What We Do

Telos equips American leaders and their communities to become fearless peacemakers. We resource individuals with the requisite drive, expertise and relationships to effectively and relentlessly wage peace.

Trips

Our immersive, one-of-a-kind communal deep dives into the lives, realities, and cultures of conflict or post-conflict spaces—providing an unparalleled opportunity for experiential learning and relationship development. 

Currently, we travel to Israel/Palestine, the U.S. South, South Africa, and Ireland/Northern Ireland. Find out more about our travel programming and the issues that we examine on the Issue Areas section of this site.

Tables

The Telos Table is a curated conversation around a meal that provides opportunity for our communities to learn and get active together. Think Jeffersonian dinner, meets Shabbat, meets Iftar, meets strategy session. 

We bring Tables from across communities together for regional gatherings in and periodic national gatherings in Washington, D.C. These gatherings give our communities the opportunity to come together, engage and deepen relationships, build skills, and strategize.

Movement Equipping

We support our network by equipping them to change our society and culture one community at a time:

  • Developing Resources: Many of our alumni are remarkable artists, communicators, and leaders in their own right. We develop Telos materials to help educate them on peacemaking and on the specific issues we engage. And we support our alumni in their creative endeavors, from shaping their novels, blog posts, op-eds, sermons and music, to supporting the production of non-Telos branded films and other media content.  
  • Public Speaking: While our main role is to support our alumni in building a movement, we and our peacemaking partners around the world often visit our communities for local events too. Be on the lookout for our new podcasts “Telos Talks” and “Undaunted: Conversations with Radical Peacemakers,” launching Spring 2020.
  • Partnership: We encourage and facilitate partnerships across our network, especially those that directly benefit and amplify the voices of our vulnerable peacemaking partners on the ground. This includes philanthropic relationships, mission-oriented partnerships, volunteer opportunities, and facilitating impact-driven business partnerships.
  • AdvocacyWhile advocacy is currently not a main focus of our work, we do train our communities in the basics of advocacy and help them develop relationships with their local and national leaders.
“Roles of Peacemakers” (adapted from William Ury’s work)*

Practically speaking, our job is to inspire more and more Americans—and especially Americans of faith—to play one or more of the following active, conflict transforming roles, both in the Middle East and in their communities at home.

Learner

Demonstrating the courage to respectfully encounter the other and to humbly question your own assumptions, while staying true to your own principles.

Sometimes we fight or take one side against another simply because we know no other way to react to an injustice.  By slowing ourselves down and genuinely seeking to understand different perspectives before we assert our own, we create space for both ourselves and others to find better ways to deal with conflict.

Healer

Seeking out, listening, acknowledging, empathizing with, and apologizing to those who have been hurt or ignored.

At the core of this conflict are emotions — fear, anger, humiliation, hatred, insecurity, and grief. The inner wounds run deep. Even if a reasonable agreement was reached tomorrow, those wounds would remain and, with them, the danger that the conflict would recur. The conflict will not be fully resolved until injured people on all sides and their relationships begin to heal.

Partner

Investing in and getting directly involved with constructive work on the ground.

Conflict is fueled by frustrated needs, like food, water, housing, employment, education, safety, identity, and freedom.  Helping people in the region address these needs, for themselves, for their families, and for their neighbors, reduces the kinds of bullying and violence that destroy peoples hope for a solution, and also creates opportunities for new kinds of leadership to emerge.

Connector

Becoming a mutual friend to adversaries who feel they have little in common.

Good relationships across divides are critical to overcoming a conflict like this one.  When difficult issues arise, people who have come to know and care about each other can dip into their accounts of goodwill to help deal with it.  For Israelis and Palestinians, however, and for people on opposite sides of the conflict here in the United States, such relationships often require a third party to help create the right context and forge the connection.

Witness

Paying attention to escalations, speaking out against violence and abuse.

In the Holy Land, destructive confrontations generally escalate through different stages, from tension to provocation to violence. By keeping watch for these escalations, and sounding the alarm when they happen, we may persuade the parties to stop fighting, or capture the attention of those better positioned to intervene.

Advocate

Telling your own story of awakening and ongoing growth, and using every tool available (the vote, the lobby, the media, the relationship) to promote constructive American attitudes, policies, and behaviors. 

We’ve taken great inspiration from William Ury’s book, The Third Side. These roles are adapted from his important work.