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 Work Towards Equality in Blog 2020-05-20 12:08:06 -0400

    Work Towards Equality

    Protestors at the US/Mexico border call for welcome

    Written By Ben Leiter-Grandison, member of the OEP Anti-racism Transformation Team, for the 2020 OEP Spring Newsletter. In response to the OEP value Anti-racism/Anti-oppression.


    For at least the past five years, On Earth Peace has been moving, in fits and starts, from a multicultural institution to an antiracist one. Making this shift has meant moving from a mindset and practice of hospitality to one of accountability. A multicultural institution opens its doors to people of color and other socially oppressed groups but does little to change the preexisting culture, policies, and decision-making structures that tend to favor superiority. It extends a welcome, but one that is implicitly conditioned on following rules “the welcomed” did not write, much like being a guest in someone else’s house. Hospitality, while generous and kind, keeps unequal power relationships intact. Indeed, to be hospitable, one first must have, and remain in control, of the power and property to host. 

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  • published Intergenerational Leadership in Blog 2020-05-20 12:02:53 -0400

    Intergenerational Leadership

    A quick snapshot from the 20th Song and Story Fest in 2016.

    Written by Bev Eikenberry, OEP Board Member, for the 2020 OEP Spring Newsletter. In response to the OEP value Intergenerational Leadership.


    Parent to a three-year-old son: “Maybe Grandma would like to play on the Wii with you.” 

    Three-year-old son: “Grandma doesn’t like killing”

     -- a moment of teaching from an elder.  

    “Sometimes [people] just need a friend rather than a time out;” a four-year-old reflects on how to support a fellow preschooler who is being disruptive in class

     -- a moment of teaching from a child.

    As a young adult, I thought as we grow older, we become wiser. So I often asked questions of elders. I realized with time that my generalization’s thought, we grow wiser with age, was not always true. There were some who became wise and some that offered me no wisdom. 

    One learned professor, who traveled widely and regularly, presented on current events with astute historical knowledge and understanding and offered a unique kind of wisdom. His conclusion was that “history repeats itself.”  While living with that understanding, this man actively worked for peace and supported efforts of justice. His choice to pursue peace and justice, when he understood the world to not be changing, is an inspiration for me.

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  • published Peace Beyond Pacifism in Blog 2020-05-20 11:55:11 -0400

    Peace Beyond Pacifism

    Painting #18 from the exhibit, Nude Truths: An Odyssey in Poetry, Painting, and Prose created by Kristi Ylvisaker, painter, Mary Ylvisaker Nilsen, prose writer and using lines of poetry written by Denise Levertov. Used with permission of Zion Publishing.

    Written By Matt Guynn, Director of Organizing for On Earth Peace, for the 2020 Spring Newsletter, in response to the OEP Value Positive Peace.


    The poet Mary Ylvisaker Nilsen writes, “Peace pleads for redefinition: From non-violence to robust creativity.  From the absence of war to the presence of compassion, cooperation, and collaboration.”  If all wars ceased tomorrow - if all police forces were demilitarized - if all armed forces in the world disappeared - there would still be systemic injustice and interpersonal conflict everywhere. 

    Along with Nilsen’s writings, the Kingian Nonviolence approach (which On Earth Peace learns and teaches) asserts that pacifist non-hyphen-violence is ultimately only aspirin for the world’s problems and not the antidote for violence and injustice. On Earth Peace has claimed Positive Peace as one of our core values. Positive peace builds on and presses beyond pacifism - all war is sin - toward creative engagement with underlying causes of the problems we face. Anti-war and anti-violence pacifism is a good place to be rooted, but I suggest that pacifism must mature to prepare for involvement with the world. This requires values of compassion, informed by a fearless analysis of justice and oppression, and equipped by skills in conflict transformation and active nonviolence. 

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  • published Finding Jesus in Our Community in Blog 2020-05-20 11:49:36 -0400

    Finding Jesus in Our Community

    Written by Jennifer Keeney Scarr, On Earth Peace Board Member, pastor of the Trotwood Church of the Brethren in Ohio and reservist with Christian Peacemaker Teams in Barrancabermeja, Colombia for the OEP Spring Newsletter. In response to the OEP value Jesus-Centered Spirituality.

    Jesus is our teacher, our brother, our faithful friend. 

    Jesus is where our inspiration for peacebuilding holds it’s foundation. 

    Jesus is our center. 


    One of the most captivating stories about Jesus in the scriptures is the one often celebrated on Palm Sunday. Very publicly and loudly, Jesus marched into Jerusalem on the eve of Passover, a commemoration of the Jewish liberation from the bondage of slavery under Pharaoh. The Jews of Jesus’ time resonated deeply with this powerful story of their ancestors as they lived under the oppressive occupation in Rome. They longed for another Moses, a Messiah who would deliver them from Rome as  Moses delivered them from Pharaoh. As Christians, we believe that Jesus was that Messiah. His method of salvation wasn’t the violent military victory expected but a daily commitment to kindness and compassion toward the overlooked and under-valued. To illustrate the kind of Messiah he would be, Jesus threw together a D.I.Y. nonviolent protest. With his people waving branches, and a donkey to carry him, Jesus marched into the heart of Jerusalem’s prestige and power. He identified the injustice of the system before him, illustrated by the tables upon tables of vendors and religious elites taking advantage of low-income people, travelers, and foreigners. Anger burned in Jesus’ belly and in a mighty symbolic, nonviolent act, he turned the tables over, upending the harmful systems at play if only for a day. With this action, he grabbed the attention of everyone in the courts and then began to teach another way of living. 

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  • Internship Highlight: Social Media Intern, Tabatha Lanning!


    Tabby is the social media intern for On Earth Peace, meaning that she handles the posting, scheduling, communication, and data collection endeavors associated with OEP’s social media. “I also spend a good amount of time responding to people or directing people to the person who can best answer their questions,” Tabby explained. Though her work with OEP is seldom a highlighted piece itself, Tabby prides herself in being one of the go-to people when something needs to get spread far and wide. “My job is to make sure everyone at OEP has a spotlight if they want it!” As a recent graduate, Tabby looks forward to her daily work with OEP and the new adventures that she and her fellow interns might virtually embark on; “Interacting with all the other interns is my favorite part of my job!” Aside from OEP, Tabby also loves animals and is a big music junky! “Fun fact,” she furthered, “I also write a lot of poetry!”

    Every exciting Facebook post, Twitter tweet, or Instagram picture means Tabby has been working her magic behind the scenes to make it a reality. Thank you, Tabby for all of your hard work keeping OEP strong and proud!

  • Stop Recruiting Kids Campaign: Revitalizing The Past

    by Kharis Murphy, SRK Campaign Intern

    Brief history of SRK 

    The Stop Recruiting Kids Campaign (SRK) has been doing digital organizing since before it was cool. SRK organizes on Facebook, Twitter, and most recently on Instagram to protect kids from military recruitment and promote principles of Kingian nonviolence. The campaign is not anti-military but rather it is pro-child as kids are not able to judge the risks of military service. The Pentagon knows this and uses its massive resources to offer economic opportunity, personal development, and other skills to draw in thousands of young people to enlist. It is our goal to make sure that there are peaceful, nonviolent opportunities for kids, and to expose the violence of the US military’s recruitment of kids.

    Past Memes: SRK Classic

    SRK campaign has worked towards its goals by sharing petitions and classic memes. Using direct messaging and imagery, these memes have brought awareness to the reality behind the military recruiting of kids. The memes are powerful; they speak to the campaign’s goals of upholding principles of Kingian nonviolence by targeting systems rather than individuals.

    Today the campaign still uses these memes because they are so poignant and impactful. However, we are also pushing to refresh the campaign’s social media presence through expanding and diversifying our meme collections. So far, we’ve focused our work on two sets of memes (follow our social media to see new sets as we release them)- one focuses on the Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps program, while the other responds to both the current crisis with Coronavirus and the way our culture glorifies military service while ignoring and devaluing other forms of service work.

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  • published Some Thoughts Abroad on COVID in Blog 2020-04-22 10:29:56 -0400

    Some Thoughts Abroad on COVID

    In response to the separation that we are feeling from quarantine in the United States, some of our international staff interns have gathered to share their thoughts and experiences from their homes around the world. Here are some of the things the United States is missing, and some rays of hope in this strange and dark time.

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  • published Peace Day in Blog 2018-08-06 10:22:38 -0400

  • Annual Conference Breakfast Recap

    The 2018 Annual Conference Breakfast was a wonderful occasion. Like last year in Grand Rapids, as we approached the date of the much-anticipated gathering for prayer and reflection, we increased the ticket count as interest steadily grew. 102 people attended the event in total. 

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  • published Annual Conference Recap in Blog 2018-07-28 10:53:16 -0400

    Annual Conference Recap

    Members of the On Earth Peace board, staff, and community of supporters gathered in Cincinnati, Ohio last week to participate in the Annual Conference of the Church of the Brethren. For the first time in seven years, On Earth Peace was not on the conference business agenda. 

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  • We are a New And Unsettling Force

    Poor People's Campaign Activities

    We are a New And Unsettling Force

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  • published Song and Story Fest in Blog 2018-06-19 11:51:50 -0400

  • published Dove Club in Blog 2018-06-04 11:31:05 -0400

    Dove Club

    #DoveClub is Here! 

    Want to support the work of justice and peace throughout the year?

     Join the #DoveClub, the newest way to support On Earth Peace!

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  • published Poor People's Campaign in Blog 2018-05-30 10:48:56 -0400

    Poor People's Campaign

    From May 13- June 23, watch the news for the launch of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival.   On Earth Peace has officially endorsed this effort and we are working to spread the word in our constituency. Organizing in at least 40 states, the (new) Poor People’s Campaign is an effort to catalyze people into “an unsettling force” in U.S. politics (to use a phrase from MLK), which can serve as “defibrillators of democracy” (to use a phrase from Rev. Dr. William Barber, campaign co-chair).

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  • Witnessing, Listening for Justice and Peace

    “But blessed are your eyes, for they see, and your ears, for they hear. ”
    -- Matthew 13:16-17

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  • Introduction to Kingian Nonviolence

    90-minute Webinar
    May 25, 2:00-3:30pm Eastern 
    Presented in partnership with PeoplesHub and the Addie Wyatt Center for Nonviolence Training

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  • published Poor People's Campaign in Blog 2018-05-15 11:34:27 -0400