Photo/Fred Martin

Paul Heidebrecht, Director, Kindred Credit Union Centre for Peace Advancement; John Head, Executive Director, MCC Ontario; Rick Cober Bauman, Executive Director, MCC Canada; and Marcus Shantz, President, Conrad Grebel University College pose with signed Memorandum of Understanding.

On December 17, Conrad Grebel University College (Grebel) and Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) formalized their partnership to advance peace through the Kindred Credit Union Centre for Peace Advancement (CPA) by signing a Memorandum of Understanding.

The CPA is home to peace-oriented innovators and established organizations from Waterloo region’s vibrant peacebuilding ecosystem. Over the past four years, the CPA has enabled Grebel and MCC to partner in new ways through, for example, consultations, conferences, and gallery exhibits. This agreement builds on that foundation by deepening this unique partnership over the next three years.

Going forward, MCC will be identified as a “Core Collaborator” in the CPA. This category of participation includes established organizations such as Project Ploughshares, whose staff are co-located in the CPA, as well as Grebel faculty, and research fellows. Core Collaborators have been able to advance peace through collaborative research projects, community engagement opportunities, and connections with students at Grebel and the University of Waterloo.

MCC is sponsoring a hot desk for occasional use by a staff member, partner, or one of the peacebuilding start-ups in the CPA’s Epp Peace Incubator program. CPA Director Paul Heidebrecht is enthused about this new model for deepening connections with an organization at the forefront of peace and justice work both locally and globally. “I think our dynamic mix of researchers, practitioners, and entrepreneurs will be better able to learn from—and contribute to—MCC and its partners.”

John Head, Executive Director of MCC Ontario said, “We are eager to continue this partnership and to benefit from this community of peacebuilder peers.”  

Rick Cober Bauman, Executive Director of MCC Canada echoed John. “We are excited to partner with the CPA and to participate in the advancement of peace locally and globally.”

“Grebel and MCC share common roots within a tradition of peacebuilding,” noted Grebel President Marcus Shantz, “and we both have a mandate to nurture a new generation of peacebuilders.”