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NATIONAL COUNCIL MEMBER
Bethany Renata Loberg (she/her/hers) grew up in Salem, Oregon, where her parents coordinated the local chapter of FOR. Bethany has thus been connected to FOR for most of her life and has always appreciated Salem FOR as a group that she can share peace and justice work with. Bethany has served on the board of the Oregon FOR in 2009-2010 and 2017- present and helped coordinate the 2018 NW FOR Conference, Complicating Narratives.
Since her teenage years, Bethany has been involved in solidarity with Central America as well as nonviolence and peacemaker trainings. Bethany completed her undergraduate degree in Peace, Justice, and Conflict Studies with a minor in Spanish at Goshen College, where she participated actively in PAX Club, Diversity Circles (intentional dialogues on racial justice), student recycling, and church. Bethany first visited El Salvador after her junior year in college, with Christians for Peace in El Salvador (CRISPAZ)’s summer immersion program in 2007, returning for an internship the following year coordinating cross-cultural learning trips focused on issues of justice and faith.
After graduating she worked for a year with CAUSA, Oregon´s Immigrant Rights Coalition. She then returned to live and work in El Salvador for five years in U.S-El Salvador solidarity, accompaniment of Salvadoran social movements, human rights, and peacebuilding. She worked particularly closely with human rights organizations working for truth, justice, and reparations for gross human rights violations during the war, and peace processes in communities challenged with gang, police, military, and structural violence.
In 2015 Bethany returned to Oregon, where she worked as a Spanish Medical Interpreter and Youth Ministries Leader at Salem Mennonite Church. During this time Bethany also co-coordinated a Non-Violent Communication class in Spanish and Alternatives to Violence Project workshops at Oregon State Penitentiary and participated in the Salem Racial Justice Organizing Committee.
Bethany has a Masters in Conflict Transformation at Eastern Mennonite University’s Center for Justice and Peacebuilding (CJP). During her time at CJP, Bethany felt honored to collaborate with Restorative Justice for Oakland Youth (RJOY) on a Truth Telling, Racial Healing, and Reparations mapping initiative. She also felt honored to work as a Graduate Assistant with Professor Johonna Turner on designing and teaching a course on Nonviolent Mobilization for Social Change.
Participation in church and faith/spirituality groups has helped sustain and inform Bethany’s personal and communal peace and justice practices. She grew up attending Mennonite and UCC churches and is currently active in the Mennonite church. She has also participated in mindfulness practices with the Salem River Sangha.
Bethany loves co-creating spaces for connection, learning, healing, asking deep questions, and transformation. She also enjoys yoga, swimming, meditation, dancing, and group games.