Welcome to
unRival Network

Peace is possible. Together, we’re resisting rivalry to advance the cause of justice and peace in our time.

A Message from

Suzanne Ross

CO-FOUNDER & EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR​

I suppose you are wondering what you are doing here! Well, Keith and I are always looking for new ways to apply mimetic insights for their greatest impact. First this led us to found the Raven Foundation. Now I’d like to introduce you to our next adventure: unRival Network.

My belief in the God of love and mercy revealed by Christ was nearly extinguished, until I encountered the mimetic insights about scapegoating violence. Because that encounter revived my faith, and Keith’s too, we wanted to give others the same opportunity for revival. And so, Raven was born. We hope you have found spiritual nurture at Raven and we are so grateful that you have journeyed with us.

A few years ago (just as we were going into pandemic lockdown!), we began listening to people from around the world working for nonviolent social change in their communities. Do you know what we heard? They told us of a need very much like what brought all of us to Raven: a longing for spiritual renewal and for a community that understands the dynamics of scapegoating violence because of their own experiences with it. 

When we suggested that they needed nonrivalrous space, they sighed with relief. And so did we! Because that was something we could do for them! We do not have the answers to the many conflicts that continue to erupt into violence around the world, but we can create community for those who feel called to heal wounds and rebuild communities shattered by violence. And so, unRival was born.

Are you up for the next adventure? I hope so! To get started, please explore this page to learn more about our network, our influences, and our partners. When you join our email list you’ll receive your free resource, Peace is Possible, and stay up to date with what unRival is doing. I find my hope for peace is renewed daily as I walk with these global change-makers. I hope that you will continue to find spiritual nurture and renewal as we continue to journey together

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UnRival Network’s Peace is Possible is the culmination of three years of research and collaboration with leaders in peacebuilding around the globe.

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Explore

Our Programs

Artisans of Peace is a leadership development program for grassroots peacebuilders. The program offers a nonrvialrous space to breathe, process, learn, and grow together.
The Film Lab fosters the upcoming generation of justice filmmakers and their creative journey of crafting unique and profound transformative stories, providing a space to grow, create, and share in nonrivalrous community.

Top Blog Posts

"Religion for Losers" Substack

Our Research Director, Lyle Enright, has recently started a new Substack called “Religion for Losers,” where he takes a nonrivalrous approach to Christian spirituality and civic life.

Our Influences

UnRival began in 2021 with a year dedicated to speaking directly with and listening to peacebuilders around the globe—as well as deep reading and research on the great work already happening to bring about justice and peace for all people. 

Our path forward has been profoundly directed by the thoughts of figures such as John Paul LederachLibby HoffmanWillie James JenningsThich Nhat HahnLynne TwistJulia Robinson-MooreGena St. DavidDuncan Morrow, and others. Most centrally, since our formation, we have been guided by René Girard’s Mimetic Theory.

Mimetic Theory has developed over forty years of interdisciplinary research in theology, anthropology, sociology, psychology, economics, literature, myth, and ritual.

These are the key insights that have emerged which guide us:

1. We are less individual than interdividual. Healthy identity, self-worth, and desire are received and sustained in communities of belonging.

2. Conflict escalates when we experience unchecked rivalry and cling to insecure and fearful identities.

3. When rivalry escalates among those with power, the suffering of the marginalized is deepened, discounted, and even ignored by the rivals.

4. When we’re motivated by rivalry, we often find relief by fixing blame on a scapegoat.

5. Scapegoating is dangerously effective but short-lived. It allows us to deflect our own responsibility. The path to true peace with justice requires each of us to look inward for the causes of conflict and open ourselves to change.

6. Violence is contagious and cyclical—especially when driven by rivalry. Rivalry leads to intractable conflicts and repetitive scapegoating. However, justpeace is contagious as well.

7. Peace is not passive. It is a generative, creative act that finds surprising paths through conflict and expands circles of belonging for all people.