NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – Bethel College hosts the annual gathering of the Intercollegiate Peace Fellowship (ICPF) on its campus Feb. 10-12.
The conference theme is “Uniting for Social Change: Intersections of Race, Environment and LGBTQIA Identities.” The four keynote addresses are free and open to the public, and all take place in Krehbiel Auditorium in Luyken Fine Arts Center.
The ICPF annual gathering is a student-led conference exploring peace and justice from a faith perspective. Although one of its main purposes is to bring together students from Mennonite-affiliated colleges across the United States and Canada, any college student is welcome to participate, regardless of either personal or institutional faith affiliation.
While the broader community is welcome to attend the four public keynote addresses, the discussions following and related conference activities are restricted to registered participants (college students and their affiliated faculty).
David Anderson Hooker opens the conference Feb. 10 at 11 a.m. with an introduction and overview of the conference theme.
Hooker is professor of the practice of conflict transformation and peacebuilding at the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, part of the University of Notre Dame’s Keough School of Global Affairs.
He is an experienced mediator, facilitator and peacebuilder who has worked with communities, governments and international NGOs and civil society organizations on post-conflict community building, environmental justice and other issues of public policy and social justice. He has managed multi-party conflicts, conducted workshops and consulted across the United States and around the world.
Hooker is also a practicing lawyer and an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ.
The second keynote, on “environmental justice,” is Feb. 10 at 7 p.m., with two speakers, Aubrey Streit Krug and Alicia Harris.
Streit Krug is a lecturer and Ph.D. candidate in English, as well as a graduate fellow of the Center for Great Plains Studies, at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Her research focuses on American and indigenous literature, science and ecology, and agriculture and plants, especially on the Great Plains.
Harris, a member of the Assiniboine, Fort Peck nation, is a Ph.D. student at the University of Oklahoma, where her current research focuses on imagery that centers on indigenous reclamations of land, language and kin-centric relationships.
The third keynote is Feb. 11 at 9:30 a.m. on “racial justice,” with speaker Michelle Armster.
Armster, the Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration speaker at Bethel College in 2016, is executive director of Mennonite Central Committee (MCC)-Central States, based in North Newton, a position she assumed last June after serving three years as transitional director. She is an ordained minister and a trained mediator and facilitator.
The final keynote, on “LGBTQIA justice,” is Feb. 11 at 2 p.m. with speakers Joel Barrett and David Seymour.
Seymour and Barrett, a married couple, recently moved to Kansas City, Missouri, from South Bend, Indiana. Seymour is a veteran employee of the Social Security Administration (where he is currently a technical training instructor), as well as an experienced instructor and choreographer in Latin dance. Barrett has been in business for himself since 2013 as an LGBTQIA writer, speaker and life coach.
For more information about the speakers, see www.bethelks.edu/unitingforchange.