Matt Guynn is director of nonviolent social change for On Earth Peace, a Christian peacebuilding organization that helps community groups build peace and counter violence with active nonviolence.
Based in Portland, Oregon, Matt designs, implements and evaluates programs for church and community groups grappling with issues related to justice and violence.
“In the past few weeks I’ve led training for a transit riders’ union, consulted with church groups promoting fossil fuel resistance, and drafted a letter expressing solidarity with churches affected by violence in Nigeria,” Matt says. “On any given day I might work as an educator, trainer, strategist, or community organizer.”
When he was a Notre Dame master’s student in international peace studies, Matt enrolled in Kroc professor David Cortright’s course on nonviolent social change.
“I learned effective strategies and tactics for change and discovered a passion for the spiritual, intellectual and practical traditions of nonviolence,” Matt says. “I now apply all of these things to my work daily.”
Before joining On Earth Peace, Matt worked for Christian Peacemaker Teams in the United States and Mexico, and for Training for Change, a group that provides training to activists standing up for social, economic, and environmental justice. He joined On Earth Peace in 2001.
“I love working at the intersection of church and social movements,” Matt says. “I draw strength from both sides, working to find responses to violence that are both powerful and grounded.”
— Renée LaReau, May 2014