The Center for Peace and Justice

Since 1891, George Fox University has been educating Christian leaders for effective service in improving the spiritual and material conditions of human life. The Center for Peace and Justice is one of the significant ways George Fox University carries out its Christ-centered, Quaker mission.

Created in December 1984 as the Center for Peace Learning, the Center for Peace and Justice helps people understand and manage the many forms of conflict. The center's goal is to nurture agents of hope, people who embody in their citizenship, careers, and daily lives God's promised gifts of peace and reconciliation.

The Center for Peace and Justice extends the Quaker heritage and the Christian higher educational work of George Fox University by collecting information, teaching, and providing resources and experiences in peacemaking and conflict management at all levels of human interaction, from interpersonal to international.

2020-2021 Steinfeldt Scholars 

Amy Herrman

Amy Herrman 

Junior - Elementary Education

I found something while conducting my studies at George Fox University and it was something I didn’t expect to find. I found what fostering implicit bias means and I found that I am guilty of it along with everyone else, even if we are ashamed in saying so. This discovery began with my coursework in a Multicultural Education class necessary for my major. For an assignment, I read Waking Up White, and Finding Myself in the Story of Race by Debby Irving and everything changed. This opened up a passion in me I had never really seen before. I grew up in a small town in Northern California surrounded by a white majority and was blind to the bias I had grown up surrounded by for so long. I had always acknowledged that there was hatred and injustice, but found myself detached from any sort of solution because I saw the fight against discrimination something I couldn’t truly understand and therefore was not my fight. After reading this book I found that I had been living in a privileged bubble for so long that allowed me to ignore discrimination. I was finally challenged to set aside pride and search for my bias directly in order to become an ally to change.

Once reading this book, opportunities to confront discrimination, specifically racism, surfaced all around me. I later discovered that it is incredibly integrated in what I had a heart for doing all along: teach children. Most recently I was given the opportunity to observe and teach in classrooms in Kenya. Through preparing and experiencing this journey last summer, I discovered how empathy and finding implicit bias within ourselves can be established as a “new normal” in our culture through schooling in order to promote a world rooted in peace and justice. I hope to continue educating myself on how to challenge bias, as well as equip our classrooms with resources that establish this skill within the hearts of the upcoming generations.

Abby CampbellAbby Campbell

Emanuel Gales

Senior - Cinema and Media Communication

A conviction of heart in needing to be the good Samaritan is part of the Christian faith. Traversing downtown Portland, OR is a guarantee for encountering people in need of a good Samaritan. As someone born and raised in the Portland area, wrestling with what it means to obey the instructions of Christ is inevitable for me. When standing just feet away from someone crouched under a dirty blanket, shivering in the rain, I know I am responsible to do something. Inaction is a choice, and Christ calls us to serve the poor. The question I am led to is “how do I respond appropriately and righteously in this situation?” I can’t just walk by and pretend there is not a problem, but is it any better to just hand out cash to every suffering person I see? I am pursuing a career in documentary filmmaking. This gives me a unique opportunity to explore challenging and controversial issues, and to share my newfound understanding with the world. There is not always a quick and easy solution. However, gaining understanding is a big step toward making a difference. I hope my documentarian exploration on the issue of homelessness will yield guidance for the Christian seeking to act justly in the eyes of the Lord, and I hope it will help bring peace to this tumultuous world.

 

Ashley Lingbloom

Ashley Lingbloom

Junior - Sociology and Social Work

I first saw a potential role for myself in activism after the Parkland School Shooting of 2018, when the surviving students started the “Never Again” movement and fought to protect students everywhere from future tragedy. I was inspired to pursue a social work degree at George Fox because it allows me to work toward fulfilling Jesus’ call to help the oppressed, those in the margins, and to truly and deeply love our neighbors. I knew that social work was an avenue to advocate for those experiencing injustice. Through classes and service opportunities, I have come to see peace as people coming together in community to celebrate differences and foster deep humility and respect for each others’ views and experiences. Justice means that every voice is heard and every person valued.

During my Freshman year, I went on a service trip with Seattle Urban Impact, where I saw community development at work for the first time. I knew that I had found my calling. Urban Impact fights spiritual, physical, and social poverty, using the perspective that every individual and community has strengths. I see this as a reflection of the early Church, igniting my hope that social work and my faith can intersect. Testimonies from the leaders at Urban Impact and their roles in racial reconciliation made me want to start pursuing change now. I believe that college is a formative time in students’ lives; the perspectives we establish now will be carried with us into the workforce. If we only interact with those who share our own ideologies, we lose the ability to expand our schemas and change our views. I hope that, by creating spaces for people to share experiences that shaped their perspectives, we can cultivate open minds and loving hearts, paving the way for reconciliation and peace.

Maya Burgess

Maya Burgess 

Senior - International Studies and Politics 

I cannot pinpoint the moment when I decided to work towards reconciliation. For the most part, I have always had a heart for others and sought to help in any way around me. Through a culmination of teachings from professors, speakers, and readings, I started gravitating more and more towards tangibly seeking peace and justice, to the point I added Peace Studies as one of my minors.

Admittedly, studying peace theory and restorative justice, I often thought of how I could contribute to society, how I could make the change. But then working through Crepes for a Cause, I realized reconciliation is not an I concept but a we invitation. We are all invited to partake in restoring peace. One person cannot change the world; it is a collective action that everyone agrees to partake in. Therefore, making crepes on campus and donating the proceeds to local peace and justice endeavors, not only supports those organizations working for peace, but it encourages college students to be aware of needs around them. Organizing Crepes for a Cause is simply my small way of partaking in God’s larger picture of restorative justice.