It requires a studied understanding of how rivalry hardens hearts and narrows communities into us-versus-them mentalities. People cannot be reasoned out of these mentalities, because rivalry is less a condition of the mind than of the heart. It manifests in disordered relationships and identities, and corrupts our feelings of belonging. Therefore, peacebuilding is also a deeply personal process of ongoing conversion and transformation, of continually facing the rivalrous tendencies within our own hearts.
Building a nonrivalrous foundation for identity and belonging requires engaging and moving the entire self: mind, body, heart and soul. This is the terrain of the arts – of music and stained glass, of ritual and dance, of movies and laughter, of hospitality and shared meals. Like the work of artisans and craftspeople, the most successful peacebuilding comes from an elusive combination of skill and imagination. It is the ability to craft new ways of being who we are with what we already have.
We Accompany our network by documenting their successes and extending their capacities. We engage in practical research that sheds light on the intersections of peacebuilding and rivalry, and how this work contributes to durable change. We focus on better understanding those embodied practices that are succeeding on the ground, developing resources and best practices from these insights.
We Connect artisans of justpeace who feel alone in advocating for dignity and refusing to join in rivalry. We meet their longing for connection to others of like mind, and their desire to find rest with those who understand the power and difficulty of nonviolent action. We create safe, unrivalrous spaces for growth, nourishment, learning, and ideation.
Our central work is to tell and Amplify our network’s stories: narratives that erode belief in violence leading to peace. We bear witness to the powers of nonviolence being discovered by unheralded peacebuilders who are crafting sustainable peace in their communities. Such stories are often told from the margins, and they are rarely neat and tidy. We believe these “stories from below, told in beautiful ways” can inspire hope and undergird meaningful change.
Jason Ferenczi brings academic preparation in history and education into dialogue with organizational development, cross-cultural communication, and leadership studies. Jason previously served as a Program Director at Cornerstone Trust (2011-2020), a private, family foundation. He oversaw granting in leadership development around the globe, with a special focus in Europe and sub-Saharan Africa. Jason holds a master’s in history and a Ph.D. in education, although his greatest formation has come in the school of life, particularly travel in 130+ countries. He is the father of four middle- and high-school girls and lives in Grand Rapids.
Lyle writes widely on topics at the intersections of religion, literature, and popular culture. His essays, poems and stories have appeared in dozens of publications. He brings his love of learning, research, and storytelling to the unRival team, interviewing artistans of peace and amplifying their narratives while working to identify the analogies between their singular struggles and contexts. A member of the Colloquium on Violence & Religion, Lyle was also the 2017 winner of the Raymund Schwager Memorial Essay Prize, for his work comparing the philosophies of Rene Girard and Giorgio Agamben. He holds a PhD in English from Loyola University Chicago.
William Price, III tells stories through motion pictures and digital media. He is an award-winning writer-director-producer, actor, cancer survivor, and father of two. William has collaborated professionally with Grammy-winning bands, non-profits, startups, and healthcare companies as well as aid and justice organizations. His personal work reflects a darkly tinged spirituality that aches for transcendence and embraces the brutal tension between beauty and suffering; this spirit informs his efforts as a screenwriter, director, actor and creative director—forming pieces that often orbit around questions of identity, relationship, terror, and hope for mercy.
The unRival Network draws together activists, nonprofit leaders, researchers, donors, and artists commited to nonviolence and justpeace. Our diverse connections form a deep well of learning and potential for change.
© 2021 unRival | All rights reserved.
Website Design by Luum Studio