Veronica grew up in Argentina of Croatian parents and lives now in Montreal, Canada. She is Latin American Coordinator and Training Program Co-coordinator for Pace e Bene and focuses on introducing nonviolence in education, particularly in schools in Argentina. She passionately believes that now is the moment to take concrete action to shift the paradigm from a culture of aggressive competition and separativeness to one of cooperation and caring. Nonviolent action shows the way to this change of heart.
Argrow “Kit” Evans-Ford was born in the small town of Mebane, North Carolina. Her passion for nonviolence and peace stems from her work experience with the National Association of Students Against Violence Everywhere since the age of 14. She is a 2004 graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and holds a B.A. in Communications Studies and African and Afro-American Studies.
Ms. Evans-Ford also holds a M.A. in Teaching: Special Education and a M.A. in Social Justice and Community Development. Kit is a 2004 Teach for America Washington, DC alumni as well as a 2008 Returned Peace Corps Volunteer, Saint Kitts and Nevis. Her studies and work experience have been centered around gender equality, nonviolence and peace, special education, domestic sex tracking, HIV and AIDS, healing, spirituality, and the performing arts.
Ms. Evans-Ford earned a Master of Divinity degree at the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, CA. While attending seminary she completed a summer fellowship with Pace e Bene. Her work included giving voice to the hurt, healing, and power that comes from survivors of violence and other peacemakers. She has since led and co-led many Pace e Bene workshops.
Ken joined the Pace e Bene staff in 1990. He developed and for several years directed Pace e Bene’s From Violence To Wholeness program, and was actively involved in creating Pace e Bene’s Engage: Exploring Nonviolent Living program.
Ken earned his Ph.D. in the Historical and Cultural Studies of Religions at the Graduate Theological Union in 2000. He has been a lecturer in the spirituality and practice of nonviolence at the Franciscan School of Theology in Berkeley, and directed the Spiritual Life Institute at Saint Martin’s College in Washington State for three years. He currently teaches at DePaul University and Loyola University in Chicago’s Institute of Pastoral Studies.
Ken has published five books, including Pilgrimage through a Burning World: Spiritual Practice and Nonviolent Protest at the Nevada Test Site (Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 2003).
Ken lives in Chicago with his spouse Cynthia Okayama Dopke and their beautiful daughter Leah Toyomi.
Rivera Sun is the author of three social protest novels, Billionaire Buddha, The Dandelion Insurrection and Steam Drills, Treadmills, and Shooting Stars, as well as nine theatrical plays and a book of poetry. Rivera cohosts Love (and Revolution) Radio with Sherri Mitchell, and cofounded the nationwide nonviolent study and action group network, the Love-in-Action Network. She facilitates workshops in strategy for nonviolent movements nationwide. She went to Bennington College to study writing as a Harcourt Scholar and graduated with a degree in dance. Rivera lives in an earthship house in Taos, New Mexico, where she grows tomatoes and bakes sourdough bread in an adobe oven. She has red hair, a twin sister, and a fondness for esoteric mystics. Everything else about her – except her writing – is perfectly ordinary.
LR Berger is the New England Associate of Pace e Bene, as well as a member of the Support Committee of the American Friends Service Committee NH, and the NH Conference UCC Conference Peace with Justice Advocates. She also works closely with NH Peace Action. She offers nonviolence trainings, facilitates a monthly community Building a Culture of Peace film and conversation program, and is involved in grassroots organizing. She has worked for the last 32 years as a poet, community educator, clinical mental health counselor, activist and college instructor. At the heart of all of these vocations has been her devotion to the practice of healing the wounds of violence, and to educating herself and others about the causes, consequences and sacred alternatives to the cycle of violence. She advocates for the arts as being a vital tool for social transformation.
In addition to working with Pace e Bene, Berger offers her poetry seminar, “Letters to the World,” in schools, libraries and community centers, encouraging children and teenagers to raise their voices through the medium of poems about their passionate concerns and wishes for the world. Her book of poems, “The Unexpected Aviary,” received the Jane Kenyon Outstanding Book of Poetry Award, as well as support from the National Endowment of the Arts and the PEN NE Award for Poetry.
Brendan is a Pace e Bene Associate in Australia. He was born and raised in Northern Ireland where he was exposed to a culture of violence, injustice and denominational segregation.
Since moving to Perth, Australia in 1981, after teaching high school for seven years in England, Brendan has been working in adult faith education, retreat and community-based facilitation, social justice and the development of a spirituality of nonviolent peacemaking.
Brendan has been involved with Pace e Bene since 1999, introducing the From Violence to Wholeness process across Australia and developing a network of facilitators. He has been instrumental in assisting in the creation of our sister organization, Pace e Bene Australia.
As part of his passion for mainstreaming nonviolence, Brendan also works as an Open Space Technology facilitator with groups of any kind that wish to deal with their important issues by using self-organising, nonviolent processes. He also presents interactive learning workshops on collaborative leadership, conflict transformation and emergent design.
A veteran of the US Navy and former Training Coordinator for Pace e Bene, Ken founded the Speakers Bureau at Global Exchange, a San Francisco-based human rights organization. He was an international observer in 1999 in East Timor’s vote for independence, and has actively participated in numerous nonviolent social movements and organizations. Ken has worked as a Catholic Worker, homeless advocate, in prison ministry, and as a counselor with psychologically challenged adults and children.
He earned his Masters of Arts degree in Theology at the Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley.He lives in Oakland, CA. and currently works for Catholic Relief Services.
Josie Setzler found herself drawn into peace activism and nonviolence training by the wars that grew out of 9/11. She formed two area peace groups that she continues to lead. She has also served local mental health and environmental efforts. Josie participates with Witness Against Torture in national actions to close Guantanamo and end torture. She is trained in nonviolence and conflict resolution through Creating a Culture of Peace and the Lombard Mennonite Peace Center. She also writes for Toledo Faith and Values, ToledoFAVS.com. Josie is a former chemistry professor and environmental scientist. She and her husband Denny have four grown children and are active in their local parish.
Jerica Arents is a graduate of Loyola University of Chicago Masters of Social Justice program and co-coordinates Voices for Creative Nonviolence, a campaign to end the U.S. occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan. She lives at the White Rose Catholic Worker in West Roger’s Park. Jerica is an organizer with Witness Against Torture and recently spent a month in Afghanistan, learning about the affects of U.S. policies of war on ordinary Afghan people. She is interested in using alternative choices, social analysis, and integrated nonviolent resistance to create more sustainable communities for our neighbors and the earth. She has worked in interfaith circles on issues of worker’s rights, juvenile justice, and racial reconciliation.
Christopher Knestrick has been doing nonviolent activism since 2003, when the Benedictine Sisters of Erie, Pennsylvania, convinced him to get arrested during the second United States invasion of Iraq. Since then he has been learning and practicing nonviolence. Chris has been committed to solidarity work, undoing oppressions, and nonviolent resistance. He has lived and worked in Colombia, South America, where he worked with the Christian Peacemaker Teams by partnering with nonviolent resistance communities that defend their lands from multi-national takeover. He recently graduated from McCormick Theological Seminary with a Masters in Ministry. He currently is a member Witness Against Torture and the Cleveland Catholic Worker Community. He enjoys, fishing, cooking, and discussing how to close Guantanamo and end torture.
Alison McCrary, CSJ
Alison is a Sister in the Congregation of St. Joseph and a social justice attorney. She works primarily in the areas of criminal justice policy reform, civil rights, cultural rights, and environmental rights. Alison has organized legal teams to support movements for social change across the country. In 2012, she completed her Soros Justice Advocacy Fellowship in New Orleans, Louisiana where she challenged and changed police practices and policies that threatened New Orleans’ indigenous cultural traditions. Alison has worked on racial, educational, environmental, economic, and criminal justice issues in numerous countries and cities from the favelas (slums) of Brazil to the United Nations in New York and from neighborhoods in New Orleans to villages in Vietnam for the past ten years. She also worked on international human rights abuses and corporate accountability. Alison also serves as a Spiritual Advisor on Louisiana’s death row. Alison received her J.D. from Loyola University’s College of Law in New Orleans and her B.A. in English at Georgia State University. She has also completed coursework at Johannes Gutenburg Universität in Mainz, Germany, the University of Surrey in London, and Loyola University Chicago. She is currently pursuing her M.A. in Systematic Theology and Scripture at Catholic Theological Union. Alison is a native of rural Georgia.
Rev. Felicia Parazaider
Rev. Felicia attended the Chaplaincy Institute for Arts and Interfaith Ministry, and was ordained in March 2012. She holds degrees from University of California Berkeley in both Religious Studies and Peace & Conflict Studies. She has completed training programs in Spiritual Psychology as well as Tree of Life Teachings. Rev. Felicia is certified as a Reiki Level II practitioner and is certified by Pace e Bene Nonviolence Service in nonviolence training. She has ministered extensively to drug addicts and alcoholics, and as a Hospitals & Institutions (H&I) chairperson of panels going into USC County Hospital. Rev. Felicia also worked at Kaiser Hospital Oakland and Walnut Creek as a chaplain during her Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) training.
She is a self described radical sacred activist, traveling to India and the Middle East on peace delegations, walking over 200 miles through the Nevada desert against nuclear proliferation and for peace, as well as being arrested several times for participating in nonviolent civil resistance against drone warfare. Rev. Felicia is the founder of Revolution Of Love (ROL), an interfaith ministry which focuses on inner work of the self and outer work in the world, through the vehicles of agape love and nonviolence.