Undaunted is the podcast that is both conversation and invitation. Hear stories from the front-lines of peacemaking, and be challenged to take up the counter-cultural, dangerous, and joyous life of peacemaking yourself.
“Our criminal legal system does not make us safe. If it did, Louisiana would be the safest place in the country because we have the highest incarceration rate in the country.”
Will Snowden is on the forefront of transforming the criminal legal system, bringing justice to the most incarcerated state of the most incarcerated country: the United States.
“Apartheid was a theology before it was a political system.”
René August’s political life came alive with the release of the Kairos Document—a radical spiritual and political challenge to the apartheid regime in which she found a spirituality finally big enough for the challenges her nation faced. Today, she calls her people to live out that spirituality every day to continue to repair the injustice of apartheid.
How can we choose peace for others when we’ve lost everything for ourselves?
Michael Laverty lost his parents. He lost his community when he became a conscientious objector to the apartheid regime in South Africa. And he nearly lost his family in an act of violence that left him scarred for years. But despite all of this, he has committed his life to making peace with the world, and along the way, making peace with himself and his past too.
What do we do when someone else’s truth feels like it contradicts our own?
Sarah Perle Benazera lives in the tension of competing truths everyday in her work facilitating dialogue between Palestinians and Israelis. And she shows us how there’s enough room for all of our stories, even when we feel like they can’t coexist.
What does it take to imagine a future better than the one you’ve inherited?
As a kid, Angie Thomas escaped into stories for survival. But in them, she found something more than survival. She found the possibility of a better world. Inspired by her faith, she writes that better world into existence today in her bestselling young adult novels. She writes in hope that the next generation can grow to build a better world than the one she knew, a world where equity is somehow possible.
How do we remember the most forgotten in the world?
In August of 2021, the US pulled out of Afghanistan, the Taliban retook control, and suddenly Humaira Wakili’s people were abandoned. Since, Humaira has been tirelessly advocating for the Afghan people, demanding that the world not abandon them to a future robbed of their most basic rights. Humaira reminds us that forgetting those on the margins is a choice—and we have the power to choose instead to center their leadership and advocate for a more just future.
Is it possible to partner for peace with those we could call our “enemies?”
Abigail Disney lost some of her community when she built a relationship with the hero of the “opposite side,” pastor Rob Schenck. But along the way, she found a friend and partner for peace in a place she never expected. Today, Abigail spends her time continuing to self-interrogate and advocate for a shared future in our home by reminding us what’s possible when we put aside our expectations and fears, and truly seek relationships with those we least expect to love.
Is justice possible without reconciliation?
Ainka Jackson was raised in Selma, Alabama around the foot soldiers of the Civil Rights movement. These leaders taught Ainka the power of love and nonviolence to transform systems of oppression.
But today, Selma continues to face serious obstacles to peace. Despite these immense challenges, Ainka sees an opportunity to build a new reality in her home, where reconciliation raises relationships to a level where justice prevails and persons obtain their full human potential. MLK Jr. calls this reality the Beloved Community, and Ainka is making it possible through her work at the Selma Center for Nonviolence, Truth, and Reconciliation.
Is violence the only effective form of resistance?
Fadi Quran grew up under Israeli occupation dreaming of ways to resist the tanks and soldiers he saw around him. But on a pilgrimage to India, tracing the steps of Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr’s own journey there, he encountered the radical vision of nonviolence that has since changed his life.
Today, he is a nonviolent Palestinian activist who weds a deep commitment to truth with a deep care for humanity. His activism not only disrupts the status quo, but is rooted in a love that actually transforms his “enemies.”
How can you enjoy for yourself what you deny for your neighbor?
This is the question that drove Todd Deatherage in co-founding Telos. It’s a question that compels him to a life of “neighbor love,” to not just passively accept that his neighbors need the same things that he does, but to actively work at providing these things for them.
Todd shares how this neighbor love is at the core of Telos’ guiding principle of mutual flourishing, which imagines a future for Palestinians and Israelis of dignity, freedom, and security in equal measure, and why imagining a third way of mutual flourishing is necessary for building a better future—in Israel/Palestine, in the US, and beyond.
In our season 1 finale, we hear from lawyer, activist, and founder of Justice Defenders, Alexander McLean. Alexander joined us earlier this year to discuss his work defending and empowering the defenseless in prisons and on death row across Uganda and Kenya. In the face of injustice and suffering, he has chosen the deeper work of justice, presence and hope—the work of peacemaking
What does it mean to call a place “home,” to stay and heal it when it’s broken? In this episode, South Louisiana native and interdisciplinary storyteller Monique Verdin shares with us what her home on the disappearing coast of the Louisiana bayou means to her, and the radical ways she’s working to protect it—its land, its people, and its stories.
In life, we don’t often come across people whose passion, kindness, and vision simply blow us away. But in today’s episode, we have. Lana Abu-Hijleh is an activist, business woman, and peacemaker from the West Bank. Her story of love for her homeland, of tragedy and transformation, and of shattering glass ceilings is raw inspiration—the kind of story that stays with you long after the last word rings out.
Apeirogon: a shape with a countably infinite number of sides, and the title of award-winning author Colum McCann’s newest novel. Colum wrote the New York Times Bestseller after meeting Rami Elhanan and Bassam Aramin, featured in Episode 4 of this season, on a trip with Telos to Israel/Palestine. Apeirogon tells their stories, blending fact and fiction in a dazzling dance of 1001 short chapters, immersed in the complexity of their stories and the conflict itself.
In this episode of Undaunted, we hear from fathers, activists, and best friends Rami Elhanan and Bassam Aramin. According to convention, they should be enemies—Rami is Israeli, Bassam is Palestinian. But they’ve been united together through the gravest of circumstances: the loss of their daughters to the conflict. In the face of their shared grief, they’ve committed their lives to writing a different future for their home.
When we talk about peacemaking, we mean so much more than kumbaya credits. Today, Greg Khalil, President of Telos, shares why. He dives into the challenges peacemakers face, and how story can be both the cage and the key to our freedom. In this episode, three stories: the man in the white shirt, the man in the red shirt, and the girl with the pink backpack.
In Part 1, we heard Robi share the story of losing her son, David, and what she’s learned about reconciliation and nonviolence since. This week, Robi gives us her honest advice on what it takes to be a catalyst for change, and we hear more about the work of the Parents Circle.
Part 1 of our interview with Robi Damelin, an Israeli mother who lost her son to a Palestinian sniper. Since, Robi has dedicated her life to the work of nonviolence and reconciliation, working closely with the joint Israeli-Palestinian organization, the Parents Circle–Families Forum.