Matt Guynn, M.A. ’96

Published: July 08, 2016

Author: Renée LaReau

Matt Guynn Web

Matt Guynn is director of organizing for church and community groups with On Earth Peace, a Christian peacebuilding organization. Matt works with groups around the U.S. and internationally to build capacity for nonviolence and develop projects to challenge violence and build justice.

Matt has been part of Training for Change, an international social change training center based in Philadelphia for 20 years and continues to partner with the organization to provide webinars about online facilitation. He currently serves as co-chair for nonviolent moral fusion direct action training with the Oregon chapter of the Poor People's Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival.

He is a co-founder of the Kingian Nonviolence Coordinating Committee, which provides online and face-to-face trainings and extends the legacy of Kingian nonviolence, the philosophy and methodology of Martin Luther King, Jr., and the leadership of the freedom struggle era. Matt has also consulted with organizations including the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and Greenpeace USA.

With JoanMay Cordova, Dean Johnson, and Regina Shands Stolzfus, Guynn is co-editor of the textbook, Resist, Organize, Transform: An Introduction to Nonviolence and Activism (Cognella, 2018). 

Prior to joining On Earth Peace, Matt served as co-coordinator of training for Christian Peacemaker Teams, preparing people to carry out nonviolent direct action and unarmed accompaniment in conflict zones. With CPT, he served as an unarmed bodyguard and nonviolent intervener in Chiapas, Mexico. 

Matt lives in Portland, Oregon, with his wife, Sarah, and sons, Daniel and Owen. 

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."

Matt 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."

Updated July 2018.