. The response from the community has been great and we appreciate those who have participated. We have decided to extend the project through 2021. 

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  • Internship Highlight: Ari Murphy, OEP’s Outreach Intern

    Ari works as OEP’s Outreach Intern. They love playing with their dog, Poppie, writing, and playing the ukulele! At OEP they manage and design content for the Just Peace Outfitters (JPO) storefront. You can find Ari’s designs and the JPO store here

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  • The Road Ahead for Migrant Justice Following the Presidential Transition

    Written by OEP's Migrant Justice Organizer, Jessia Avila

    At this juncture of the presidential transition, it is critical to strengthen values of belonging, human concern, and empathy as we seek to overcome hate, xenophobia, and division within our country. It is both a time of hope and critical reflection, one that requires our collective and collaborative efforts to hold Congressional leaders and the Biden Administration accountable for a humane immigration system.

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  • OEP Honors the Glade Valley Brethren Church’s Holiday Contributions

    The Glade Valley congregation in Walkersville, MD, one of OEP’s blessed community groups,  adopted 21 homeless highschoolers during this Christmas season and stuffed stockings for them with masks and many other valuable gifts.

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  • An Update on the Community Engagement Grants for Youth Groups

    Late last year we accepted our first two applicants for the Community Engagement Grants for Youth Groups (CEGYG). Our first group is the Boarderless Relations Committee from Finlay, OH who are helping youth in their community learn about racial dynamics as well as how to become anti-racist by providing books and workshops to elementary schools. We have met with them to map out their project and have held our first session on how to teach race-consciousness to kids. Two of our interns, Tamera and Priscilla, drew from our webinar Raising Race-Conscious Kids and discussed racial scripts, the detriment of colorblindness, and introduced the group to activities that might be useful in engaging young children. 

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  • published A New Season of Read Alouds in Blog 2020-12-16 05:45:59 -0500

    A New Season of Read Alouds

    With all the change inside and outside the OEP community, one thing that has held consistent is OEP’s Read Aloud Project for children. Throughout the last year, the Children’s Peace Formation Organizer, Priscilla Weddle, has brought wonderful content to OEP for the community to take comfort in during these strange times.

    For the month of December, OEP highlighted some of the best multicultural Christmas books of the season, of which you can read about here. You can also watch the new Read Alouds, as well as catch up on some of our older favorites here. 

    The Read Aloud Project will be highlighting books about new beginnings for January. If you are interested in reading a book for the project, please contact Priscilla at [email protected].