The Pax Christi USA National Council has validated the results for the 2021 National Council election which concluded last week. The candidates who were elected are Ivone Guillen, Jeff Sved, and Josephine Garnem. We had an extraordinary slate of candidates and every candidate received significant support from within our membership.
Pax Christi USA is thankful for all of the ways each of our candidates has already been demonstrating and exercising leadership within our community. Our movement is as strong as it is because of their contributions and all the work each of them has already done.
Our congratulations go out to Josephine, Ivone and Jeff as incoming members of the National Council beginning in October 2021. We are grateful for the time and talents they now commit towards our common effort of supporting Pax Christi USA’s mission.
Below you can find a short bio of each of the new council members and the vision statement they shared for the ballot.
Ivone Guillen recently joined the Broetje Family Trust (BFT) as the Immigration Outreach Manager to lead a new initiative aimed at reaching and supporting immigrant communities. Prior to working with the BFT, she spent a tenure in Washington D.C. working for Bread for the World, Sojourners and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Department of Justice, Peace, and Human Development to advocate for social change that embraces, protects, and equips vulnerable and underserved communities in the United States. Her background ranges from public policy development, legislative advocacy, community organizing, digital and print communications to extensive project management experience working with diverse communities on a range of efforts including those that relate to community and leadership development, outreach, resource creation, tutoring, mentoring, strengthening relationships, convening and coalition building. She hold a Masters of Public Administration from American University in D.C., and is committed to working on justice and peace causes that promote equity and the common good.
VISION: “I believe Pax Christi has a unique opportunity to live out its commitment to these three areas (nonviolence, multiculturalism, and anti-racism) in significant ways that foster greater inclusivity and genuinely respond to the pressing social changes we are seeing today. Now more than ever, we see the need to break through the disconnectedness and isolation that is permeating every corner of society on a global scale. Having impacted voices at the table is a starting point to raise awareness but more is needed. Whether it is looking at the framework that drives decisions or the intersectionality that impacts the work, these are also elements that require attention. I believe Pax Christi is uniquely placed to advance in these three areas as it has a strong foundation to build on with its peace and reconciliation efforts. Pax Christi has long been committed and flexible to its faithful call by uniting people through a common purpose, building an expansive network, and taking action for the common good.”
Jeff Sved was commissioned as a Franciscan lay missioner through Franciscan Mission Service (FMS) in 2012, living and serving in Cochabamba, Bolivia for four years. While there, he spent most of his time in the prisons, working and learning alongside talented carpenters, leather-workers, and artisans in the prison workshops, as well as integrating restorative practices through Las Escuelas de Perdón y Reconciliación (ESPERE). He currently lives in D.C. and is a member of the Assisi Community, an intentional living community committed to a simple lifestyle and working for social change. His current work for social change is as a staff member with Catholic Mobilizing Network, where he works to ensure that the organization has the financial resources necessary to accomplish its mission. He’s also served on FMS’s Board of Directors, as a member of the development committee and the initial chair of the committee for lifelong mission.
VISION: “From the emphasis on military spending in the national budget to how we understand crime and punishment, our country is overly focused on violence, harm, and destruction. Pax Christi exists to prophetically proclaim that a different way of life is possible. In proclaiming another way of life, we also must model that it is possible. A more restorative understanding of current and historical harm is needed to break the seemingly never-ending cycles of violence in our homes, communities, country, and world. My vision is that Pax Christi continues to model restorative approaches to harm and violence at all levels – in interpersonal, communal, national, and global relationships.”
Josephine Garnem has extensive international and domestic experience, working with diverse cultural and socio-economic communities. Her work overseas has taught her the importance of giving back, diplomacy and appreciating differences. Her work domestically taught her the importance and influence of diaspora communities, as well as engaging governments and embassies to advocate for marginalized communities. She is a passionate community advocate, contemplative in action, public speaker, strategic thinker and policy maker. She possesses excellent leadership, advocacy, communication, and interpersonal skills.
VISION: “Pax Christi could continue to learn and teach others how to be allies of those who are marginalized and communities of color, and most importantly being agents for racial and inequity healing. [Pax Christi can] be skilled listeners to those who have experienced racism and those marginalized, and when needed, be the medium that amplifies their voices and work. [We can] help train for and organize peaceful protests, hold brave discussions against institutional and structural racism and inequities, and show up in strong and unwavering solidarity. I recently read Thurman’s Jesus and the Disinherited, where he writes that the religion of Jesus says to the disinherited – love your enemy and take the initiative in seeking ways by which one can have the experience of common sharing of mutual worth and value. Love thy neighbor. Pax Christi should also help others better understand the importance of having the faith of Christ, and not just faith in Christ, and that is through love of our neighbor – the willingness to die (literally and metaphorically) for those marginalized, by committing
our lives to the Christ’s cause.”