A Network for Discoveries in Nonviolence
Connect, Accompany, Amplify
UnRival serves all whose lives cultivate alternatives to rivalry and violence in their communities. By creating a collaborative ecosystem of peacebuilders, fostering transformational discoveries at the root of violence, and telling powerful stories of peace, unRival empowers communities to resist rivalry and grows together toward the end of violence.
UnRival facilitates learning through lived experiences, demonstrating that nonviolent approaches work. We create and curate tools for repeatable success in nonviolent activism, making them available to those who are building lasting infrastructures for peaceful communities.
We see ourselves in the face of our enemies.
If we’re honest, we know that we and our social systems are complicit in the conflict we see in the world. Peace cannot emerge if we cling to illusions of innocence and guilt that place all blame on others. Potent opportunities for peace open up when we recognize that we fight not because we’re different but because we’re the same.
Tell Better Stories
We use stories to undo futile frames of reference.
Humans are storytellers, and we hold up stories of disrupted cycles of violence to renew our common longing for a less rivalrous world. Stories invite us to step out of futile frames of reference that divide the world between “us” and “them.”
We reach across divides.
UnRivaling is hard and often lonely work. Connectedness allows us to do that work. We offer a platform of conversation, support, and cross-pollination, encouraging collaboration without rivalry. We extend belonging across identities — from political and religious to demographic and disciplinary.
Innovate with Insight
We connect theory with practice.
We convene conversations across geographies, disciplines, and ranges of expertise to build a sound, testable, replicable infrastructure of peace. We discover and support continued innovation in nonviolence — neighborhoods and nations, in churches and businesses, and in individual lives.
We undo the cycles that limit human flourishing.
As peacemakers reorient their strategies to address rivalry, we believe they will see demonstrable improvements in their efforts and progress in their goals. As patterns emerge, we distill repeatable strategies that address the common causes of violence while meeting peacemakers in their unique situations. As we empower more and more communities, changing hearts and minds, we believe we will see an end to violence.
CO-FOUNDER & CEO
Suzanne Ross is a graduate of Bucknell University (Class of 1977) and a certified Montessori educator. She taught preschool and kindergarten before working as a corporate training consultant. As a member of the Colloquium on Violence & Religion, she has attended and presented at the annual conferences and currently serves on its Board of Directors. Suzanne is the author of two books, The Wicked Truth: When Good People Do Bad Things and The Wicked Truth About Love: The Tangles of Desire. Her articles have appeared in the scholarly journal Contagion and online at Sojourners and Patheos. She is currently writing a play based on the life of Maria Montessori called The Miracle of San Lorenzo. You can follow her on Facebook and Instagram.
Jason Ferenczi brings academic preparation in history and education into dialogue with organizational development, cross-cultural communication, and leadership studies. Jason previously served as a Program Director at Cornerstone Trust (2011-2020), a private, family foundation. He oversaw granting in leadership development around the globe, with a special focus in Europe and sub-Saharan Africa. Jason holds a master’s in history and a Ph.D. in education, although his greatest formation has come in the school of life, particularly travel in 130+ countries. He is the father of four middle- and high-school girls and lives in Grand Rapids.
WILLIAM PRICE, III
William Price, III tells stories through motion pictures and digital media. He is an award-winning writer-director-producer, actor, cancer survivor, and father of two. William has collaborated professionally with Grammy-winning bands, non-profits, startups, and healthcare companies as well as aid and justice organizations. His personal work reflects a darkly tinged spirituality that aches for transcendence and embraces the brutal tension between beauty and suffering; this spirit informs his efforts as a screenwriter, director, actor and creative director—forming pieces that often orbit around questions of identity, relationship, terror, and hope for mercy.
Keith Ross is a Princeton University graduate who has worked in the financial markets for 40 years. Currently, Keith is engaged with several entrepreneurial ventures. A member of the Colloquium on Violence & Religion, he has been a student of René Girard’s work and in January 2007, founded The Raven Foundation with his wife, Suzanne, to increase awareness of Girard’s ideas. Keith formerly served as the treasurer for the Colloquium on Violence & Religion.
Lyle Enright holds a PhD in English from Loyola University Chicago, where he first began studying mimetic theory in literature under Andrew McKenna. Since graduating, Lyle has put his writing and research skills to work in the fields of business strategy and learning development, writing skill-based modules and change-management curriculums that help organizations shift their attention away from rivalry and competition towards greater collaboration and personal transformation. Lyle continues to publish widely on topics of religion and literature, and is even making a name for himself as a speculative fiction author. A member of the Colloquium on Violence & Religion, Lyle was also the 2017 winner of the Raymund Schwager Memorial Essay Prize, for his work comparing the philosophies of Rene Girard and Giorgio Agamben.
Our Steering Committee
Cathy Skala (Committee Chair)
Executive Healthcare Leader
Birmingham, Alabama, USA
Joel Aguilar, Ph.D.
Senior Consultant, Street Psalms
Guatemala City, Guatemala
Mark Bell, Ph.D.
Head of Private Capital and Family Office, Balentine
Atlanta, Georgia, USA
Business Development and Investing
Phoenix, Arizona, USA
Julia Robinson Moore, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Department of Religious Studies
Charlotte, North Carolina, USA
Duncan Morrow, Ph.D.
Director of Community Engagement, University of Ulster
Belfast, Northern Ireland
Wolfgang Palaver, Ph.D.
Professor of Catholic Social Teaching, University of Innsbruck
Managing Member and Chief Strategic Officer at CODA Markets, Inc.
Guilford, Connecticut, USA
Martha Reineke, Ph.D.
Professor, University of Northern Iowa
Cedar Falls, Iowa, USA
Founder, The Raven Foundation
Glenview, Illinois, USA
Executive Chairman, PDQ Enterprises
Glenview, Illinois, USA