Brian Larkin – Coordinator
Brian is the Centre Coordinator. Brian is a US citizen who has been living in Scotland for some years, having first come to study Theology at St Andrews University. An active member of Trident Ploughshares he has been arrested at Faslane and other nuclear weapons bases on numerous occasions. His commitment to pacifism was cemented at the age of 20 when he risked 5 years in prison, refusing to register for the Selective Service. He was a Canvass Director and organiser in the Michigan office of the Committee for a SANE Nuclear Policy and was jailed indefinitely for 3 months for blockading a factory which manufactured engines for Cruise missiles. During the US covert war on Nicargua he went there with a Witness for Peace delegation. He worked with the homeless as Manager of the Ann Arbor Shelter and was a member of Covenant for Peace.
Here in Scotland Brian was a class teacher at the Edinburgh Rudolf Steiner School for 8 years. He served on the Steering Group of Faslane 365 the yearlong blockade of the UK nuclear weapons base and the Executive Committee of Scottish CND for two years. He currently convenes the Scottish Peace Network and is Chair of the interim Board of the Edinburgh Peace Initiative. He is committed to the philosophy and practice of nonviolence. He has been influenced by Gandhi, the wrtings of Dorothy Day and the Berrigans and has strong contacts amongst US Catholic Workers and in the Ploughshares movements.
Brian holds a Masters degree in Writing and Cultural Politics from the University of Edinburgh. He has two grown daughters and a grandson with whom he loves to play. He lives with his partner Jane Tallents and flocks of rooks, mallards, partridges, quails, swallows, and a pair of swans on Milkhall Pond near Howgate.
Jane Herbstritt – Administrator
Jane is the Administrator at the Peace & Justice Centre. She also works part time at Global Justice Now and has worked in the voluntary sector since she moved to Edinburgh more than fifteen years ago. Other jobs have included working for Scottish Environment LINK and the Scottish Civic Forum. When she’s not working Jane likes to spend time hanging out with her two kids, playing the piano, cooking veggie cuisine (or meat if necessary!) or out cycling. Email Jane for room bookings, information about upcoming events and membership queries: admin[at]peaceandjustice.org.uk
Arthur Chapman, Chair
Arthur’s working life revolved around research and teaching. He moved from rural Northamptonshire to Scotland where he obtained an Honours degree in Physics, moved to Edinburgh and completed a PhD in Atmospheric Physics. He also completed a BA (Hons) degree with the OU majoring in Philosophy. After research at Heriot Watt University and following a year taking a teaching Diploma he moved to Edinburgh’s Telford College where he taught computing for 20 years during which time he wrote two books on C and C++ Programming for Macmillan. Along with a colleague he left to set up The New Curiosity Shop – a pioneering enterprise in online learning. He is now retired.
He has been interested in and concerned about the related issues of justice, peace, the environment and economics for many years. In the 1980s he helped form Edinburgh Christian CND and subsequently Scottish Christian CND. He has been a member of the Iona Community since 1987. Along with his wife Judy, he enjoys walking, which since retiring has become an important part of his life. Having begun with the West Highland Way they now have completed a number of pilgrimages to Santiago de Compostela (including the Camino Frances and the Camino del Norte) and they have broadened their understanding of pilgrimages and pilgrims by being hospitaleros at an Albergue run by the Confraternity of St James on the Camino del Norte. His other interests include reading and music (listening to!). He has two grown-up daughters, a son and two grandchildren.
Judy Russell, Secretary
Frank Thomas, Treasurer
Frank is now retired. He has degrees in mathematics and statistics and a diploma in teaching. He taught maths in a Tanzanian secondary school for 2½ years but had a much longer career as a statistician the Scottish civil service. During that career he counted teachers, criminals and then the whole population of Scotland. In later years he did short spells working in populations censuses in Egypt and Palestine. He now spends a lot of time working for human rights for Palestinians both on the street but also as treasurer of Edinburgh Action for Palestine and the Network of Photographers for Palestine as well as a council member of the Hadeel Palestinian shop where he does the books. There are also two grandchildren living close by.
Hilary Patrick worked for many years as a human rights lawyer, specialising in issues of mental health and incapacity law. She has written widely and been involved in many groups working to protect service users’ rights. She is a Quaker and a member of the Protest in Harmony radical singing group. She is a member of the steering group of Scottish Faiths Action for Refugees, and treasurer of Let’s Sing, a singing group for people living with dementia and their supporters. Now officially retired, she has been working for the last two years as an Independent Prison Monitor.
Michael is from Edinburgh (mostly), he studied Geography and International Relations at the University of Sussex. Whether he studied this because he was interested in global issues or his studying of this made him interested in these issues is somewhat up for debate but it’s most likely the former. During his time studying he was involved in starting the Occupy movement at Sussex in early 2008 in response to the situation in Palestine. The campaign that stemmed from the occupation lead to the university forging links with Palestinian educational establishments to supply them with scholarships and equipment. Michael has joined the Centre as a volunteer to help drag them into the 21st century. His report into strategies for the Centre to attract more young people to its work was his first task. He will be helping to implement these developments as well as helpine social media.
Peacebuilding for Schools Programme Facilitators
Emma Quayle has been a practitioner of Compassionate Communication since 2013 and has a background in the Arts, studying Music Composition at Dartington College of Arts. With a passion for sustainable social change, she most enjoys working with children and organisations and creating restorative spaces where connection-based action can emerge. Her work ranges from from listening workshops which develop empathy and nature connection, with children in China, to working with differently abled people in Scotland deepening friendship connections through facilitated discussion exploring memories via the senses. She is currently collaborating on a music, dance and restorative dialogue performance between Scotland and South Africa, and working with two organisations to develop integrated communication ractices.
Cristina Asenjo – Conflict Resolution Advisor and Trainer
Cristina has worked for over seventeen years in the field of community development and conflict resolution. She has delivered development and peace education programmes in a wide range of settings and across different countries, including Spain, Ireland, Scotland and Bangladesh. She has worked as an intercultural mediator, youth worker, adult educator and conflict resolution trainer. Cristina has been collaborating with the Edinburgh Peace and Justice Centre since 2014. Alongside Elena Arroyo and other volunteers, Cristina has helped develop the project ‘Conflict Resolution Skills for Primary Schools’ and deliver training sessions on cooperative games and conflict resolution skills. Cristina holds a BA in Social Education, a PgDip in Conflict and Dispute Resolution Studies, a MSc in Community Education and is currently studying a PhD in Social Policy at the University of Edinburgh.
Interns & Volunteers
Margherita is from Italy. She studied Politics and Human Rights in the Mediterranean – Middle Eastern Campus of Sciences Po University in France and spent the third year of her studies at King’s College London as a study abroad student taking Law and War Studies courses. In September, she will start an LLM in Human Rights at the University of Edinburgh.
In the past, Margherita volunteered as an Italian teacher in the Red Cross migrant camp of Ventimiglia (Italy) and as an English teacher in Utende (Tanzania). While in France, she was a board member of the Amnesty International Youth Branch of her university and she researched on immigrants’ experiences in Italy and France. She is particularly interested in the study of Human Rights Law and how conflicts have and continue to affect the respect of Human Rights in different regions of the world.
Anelise is from Brazil and has a degree in Social Sciences and a Masters in Political Sociology. During her research scholarship from the Ministry of Education, she researched and wrote about international politics, humanitarian interventions, international human rights and peacebuilding. In her dissertation, she analysed the political effectiveness of the United Nations intervention in Haiti, and her work was later turned into a published book. She was also part of an interdisciplinary research group on international cooperation in University.
She relocated to Scotland in 2016 and is currently a PhD student in Politics & International Relations at the University of Edinburgh, where she will continue her studies, now focusing on peacebuilding practices and gender. Anelise loves being part of the Edinburgh Peace and Justice Centre and hopes to keep contributing to the great work the organisation does.
Angus is our graphic designer and produces the monthly newsletter front cover.
William is a PhD student in Economics at the University of Kansas. He is a current fellow with the Midwest Foreign Policy Institute where he focuses on international trade and international treaties. He is also a research analyst with the Global Governance Institute where he focuses on the study of innovation and creativity. He has his Master’s degree from the University of Oxford and his undergraduate degrees from Baker University. His passion for the Edinburgh Peace and Justice Centre streams from the work the organization does to promote a more inclusive and international world.
Zozan is from Kurdistan, and has been in Edinburgh for five months. She is a Freelance Journalist and volunteers at Peace and Justice center as a photographer and videographer.
Coady is a third year politics student at the University of Edinburgh, originally from Fife. She is particularly interested in anti-war and anti-nuclear issues and hopes to pursue a career which encourages the end of nuclear weapons and promotes peace. She enjoys volunteering at the Peace & Justice Centre because it helps causes that she is passionate about and she feels like she’s contributing personally. Her current role in the centre is updating events in the diary and working with the Origami Cranes Project.
Federico comes from Italy where he studied Law – the international curriculum, including human rights studies – because he wanted to fight against the inequalities contaminating the world. After his Master’s degree, he worked for Amnesty International in Rome as a fundraiser – promoting awareness over the campaign against torture. After that, he volunteered in Denmark for a year for Humana People to People with Syrian and Ethiopian refugees; organising social activities and promoting their integration into local society. This experience led him to Malawi where he volunteered for six months for Development Aid from People to People where he coordinated a project meant to develop pre-schools and communities present in the rural areas surrounding Blantyre. He also volunteered in the “Dzaleka refugee camp” which hosted Burundian, Congolese (DRC) and Rwandan refugees and offered support to refugees by undertaking needs assessment responsibilities and reporting to the organisations implementing the activities within the camp. He currently works as a support worker, assisting people with mental diseases and recently started volunteering for the Peace&Justice Centre as he firmly believes in promoting positive values such as non-violence, human rights and conflict resolution.
G. M. (Jill) McClenning
Jill has been a volunteer with P&J Centre for some years now. She works on general office duties and helps get the newsletter out to the post on time.
Madeleine is currently a 4th-year student at the University of Edinburgh, studying English Literature and History. She fostered an interest in human rights and international relations through experience interning at the US State Department, working in the Politics Office at the US Embassy to Singapore with a focus on human rights projects and issues in the region. She also is part of an educational program with her University called History for Schools that seeks to improve academic attainment in local secondary schools. This has somewhat prepared her for assisting with the organisation of the P&J Centre’s Origami Cranes Project and workshops, though her cranes leave plenty of room for improvement.
Zoe is a 4th year English Literature student from Reading. She is a Quaker and is particularly concerned with environmental and global feminist issues. She volunteers with The Peace and Justice Centre as it allows her to learn about various local and global justice issues and gives her the opportunity to get personally involved with issues she cares about. Her current role is as writing contributor and occasional photographer.