Annual Report 2023

Community Peacemaker Teams

where we work

Centuries of colonization driven by violence, capitalism, and racism have turned the state of the world upside down. At CPT, we are committed to undoing oppressions and building coalitions in solidarity with our partners for their liberation and ours. To struggle against the status quo for justice and dignity means nothing less than turning our minds downside-up.

30 Fulltimers

130 Reservists

Iraqi Kurdistan

Palestine

Lesvos, Greece

Turtle Island Solidarity Network

Colombia

Agua Prieta, US/Mexico Borderlands

letter from the directors

Milena Rincón: Program Director
Muriel Schmid: Adminstrative Director

Our 2023 year was centered around three words: Demilitarize. Decolonize. Reimagine. Those words are powerful, full of promises, dreams, and hope for a more just world, a less violent world. The year 2023 saw conflicts on the rise, in a particularly dramatic way in Palestine. We have been following, listening, supporting as much as we can our team on the ground in Hebron/al-Khalil. The reality in the West Bank is alarming and hard for those who are trapped there, including the members of our team.

Violence is rising in Colombia as well. Regular threats are made against human rights defenders, small farming communities, and peace organizations. Our team in Barranca is busy, accompanying partners we have been supporting for many many years through several conflicts and the ups and downs of peace agreements.
Migrants in Europe and at the US border are being pushed back by laws and governments’ armed actors. The violence of these actors goes unchecked and many migrants have died and continue to die. Our team in Lesvos is monitoring the trials of those accused of smuggling, often the survivors of shipwrecks like in the Pylos case. CPTers at the US-Mexico border are witnessing the tightening of immigration processes and the militarization of the region.
In Iraqi Kurdistan, our team continues to document the bombing of villages in the mountains by Turkish air forces. CPT is the only organization to raise awareness about the constant threat these villages experience and the destruction and the murders that come with it.

And on Turtle Island, the struggle continues for indigenous communities to protect their land against corporations and government policies. CPT has been able to ensure a presence with the Apache Stronghold in Oak Flat Arizona and walk with other communities to defend their rights.

Demilitarize. Decolonize. Reimagine. These three words represent a huge challenge. We have not yet beaten “all swords into plowshares” and we have not yet managed to decolonize our minds, our lands, our words! But the entire CPT community keeps imagining and reimagining a different world and it keeps us going. The resistance and resilience of the communities we accompany root and nourish our imagination. And you, all of you supporting our work year after year, are imagining and reimagining with us! We are grateful for your commitment to the work and your willingness to hope with us.

programmatic strategy

unarmed accompaniment

CPT provides accompaniment for human rights and land defenders who often find themselves in unpredictable and dangerous situations. Our physical presence hopes to reduce violence and increase safety, being a powerful witness to the threats people face.

advocacy

CPT amplifies the voices of our partners, sharing their stories as a way to advocate for change at a governmental and societal level. By lifting-up their lived experience we hope to draw support for their struggle to bring about a lasting and just peace.

nonviolence training

CPT equips individuals and communities with skills to nonviolently resist oppression, believing these are essential tools that lead to transformation within the self, families and societies.

documentation

CPT documents incidents of violence and human rights abuses as a means of demonstrating the everyday reality of violence and oppression that communities struggle against. It is a way to share this reality with the world, being used for advocacy, news and media, and truth telling.

undoing oppression

CPT believes that violence is a symptom of underlying systems of oppression. We strive to undo oppression at an interpersonal, organizational, state, and global level, and provide our constituency with tools to undo oppression in their own community.

Advocacy is at the heart of our work – from teams in the field supporting communities to directly advocate for their needs, to documentation and political campaigning, to speaking events in our home communities – we use different methods to amplify the voices of our partners and move toward our vision of a just and peaceful world.
Much of what we do on the ground is used to advocate for our partners’ rights and lives. In Palestine, for example, we report on incidents of human rights violations, which are compiled into quarterly reports and published for our partners like the United Nations and Save The Children, among others, and used to advocate for Palestinian rights. In both Colombia and Iraqi Kurdistan, we set-up meetings with politicians to share the impact of state violence on civilians.
And across all programs we host delegations, so that people from outside communities can witness and learn about the ongoing struggles and share this witness with others.
While diverse and contextually nuanced, we understand our teams’ struggle for justice to be deeply connected and bound together. As such, wherever we are in the world, advocacy is a tool to reflect and share in the truth of what’s happening on the ground and remain accountable to our partners. We share that truth at both a political and grassroots level in the hopes that one day it will hold oppressors accountable, allow the realization of human rights and unite us in our pursuit of collective liberation.

the steering committee

Who is the Steering Committee?

The Steering Committee is a group of sponsoring bodies and at-large members committed to CPT’s mission and values. We oversee policy changes, as well as the organization at large. We hold legal responsibilities, authority, and accountability for organizational changes. Currently, the majority of the Steering Committee are peace church organizations and denominations – however, there is always room for others!

How do we function?

We are split into three different subcommittees: Personnel, Program, and Administration/Development. We also have several ad hoc working groups, including one emphasizing Undoing Oppressions and Racism. All SC members are required to serve on a subcommittee, with the exception of Corps Members and Representatives.
As we work on policy, we try to engage the whole organization through our various subcommittees and personal contacts. We try to get as much feedback as possible before making a decision.
Our decision-making process is based on consensus. Most policies and changes are usually set for approval at our bi-annual meetings (every six months). From financial adjustments and budgets to policies to updates on teams on the ground, we try to hear from the whole organization before making a decision.

What else do we do?

SC members will often engage in work promoting the organization in their own contexts – from writing, presenting, speaking at churches, etc. We try to continually engage in Undoing Oppressions work to examine our own biases.
We also oversee directors, advocate for CPT in various spaces, meet with potential donors and partners,assist in fundraising, and represent CPT in our sponsoring bodies and organizations. We also are involved in monitoring the budget and finances.

the program support coordinator

Each program within CPT has a designated Program Support Coordinator (PSC). In addition to being a full member of the program team, the PSC is also a full member of CPT’s Administrative Team (AT). As such, they play a key role within the program, as well as CPT as a whole; they provide administrative coordination and oversight for program work; monitor team accounting practices and financial reports; manage team staffing; coordinate short-term delegations to the program site; provide leadership and close coordination throughout the organization in situations of crisis; spend time on the ground, visiting partners and building relationships. But above all, PSCs focus on listening, caring for, supporting, and resourcing each CPTer and the team’s well being, encouraging a culture of creativity, celebration, and affirmation.

PSCs do what is considered the behind the scenes work, so their teammates on the ground, under their leadership, can accompany, monitor, document, visit, strategize, advocate and communicate about their partners and their work. They are the bridge between team members and the AT, enabling the wider CPT community to know what’s happening within each program and how we can work together on aspects related to communication, promotion, fundraising, outreach and advocacy. The role of the PSC is a crucial one, requiring commitment, compassion, love, humanity and a good dose of humor.

partner highlight: palestine

CPT Palestine has been working in al-Khalil (Hebron) and Masafer Yatta–a region in the southern district of Hebron in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, since 1995. Palestinian residents of Masafer Yatta have been facing expulsion threats and demolition orders since 1981, when the Israeli army designated the area as a firing zone. Since then, communities have been living in constant fear of eviction, seeing their homes demolished and having their movements restricted. To make matters worse, in May 2022, Israel’s Supreme Court rejected the residents’ appeal against the firing zone, effectively placing residents at imminent risk of being displaced from their land.
 
Umm al-Khair is one of many Bedouin villages in the south of the West Bank that is at risk of forced relocation due to settlement expansion – in this case, the Israeli settlement called Karmel. Over the years, Umm al-Khair has experienced multiple demolitions of its village: Homes, a community center, playgrounds, toilets, tents, and Tabun ovens have all been demolished. Situated in Area C (under full control of the Israeli Military), Umm al-Khair is required to have a permit when any structure is to be built. Israel approves less than 1.5% of permit requests in Area C.
 
The CPT Palestine team provides accompaniment to Umm al-Khair, staying overnight in the village when demolitions are imminent. A partner in the Umm al-Khair community told us:
 

“We are thankful for CPT’s continuous and permanent support of Umm al-Khair, which is demonstrated through CPT’s presence and frequent visits. The presence of this institution has helped document, share human rights violations and increase awareness for those who do not know about the situation in the South Hebron Hills. It is important to know that the Israeli attacks are less severe when there are activists from local and international organizations such as CPT. We hope that CPT will increase the number of activists to cover many areas and be present in large numbers in Umm al-Khair.”

A roadside wall with an inscription that reads "human rights graveyard"

accompaniment highlight: ams

Aegean Migrant Solidarity

The “Deadly End” report, compiled by the CPT Aegean Migrant Solidarity (AMS) team, delves into the migrant deaths within the notorious Moria camp in Lesvos, Greece, shedding light on the dire conditions faced by migrants. It examines the systemic issues within detention centers, suggesting the way they were built and operated implicitly foretold of the migrant deaths that followed.

The report’s structure encompasses systematic press monitoring, analysis of academic literature, and most importantly, interviews with various persons who were directly or indirectly impacted by the events described, and who the team had formed connections with. The team conducted 12 interviews under the condition of anonymity with migrants, lawyers, doctors, and NGO workers. Prior AMS team members were in fact involved in the aftermath of two instances of deaths, by supporting the community members affected by those deaths.

The EU-Turkey Deal marked a pivotal moment, transforming Moria camp from a transit point into a confining space. Overcrowding, inadequate infrastructure, medical neglect, and extreme weather conditions, exacerbated by makeshift heating solutions, contributed to numerous deaths. Suicide attempts were also prevalent due to prolonged confinement, inhumane conditions, and inadequate mental health services. Additionally, homicides within and around Moria reflected the deprivation/limitation regime in which people lived.

Despite the clear link between living conditions and migrant deaths, no charges were pressed, and investigations were lacking, with the Greek state often deflecting blame onto the migrants themselves. Instead of shifting away from detention center policies, the Greek state and EU are planning to open a more restrictive Closed Controlled Access Center, exacerbating migrant isolation and endangering lives further.

 

Dr. Wendsler Nosie Sr. stands looking up toward the right.

oak flat: turtle island solidarity network

The land of ChiChil biłdagoteel (Oak Flat) is sacred, and has been tended through ceremony and Spirit presence from time immemorial. This land is unceded, but claimed by the United States Forest Service. The United States has promised to give Oak Flat to Resolution Copper, a subsidiary of Rio Tinto mining interest.
 
Apache Stronghold leads the struggle to protect this sacred land. In the wake of death threats against Apache Stronghold leadership, CPT was invited to accompany this struggle. For most of the time since May 2023, a small team, principally made up of CPT reservists and interns, has been camping and praying at Oak Flat and accompanying Apache Stronghold leaders. The team played a leading role in an event that gathered hundreds of people of faith and Spirit in November 2023 – Prayer Rising – which spread and deepened the circles of solidarity.
 

Being a participant of Prayer Rising and an accompanying presence with Apache Stronghold are powerful reminders that bigotry, hatred, and violence do not have the last word. Even as the US government tries to defend the indefensible and US federal courts pretend to deliberate away the religious rights of Apache peoples and all of our relationship with the land. Their folly is exposed by their own actions and inaction. It is a broad coalition of Indigenous-lead people, whose prayer and action holds true power. Hand in hand together with Apache Stronghold, we see and work for beauty in the world.

us/mexico borderlands

The much-anticipated end of Title 42— a Covid-era policy allowing for the immediate expulsion of persons entering the country without documents—occurred on 11 May 2023. After that date, migrants would be subject again to the previous provisions of Title 8 of US immigration law. Now, the number of Mexican migrants to the United States border is again rapidly increasing. The US Office of Customs and Border Protection statistics indicate a rise from 4000 encounters with Mexican families at the border in July of 2020 to almost 22,000 in July of 2023.

Once the family has arrived in Juarez, Nogales, Laredo, or any other border city, they have two choices. One choice is to pay the cartel to help them cross the border and hope to avoid apprehension by the Border Patrol. This means either living without documents—alongside the more than 11 million undocumented people who are presently in the US, or requesting asylum when they are apprehended by US Border Patrol. The second choice is to stay in the border community in Mexico while they try to get an asylum appointment with customs officials by using the phone app, CBP One. If a family chooses to enter the US through a port, it takes months to obtain an appointment with CBP One, and the family has to survive in the meantime.

From June through August, 2023, CPT team members accompanied an average of one family a week from the Centro de Atencion al Migrantes Exodus (CAME), a migrant shelter in Agua Prieta, Sonora, Mexico, to the Port of Entry to seek asylum. The majority of those families were accepted into the US to begin the asylum process. Team members then met the family on the US side, housed them for the night, and the next morning accompanied them to the shuttle for Tucson to the Casa Alitas migrant shelter.

Here is the plight of these Mexican families: they fled for their lives from their homes and they risked danger again as they travelled to the north where they lived in uncertainty at the border as they prepared to cross into the US. For those who get into the US, it is not the end of the story. Now they must survive in the US and navigate the immigration courts to present their claim. These parents and their children may now be at the mercy of people in the US—unethical employers, immigration lawyers, housing authorities, and law enforcement officials.

In September, a group of people from Chihuahua, the neighboring state to the east of Sonora, appeared on the street in Agua Prieta directly across from the Port. Those people were fleeing cartel violence in their hometowns, but were, ironically, being aided by the cartel in Agua Prieta. At this point when a family accompanied by CPT came to the Port, they found that access to the port was being controlled by the local cartel, and people who wish to request asylum must deal with the criminal organization.

Despite the precarious situation, CAME and the Centro de Recursos Materiales (CRM) continue to assist and house migrants, many of whom are those same people waiting on the street. And CPT continues to accompany migrants across the border.

colombia

With the inauguration of Gustavo Petro and Francia Márquez as president and vice president of Colombia in August 2022, Colombia for the first time in history is experiencing a left-wing government that has managed to create a coalition with a significant number of political parties from all factions to ensure governance. The Petro/Márquez government identifies itself as reformist and is interested not only in implementing the Peace Accords signed with the FARC in 2016, but also in initiating dialogue and negotiation processes with both the ELN (the last of the existing guerrilla groups in Colombia) as with the illegal armed actors (descendants of paramilitaries, FARC dissidents and high-impact criminal gangs that do not have a political status), in what the government has called La Paz Total. In addition to these dialogues, the government is carrying out important fundamental reforms (agrarian, labor, health, pension, tax and environmental) that have generated controversy and begun to show high levels of violence in regions such as Cauca, Putumayo and Magdalena Medio, where CPT Colombia works.

With the escalation of all types of human rights violations on the part of these exponentially-growing-armed groups, the food crisis as a result of the prolonged period of excessive rains in 2022, and the global economic crisis also affecting Colombia, our partners – Cahucopana (Humanitarian Action Corporation for Coexistence and Peace in Northeast Antioquia.), Women’s Popular Organization (OFP), and Guayabo – have been crying for international attention to this humanitarian crisis. These communities and social organizations that CPT accompanies continue their fight and peaceful resistance in defense of life, territory and human rights at high risk to their integrity and lives.

financials 2023

This last year could not have been possible without your generosity. Even when the world felt uncertain, you, our community, kept showing up for us. We couldn’t be more grateful.

Thank you.

CPT’s financial model focuses on equipping, training, and building a volunteer base of peacemaker corps. These fulltime, part-time, and reservist volunteers are our primary resource. The peacemaking work of CPT is profoundly human in its coalition-building and physical/political accompaniment which is fully staffed by a corp that receives stipends and healthcare.

Revenue

Individual Contributions: 616,365
59.17%
Congregational Contributions: 76,312
7.32%
Grants: 205,082
19.68%
Delegations: 29,161
2.79%
Special Gifts: 76,044
7.3%
Others: 38,679
3.71%

Total Revenue: 1,041,643

Expenses

Colombia: 243,786
20.45%
Aegean Migrant Solidarity: 147,440
12.6%
Palestine: 185,809
15.58%
Iraqi Kurdistan: 180,586
15.14%
Turtle Island Solidarity Network: 56,789
4.76%
Delegations: 20,418
1.71%
Undoing Oppressions: 7,961
0.66%
Communications: 58,585
4.91%
Admin/Fundraising: 296,453
24.86%

TOTAL Expense 1,192,046

TOTAL Net Income (Before Other Income/Expense): (150,403)

Investment Unrealized Gain (Loss): 58,186

Bottom Line: (92,217)

membership list

Steering Committee List

Co-Chair: Ruth Noel (Presbyterian Peace Fellowship)
Co-Chair: Nathan Perrin (Friends United Meeting)
Secretary: Esther Kern (Mennonite Church Canada)
Treasurer: Wilson Tan (At-Large Member)
Treasurer Elect: Benni Isaak-Krauss (Deutsches Mennonitisches Friedenskommittee German Mennonite Peace Committee)
Marie Benner-Rhoades (On Earth Peace)*
Gisela Cardozo (At-Large Member)
Christy Crouse (Church of the Brethren)
Rizwan Rizwan (At-Large Member)
Juan Carlos Rojas (Congregation of St. Basil)
Chrissy Stonebraker-Martinez (At-Large Member)*
James Thomas (At-Large Member)

Peacemaker Corp – Full-time, Part-time and Reservist

CPT Palestine Team
Ameera Rajabi, Palestine
Bahaa Sultan, Palestine
Shahd al-Junaidi, Palestine
Tarteel al-Junaidi, Palestine

CPT Iraqi Kurdistan Team
Julian Bil, Poland
Kamaran Osman, Iraqi Kurdistan
Runak Radha, Iraqi Kurdistan

CPT Colombia Team
Jhony Arango, Colombia
Jhon Henry Camargo, Colombia
Marcela Cárdenas, Colombia
Pierre Shantz, Canada
Natalia Vaca, Colombia

CPT Aegean Migrant Solidarity Team
Names withheld for security reasons.

Turtle Island Solidarity Network
Amy Peters, Canada
Allegra Friesen Epp, Canada
Brenna Cussen, USA
Carol Rose, USA
Carol Spring, USA – TISN Program Support Coordinator
Chuck Wright, Canada
David Janzen, Canada
Emily Green, Canada
Esther Kern, Canada
Esther Townshend, Canada
Jill Foster, Canada
Jonathan Brenneman, USA
Kathleen Kern, USA
Kody Hersh, USA
Murray Lumley, Canada
Natalie Maxson, Canada
Peter Haresnape, England
Robin Buyers, Canada
Tim Nafziger, USA
Weldon Nisly, USA

US/Mexico Borderlands
Jack Knox, USA
Linda Knox, USA

 

CPT Administrative Team
Alicia Rynkowska, England – Development Coordinator*
Adriana Cabrera Velásquez, Colombia – Colombia Program Support Coordinator*
Caldwell Manners, India – Communications Coordinator
Christina Karvouni, Greece – Interim Aegean Migrant Solidarity Program Support Coordinator
Julie Brown, USA – Outreach Coordinator*
Hannah Redekop, Canada – CPTnet / Social Media Editor*
Kryss Chupp, USA – Personnel Coordinator
Mark Frey, USA – Administrative Coordinator / Finance Manager
Milena Rincón, Colombia – Program Director
Mona el-Zuhairi, Palestine – Palestine Program Support Coordinator
Muriel Schmid, Switzerland – Administrative Director*
Rachelle Friesen, Canada – Canada Coordinator*
Rûnbîr Serkepkanî, Kurdistan – Iraqi Kurdistan Program Support Coordinator

CPT Circle of Care
Amy Yoder McGlouglin, USA
Christi Hoover-Seidel, USA

Peacemaker Corps – Reservists

Art Arbour, Canada
Melissa Berkey-Gerard, USA
Christopher Borth, USA
Jonathan Brenneman, USA
Mike Brown, USA
Robin Buyers, Canada
Salvador Castro, Colombia
Dan Dale, USA
Marian DeCouto, Canada
Merwyn DeMello, Afghanistan
Owen Dempsey, Scotland
Rebecca Dowling, Australia
David Etherington, USA
Lukasz Firla, Czech Republic
Jill Foster, Canada
Allegra Friesen Epp, Canada
John (Johann) Funk, Canada
Wanda Georgis, Canada
Peggy Gish, USA
Sergio Gomes, USA
Gladys Gómez, Colombia
Emily Green, Canada
Carolina Gouveia Santana, Brazil
Pilar Guerrero, Colombia
Julián Gutiérrez, Canada
Peter Haresnape, Canada
Christopher Hatton, Germany
John Heid, USA
Steve Heinrichs, Canada
Kody Hersh, USA
Bob Holmes, Canada
Marius van Hoogstraten, Germany
Evarossa Horz, Germany
Daniel Huizenga, Canada
Sherin Idais, Palestine
Mo’tasem Isied, Italy
David Janzen, Canada
Ken Jones, USA
Jennifer Keeney Scarr, USA
Esther Kern, Canada
Kathleen Kern, USA
Rebaz Khorsheed, Iraq
Cliff Kindy, USA
Annelies Klinefelter, Netherlands
Chris Knestrick, USA
Jack Knox, USA
Linda Knox, USA
Marianne Kronberg, Sweden
Lemuel LaRotta, Colombia
Caitlin Light, USA
JoAnne Lingle, USA
Cory Lockhart, USA
Jim Loney, Canada
Alix Lozano, Colombia
Murray Lumley, Canada
John Lynes, England
Abdallah Maraka, Palestine
Natalie Maxson, Canada
Louise McGechaen, Scotland
Cathy McLean, Canada
Rosemarie Milazzo, USA
David Milne, Canada
Jessica Morrison, Australia
Sylvia Morrison, Ghana
Michele Naar-Obed, USA
Tim Nafziger, USA
Paul Neufeld Weaver, USA
Weldon Nisly, USA
Kate Paarlberg-Kvam, USA
Lucila Pabón Díaz, Colombia
Juan Sebastián Pacheco Lozano, Colombia
Juvenal Pacheco, Colombia
Alejandro Pallares, Colombia
William Payne, Canada
Amy Peters, Canada
Jasmine Pilbrow, Australia
Nell Potter, Australia
Carole Powell, Australia
Doug Pritchard, Canada
Jane Pritchard, Canada
Kasia Protz, Ireland
Juliane Pruefert, Germany
Sara Reschly, USA
Maurice Restivo, USA
Jenny Rodríguez, Colombia
Carol Rose, USA
Mohammed Salah, Iraqi Kurdistan
Randy Sánchez, Colombia
Daan Savert, Netherlands
Irene van Setten, Netherlands
Hilary Simpson, Canada
Allan Slater, Canada
Sarah Sommers, USA
Harmeet Sooden, New Zealand
Annika Spalde, Sweden
John Spragge, Canada
Carol Spring, USA
Charles Spring, USA
Colin Stuart, Canada
Sumaz Tahir, Iraqi Kurdistan
James Thomas, USA
Leia Tijou, USA
Esther Townshend, Canada
Stewart Vriesinga, Canada
Rosie (Rosemary) Williamson, Canada
Terra Winston, USA
Chuck Wright, Canada
Jen (Jay) Yoder, USA
Chihchun Yuan, Taiwan

*Members of the Turtle Island Solidarity Network

 

Community Peacemaker Teams Annual Report 2023

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