Sixteen years ago I filled out my application to join a CPT delegation. I was a 19-year-old student desperate to get out of my university lectures and into the concrete day-to-day lived experiences of nonviolent movements. 

Did I find what I was looking for? Absolutely. I was immersed in a context and given the opportunity to see all of my ‘peace and conflict’ textbook theories woven into the tapestry of people’s lives, put to the test in the hills of rural Colombia where the webs of conflict are a lot more sticky, intertwined, and complex than my textbooks had let on. 

I immediately resonated with the solidarity aspect of the delegation. We need each other. Presence is powerful. 

And lastly, my CPT delegation leaders gave me the tools to unlock my agency. Through witnessing the struggles of front-line activists and human rights defenders, I had the information and guidance I needed to walk into government offices to advocate, to speak to my home community and educate, and to organize to hold corporations and authorities accountable.

But in the end, I think my experience on a CPT delegation gave me a lot more of what I hadn’t known I was looking for. CPT’s guiding principles of undoing oppressions invited me to unravel, stitch by stitch, my singular experience of identity in this world, and then weave it back together to include a more diverse understanding of my place within this world and a stronger commitment to the lifestyle and practice of nonviolence.

My delegation experience has profoundly guided and shaped my life. Your delegation experience is waiting for you this year. Come join CPT’s on-the-ground experiment in non-violence. Learn more here.

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Hannah Redekop

CPT Communications Associate

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