Place yourself as witness for peace

“How do we amplify voices? How do we nourish acts of resistance already in place?” These questions were raised on 12 October 2021 during “Ubíquese,” a webinar from the Global Anabaptist Peace Network (GAPN). GAPN is an emerging network of peace organizations connected to Mennonite World Conference (MWC).  

“By choosing the name ubíquese in Spanish (which could be translated as “place yourself” in English), the goal of the webinar was to inspire discussion about what it means to witness to peace in times of the COVID-19 pandemic and in contexts dealing with injustice,” says GAPN coordinator Andres Pacheco Lozano. 

The webinar had two focal points: past and present injustices against Indigenous peoples in Canada and the recent national protests, cases of police brutality and implementation of peace accords in Colombia.  

Two peace activists from each context reflected on key challenges for peacebuilding in those realities, on how they were participating in addressing them and on how they envisioned the international community could be in solidarity with these two contexts.  

“Where there is relationship, real reconciliation happens,” says Adrian Jacobs, Keeper of the Circle of Sandy-Saulteaux Spiritual Centre, Manitoba, Canada (Treaty 1 territory). “When you see suffering, you move.” 

“We need to prioritize those who are suffering most, those who are most vulnerable,” says Steve Heinrichs, Indigenous-Settler Relations director for Mennonite Church Canada, an MWC member church. “This is an urgent moment in the climate crisis,” he says, where both international and Indigenous Canadian concerns converge. 

From Colombia, Francisco Mosquera, founder of Edupaz, asked the Anabaptist family for solidarity. He called for a body to monitor the Colombia reality to create a record of action. 

Angélica Rincón of Justapaz called for solidarity in the form of interaction. “Mutually, we can accompany one another, recognizing skills, wisdom and experiences.”  

Both organizations are members of the Global Anabaptist Service Network (GASN). 

The webinar closed with small group discussion about the peace work.  

At Assembly in July 2022, attendees will have opportunity to attend several workshops conducted by GAPN members.  

For more information on the GAPN, including a membership application, click here

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