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Mike Abkin serves as secretary on the Board of Directors of the National Peace Academy and as NPA’s business manager. He is a past president of the Global Alliance for Ministries and Infrastructures for Peace and currently sits on GAMIP’s advisory council. In addition, Mike serves as treasurer and on the board of directors of the Conscious Elders Network, and on the volunteer staff of Nine Gates Mystery School. He previously served on the National Peace Academy staff as Education and Corporate Affairs Coordinator and before that as Director of Operations at Peace Partnership International and Special Projects Coordinator for The Peace Alliance and its Campaign for a U.S. Department of Peace. In his former 34-year academic and private sector technical career, Mike applied systems analysis and simulation modeling for international agricultural development and air transportation, including projects that took him to Nigeria, Korea, Austria, and Venezuela. Then, at the Foundation for Global Community, Mike designed and facilitated courses related to personal and cultural transformation and sustainability, developed a vocational training program in Afghanistan, and was project manager for the Foundation’s program at the 2004 Parliament of the World’s Religions in Barcelona. Mike taught high school French and mathematics with the Peace Corps in Nigeria and has volunteered at home with local nonprofits, city government, and political movements. He earned his doctorate in systems science at Michigan State University and served on the faculty at Michigan State from 1971-1981. Mike enjoys time with family (especially granddaughter Coco!), traveling in the world, walking in nature, and musing in prose and poetry.
Kristin earned an M.A. in Peace and Conflict Studies from the European University Center for Peace Studies (EPU), in Stadtschlaining, Austria.
Professional Experiences in Peacebuilding / Community Building
Kristin serves as President of the National Peace Academy. Kristin also spent seven years in Colorado as the director of religious education at a Unitarian Universalist church. There she created innovative educational opportunities, including an all-ages program dedicated to service and social justice. Kristin also co-created “Full Community”, a philosophy and vision for multi-generational congregations intentionally integrating the visions of all members into the community. In addition to her work developing peacebuilding and religious education programs, she also serves as a program leader for the Unitarian Universalist College of Social Justice and as the Director of Create Meaning Northern Nevada.
Kristin has worked on many community organizing and social justice projects throughout the United States and in Romania and Chile, including organizing around voter registration, election reform, safety and environmental impacts, and peacemaking.
Kristin’s publications include a guidebook for peacemaking in Religious Education, Peacemaking in Congregations: A Guide to Learning Opportunities for all Ages co-created by a national peacemaking working group, How to Build Peace Networks, Healing Societal Traumas and Transforming Collective Consciousness: A Path to a Culture of Healing, and The Construction of a Militarized Patriotism in the United States.