EVENTS

UPCOMING EVENTS

SAVE THE DATE!

Join us for an afternoon with stories of reconciliation and peacebuilding, as part of Karuna’s 30th year commemoration.

Saturday, Sept. 14, 20243:00pm
Amherst Women’s Club
35 Triangle St, Amherst, MA 01002

Free and open to the public

We are thrilled that Rosette Sebasoni will be joining us as a special guest! Rosette managed our 2016-2019 project: Healing Our Communities: Promoting Social Cohesion in Rwanda.

Some of Karuna’s earliest projects, and many significant programs since, have accompanied Rwandans in the difficult process of healing and rebuilding from the 1994 Genocide Against the Tutsi. Rosette, herself a survivor of the genocide, is deeply invested and experienced in peacebuilding and reconciliation and has played a central role in Karuna’s work in Rwanda.

More about Rosette Sebasoni

Rosette, a survivor of the 1994 Rwandan Genocide, was motivated to devote her life to peacebuilding and reconciliation in Rwanda by the Gacaca tribunal processes put in place by the Rwandan government throughout the late 1990’s and early 2000’s. Her first professional reconciliation focused work started in 2003 when she was the manager of the Kigali Genocide Memorial as it was being planned, built, and opened. She not only held managerial duties, but put her heart and soul into this work by providing necessary emotional and psycho-social support to all who came through the Genocide Memorial to mourn their lost families and loved ones who are buried there.

Rosette later served as the Marketing Manager for Africa Air Rescue; the Project Coordinator for Ibuka (the umbrella survivors association in Rwanda) conducting research on rescuers who saved the lives of victims during the 1994 genocide; as a Project Coordinator for Community Based Reconciliation with the Unity and Reconciliation Commission of Rwanda; and as a Project Manager with the Episcopal Justice and Peace Commission of Kenya where her role was to coordinate and provide leadership of Peace and Social-Cohesion activities in the North Rift Valley region of Kenya. From 2016-2019, Rosette was the in-country program manager for Karuna’s Healing Our Communities: Promoting Social Cohesion in Rwanda. In concert with Karuna’s main office, Rosette skillfully coordinated the collaboration of three Rwandan NGOs as they implemented their respective elements of the engagement.

PAST KARUNA CENTER EVENTS

National Conference on Farmer-Herder Relations in Nigeria

December 12, 2023
In-person in Abuja; hybrid event

On December 12, 2023, we were excited to co-convene the Second National Conference on the Management of Farmer-Herder Relations, an event dedicated to fostering dialogue and finding sustainable solutions to the challenges faced by farmers and herders across Nigeria. This hybrid event was held in Abuja.

The conference grew out of a strategic partnership between our Protecting Our Communities Initiative (POCI) and the Nigerian government’s national Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution (IPCR) and its Office for Strategic Preparedness and Resilience (OSPRE). With the theme Creating Pathways to Sustainable Peace, the conference’s purpose is to consolidate and solidify the gains made on farmer-herder relations through community-centered initiatives. The conference has highlighted the widespread success of POCI, which we lead jointly with the Abuja-based Neem Foundation.

The Cure for Hate:
Preventing Violent Extremism in Our Schools and Beyond

Tuesday, Oct. 3 • 7:00-8:30pm

While it is hard to comprehend how so many ordinary people came to support Nazi Germany’s rise to power, understanding these dynamics can shed light on the worrying rise of extremism in the US today and how to respond. Schools face particular challenges in balancing support for free speech with a responsibility to protect students from identity-based bullying and harassment, and in developing effective responses.

We held a screening of the documentary film, The Cure for Hate: Bearing Witness to Auschwitz, which weaves together the history of the Nazis with the life story of a former North American neo-Nazi who is now an anti-hate activist, as he visits the memorial to the million Jews murdered at Auschwitz. We will screen excerpts of the film followed by a live Zoom discussion with:

Tony McAleer

Tony McAleer is the narrator and a subject of the film, which focuses on his life story. Tony is the author of The Cure for Hate and an international speaker who strives to educate individuals, families, communities, law enforcement, and governments that are struggling to grapple with white supremacist movements. Drawing upon his own journey of leaving a hate-based movement, Tony co-founded the not-for-profit Life After Hate, which helps other people leave white supremacist movements behind.

Robert Örell

Robert Örell has more than two decades of experience in the field of disengagement, rehabilitation, and reintegration of violent extremists in Europe and the United States. His recent work focuses on setting up exit programs for people in hate or extremist groups (drawing upon his experience as a former member in his youth), advising on policy guidelines and recommendations, online counseling, and understanding radicalization in online gaming communities.

Cara Crandall

Cara Crandall, Ed.D, is a 35-year educator who has taught about the Holocaust and social justice throughout her career. She is a regional seminar leader for The Olga Lengyel Institute for Holocaust Studies and Human Rights and has been a member of TOLI since 2013. She currently teaches English language arts in the Longmeadow, MA public schools and is a lecturer at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Scott Dredge

Scott Dredge, M.Ed, CAGS, is Assistant Principal at Frontier Regional School in South Deerfield, MA. His rich background in youth development and education work includes work as a lead teacher and special education department chair, as well as a case worker and program director within a residential home for adjudicated youth. He is also a former Olweus Bullying Prevention Program Trainer.

 

This event was organized by Karuna Center for Peacebuilding as part of the Building Resilience Against Violent Extremism in Schools (BRAVE Schools) program.

Bringing the Lessons Home:
The Power of Dialogue, Locally and Globally

Sunday, June 11 • 3:00-4:30pm • Amherst Women’s Club, Amherst, MA

Seth Karamage—a Karuna dialogue expert, trainer, and Board member with over 10 years’ experience in community peacebuilding—joined us as a special guest. Seth was visiting from Rwanda, to share insights from his role leading Karuna’s dialogue work in Rwanda and Nigeria (in the Protecting Our Communities Initiative).

From closer to home, we welcomed Sam Camera, an Assistant Principal at Amherst Regional High School, and a core participant in a new Karuna Center project (BRAVE Schools) working with middle and high schools here in Western MA to stop the spread of violence and hate, and deepen their work with restorative practices. 

The Role of Dialogue in Peacebuilding:
Where Research Meets Practice

On May 4, 2023 (in-person in Washington, D.C. and also virtually), we led a panel on effective uses of dialogue at Alliance for Peacebuilding’s PeaceCon 2023: Beyond Fragile Ground. Panelists included Karuna Center director Polly Byers and Board member Seth Karamage; our colleague Dr. Fatima Akilu, director of Neem Foundation; Liz Hume, director of the Alliance for Peacebuilding; and our colleague Dr. Linda Tropp of the UMass-Amherst Psychology of Peace and Violence Program.

We are proud to co-sponsor:

A Night Out for Ukraine
An evening of education, celebration, and giving

Program details

Sunday, March 264:00-9:30pm, Edwards Church, Northampton, MA

Didn’t make it but still want to contribute? Donate here

 

Parent/guardian info night:

How are youth lured into hate online?

Tuesday, March 21, 2023
7:00-8:00PM

Thank you to those who attended!

• How do extremist groups recruit youth online, on gaming platforms and social media? • How do I recognize violent extremism and what can be done to prevent and respond to it? • What can I do if a loved one is radicalized into a violent mentality promoting hatred?

The info session includes these BRAVE Schools resource people:

Tony McAleer

Tony McAleer is the author of The Cure for Hate and an international speaker who strives to educate individuals, families, communities, law enforcement, and governments that are struggling to grapple with white supremacist movements. Drawing upon his own journey of leaving a hate-based movement, Tony co-founded the not-for-profit Life After Hate, which helps other people leave white supremacist movements behind.

Robert Örell

Robert Örell has more than two decades of experience in the field of disengagement, rehabilitation, and reintegration of violent extremists in Europe and the United States. His recent work focuses on setting up exit programs for people in hate or extremist groups (drawing upon his experience as a former member in his youth), advising on policy guidelines and recommendations, online counseling, and understanding radicalization in online gaming communities.

Radical Compassion:
Overcoming Hate and Building Understanding

A conversation with Loretta Ross, Tony McAleer, and Robert Örell

Monday, March 20, 2023 – 7:30PM
Edwards Church: 297 Main St, Northampton, MA

Through the lens of the speakers’ lived experiences, we learn about the current context of hate groups and ideologies that promote hatred; understanding the factors that lead people to join violent extremist groups; and the place of radical compassion in confronting the spread of hate in our communities.

National Conference on Farmer-Herder Relations in Nigeria

August 10, 2022
9:30am – 2:00 pm West Africa Time (WAT)
In-person in Abuja; or attend virtually

Over the past three years, Karuna Center has collaborated with Neem Foundation on the Protecting Our Communities Initiative, designed to tackle the drivers of farmer-herder clashes in Nigeria. The joint program has established a range of community-based processes to resolve and prevent conflict and improve civilian security. 

To promote and sustain peace in Nigeria, the Nigerian government’s Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution (IPCR), Neem Foundation, and Karuna Center for Peacebuilding have jointly embarked on a strategic partnership aimed at consolidating and solidifying these gains made on farmer-herder relations. To this end, we held a National Conference on Farmer-Herder Relations in Nigeria in Abuja. The objective of the conference was to bring together both governmental and developmental sector experts, share lessons learnt on farmer-herder relations, review successes and profit from other African partners’ experience.

Karuna Connectors

Karuna Connectors is a drop-in group, open to everyone, that meets (on Zoom) to connect & learn about transformative, nonviolent solutions to conflict in communities worldwide. These events are without obligation, but with opportunities to learn about and support our peacebuilding projects. 

Learn more & watch recordings

Erasure and Restoration: An Exploration of Past and Present in the Kwinitekw Valley’s Indigenous Communities

2020 was the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower’s landing in Wampanoag territory in 1620. Through events and working groups facilitated by Native people and non-Native allies, this series worked to analyze the meaning and process of relationship-building, reconciliation, land caretaking, memory, and inclusive curricula that explore Native histories, cultures, and lived experiences.

Learn more & watch recordings

Building Community Across Divides: Lessons from Far and Near

What can we learn from peace workers around the world who are using dialogue, mediation, and other community-based approaches to heal divides and interrupt cycles of violence?

Drawing on Karuna Center’s partnerships in Bosnia, Rwanda, and Nigeria, as well as promising efforts in the US, this virtual talk & discussion series highlighted creative, innovative, and successful responses to conflict that are building community and supporting lasting peace.

Learn more & watch recordings

© Karuna Center for Peacebuilding
PO BOX 727, GREENFIELD, MA 01302 USA
PHONE: +1 413.256.3800

Registered 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization