In the world of peacebuilding, social change and development there is generally a great emphasis on creating change but rarely an emphasis on the importance of taking care of the practitioners doing the day to day work of creating this change. We believe that transformed people transform the world around them and therefore, we must invest in the wellbeing of practitioners, in the whole person; body, mind and spirit. We believe in creativity to see beyond and beneath what lies on the surface. We believe in beauty to shift us out of familiar ways of seeing and reacting, and we believe in the transformative power of intentional spaces where we can encounter ourselves, our stories, our work and those around us new ways.
Vanessa Contopulos and Michael Fryer are a wife and husband team who met through the Department Peace Studies at the University of Bradford, UK. On a grey morning in March 2009 they connected over a shared love of the arts, peacebuilding and the importance of holistic approaches in conflict transformation and social change.
Through The SongStream Project which they co-founded, they work together in exploring voices on the margins of society through the lens of music and memory. Reflective Peace is the next step on their shared journey.
They live in San Diego with their daughter Eloise.
Alpenglow Retreat Center, Colorado