In 2016, as a result of a generous $1 million donation by Jean Buchanan (’76), Avila University was able to deepen its commitment to peace and nonviolence by establishing the Buchanan Initiative for Peace and Nonviolence (BIPN). Governed by an advisory board and program coordinator, BIPN works closely with Avila University’s CSJ Center for Heritage, Spirituality and Service and the Center for Global Studies and Social Justice.
The Buchanan Initiative for Peace and Nonviolence (BIPN) believes that peace and nonviolence are the strongest elements of our civic life. In a time when bombs are louder than voices for peace, we must learn to question the obvious, support one another, and organize our communities to overcome oppression.
BIPN embodies the work of the Sisters of St. Joseph of caring for the dear neighbor without distinction and extends this definition of service to include the examination of root causes of inequality and understanding of one another. This initiative brings students, academics, activists and CSJs together to raise a generation that has the nonviolent tools it needs to make peaceful social change possible.
Jean Buchanan (‘76) envisions a beloved Kansas City community that utilizes peace and nonviolence to connect an individual’s sense of inner-peace to global peace. This initiative honors collaboration with a diverse base of communities to break out of our comfort zones, unlearn the language of hate and foster self-determination among communities.
Many peace leaders have emphasized that being silent is a way of standing with the oppressor. We believe that the first revolution is internal. This initiative calls on everyone to join the peace movement by practicing mindfulness on an individual level, conducting contemplative dialogue that addresses our connection to larger forces influencing our lives and taking nonviolent action on a collective level.