Reflections on the AWP Conference

For all of those wondering about the conference this past Saturday, it was a particularly stimulating experience. The day started out with Dr. Ginger Harwood’s presentation of the history of the SDA Church stance on conflicts from the Civil War to the present. It was the perfect start to a day diverse with dialog on different dimensions of peacemaking. Lively question and answer sessions followed each speaker; in fact, at several points, time constraints prevented more questions from being asked. Of course, breaks, lunch, and dinner provided excellent opportunity for further conversation and community-building among the attendees and speakers.

It was a refreshing surprise to see the variety of facets to peace. Presentations were given on the issues of gang violence (Bernadine Irwin), new ways of viewing evangelism (Ryan Bell), the importance of looking at civic education as a place to promote peace (Tiffany Hunter), experiences from Haiti and different outlooks on peace (Nadege Robertson-Tippenhauer), reports on peacemaking from SIFE and Students for Social Justice at LSU, women in conflict zones (Trisha Famisaran), and peace in the world with a highlight on media bias (Ron Osborn).

All together, it was not only informational but inspirational. One of the attendees, in fact, commented that she had been to other such conferences, but that the quality of presentations and discussions held at this one was extraordinary. The conference attracted not only those associated with LSU, but also some from other faiths in the Riverside community, who diversified the conversation even further. For me, it was inspiring to meet so many others eager to discuss new ideas, leaving me with a lasting impression of the spirit of communion.


Continuing the Conversation

Hello all,

I am thrilled to say that the Adventist Women 4 Peace blog is finally back and running again… with one small change— a new editor. Professor Victoria Bresee has, unfortunately, stepped down. I know that she will be greatly missed, as she has made a huge step in connecting not only Adventist Women worldwide, but any who believe in the cause for peace and social justice. I believe that the best way to acknowledge the importance of another’s work is to not let it die, and that is one of the reasons I was very excited to meet with Professor Bresee about continuing the blog.

Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Zulema Ibarra, and I am currently a senior at La Sierra University, finishing up an individual major in Emerging Voices in Cross-Cultural America. Yes, it’s a mouthful, but as it was designed to cater to my specific interests, I have loved every one of my classes. They have taken me through a fascinating discovery of the modern American voice, by examining in-depth the experiences and opinions of those whose voices have not always been heard, from women to immigrants to the rural poor. This, coupled with my love for diversity and progress, has led me to my position as co-president of the Students for Social Justice Club at La Sierra. Other activities I enjoy are drama productions, music (I was a part of the LSU Orchestra for three years), writing, discussions of all sorts, observing nature and change, and finding the beauty in life.

I was born in Mexico, but have been raised in the U.S. all my life. The East Coast is where my heart is, having lived in upstate New York until my early teens. However, I am indebted to the Southern California open-mindedness I’ve experienced for my intellectual development. Further, the desert air and expansive fields of the Imperial Valley, where I currently call home, have softened my heart towards the uniqueness of the desert and fostered my interest in migrant labor and rural poverty.

Coming from these lenses, I hope to build onto Professor Bresee’s foundation, and invite all of you to help me keep the conversation ongoing. Blogging is an excellent way of learning from each other and engaging in meaningful and constructive dialogue, so I welcome you to share your thoughts. I will be updating as often as possible and at least once a week, but being a student, I know that there may be a couple weeks’ gap here and there (specifically during finals). If you would like to contribute a post to this blog, please contact me and we can discuss the details of posting it. If you have any suggestions or ideas, please reply to this post or email me at Remember to keep checking the blog for new posts coming soon!

–Zulema Ibarra


Making Peace in Times of War: Adventist Responses to Violence

Peace Conference

Sponsored by Adventist Women for Peace and La Sierra University

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Hole Memorial Auditorium
La Sierra University
4500 Riverwalk Parkway
Riverside, California 92515
951-785-2257 or 2120
  • 9:30-10:00 am Registration and light breakfast, Welcome
  • 10:00-10:45 am Keynote Address: “The Present as History: SDA Peacemaking in Times of Violence” – Ginger Hanks-Harwood
  • 10:45-10:55 am Discussion/ Q & A
  • 10:55-11:10 am BREAK
  • 11:10-11:45 am Peace at Home: “Peace Medicine: Healing from War in Our Homes” – Akivah Northern
  • 11:45-12:20 pm Peace in the Community: “Amid the Gangs…Peace” – Bernadine Irwin
    • 12:20-1:30 pm LUNCH
    • 1:30-2:05 pm Peace in the Community: “Peace and Justice as Evangelism In Hollywood” – Ryan Bell
    • 2:05-2:40 pm Peace in the Nation: “Civic Education in the United States after 9/11” – Tiffany Hunter
    • 2:40-2:55 pm BREAK
      • 2:55-3:30 pm. Peace in the Nation: “Fondation Espoir:The Different Pieces of Peace” – Florence Bellande-Robertson
      • 3:30-3:50 pm Peace in the World: Reports Students in Free Enterprise: Yorlenis Aguirre, Social Justice Club: Zulema Ibarra
      • 3:50-4:25 pm Peace in the World: “International Peacemakers: Women in Conflict Zones” – Trisha Famisaran
      • 4:25-5:10 pm Peace in the World: “In Praise of a Modest Patriotism” – Ronald Osborn
      • 5:10-5:15 pm Peace prayers and readings
      • 5:30-6:30 pm SUPPER (Cactus Room)
      • 7:00 pm Film: “God Sleeps in Rwanda” with Norah Bagirinka (Alumni Pavilion)