Invitation to the launching of Ethiopian Council for Reconciliation (ECRRJ)


Saturday, April 2, 2016 

1:00 to 5:00 PM

University of Minnesota – Minneapolis

Willey Hall Room 125 (West Bank; behind Mondale Hall)

225 19th Avenue S

Minneapolis, MN 55455

Nearest Parking: C86 Lot, 19th Ave. Ramp, or 21st Ave. Ramp


Our future looks grim if we continue with the Ethiopia of self-imposed ethnic divisions, isolation, and competition where there are few winners and many enemies. It will easily lead us to our mutual defeat or even to our mutual destruction. However, if we begin to reach out to talk to each other rather than about each other; we can strive together to find ways to thrive together. It all starts with dialogue. The following speakers will address this topic from their unique and diverse perspectives.

Mr. Obang Metho, Executive Director of the SMNE

OBANG METHO, Executive Director of the Solidarity Movement for a New Ethiopia (SMNE),Founding Member of the Ethiopian Council for Reconciliation and Restorative Justice (ECRRJ)

Obang will act as moderator of the discussion, also giving an introduction to the role and goals of the Ethiopian Council for Reconciliation and Restorative Justice (ECRRJ).


Special Guest: Dr. Robert OsburnSpecial Guest: Dr. Robert Osburn, Executive Director of Wilberforce Academy and former lecturer at the U of MN in the Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development

Topic: “How Can Ethiopians Achieve a More Sustainable Peace When Their Worldview Embraces Their Neighbor?”

Description: Bob will present his position that the pathway to a free, just, and reconciled Ethiopia must be paved with a worldview, or perspective on reality, that views all Ethiopians as neighbors working together to enact eight key pillars of peace that empower citizens, end corruption, create justice for all, and develop a vibrant economy for all Ethiopians.

NAGESSO WAKEYO, Founding member of the Ethiopian Council NAGESSO WAKEYO, Founding member of the Ethiopian Council for Reconciliation and Restorative Justice (ECRRJ)

Topic: “How Ethnic-Based Power Structures Can Easily Lead Us to Ignore the Pain of Others and to Perpetuate Conflict as a Result”

Description: Our ethnicity has often been used to encourage us to turn a blind eye on the pain of others. Nagesso will speak to the need for dialogue, leading towards reconciliation, as necessary to restore the human face to others; leading to concern for their rights, justice and well being along with our own.

ABBA GEBREKIDAN SIYUMABBA GEBREKIDAN SIYUM, Head Priest from St. Ourael Ethiopian   Orthodox Tewahido Church

Topic: “The Role of Faith Institutions in Reconciliation”

Description: Abba Gebrekidan will speak about how religious organizations can help Ethiopians cross bridges of division between ethnic groups; addressing truth, morality, justice and upholding the God-given value of every human being as being key ingredients to living out one’s faith in everyday practice.

DR. ABADIR M. IBRAHIMDr. ABADIR M. IBRAHIM, Founding member of Ethiopian Council for Reconciliation and Restorative Justice (ECRRJ)

Topic: “How to Move Forward Considering Our Wounded Past”

Dr. Abadir will be talking about the importance of not running away from our past, but instead, of facing the grievances of others by listening to them, by seeking and giving forgiveness, by repairing damages, by seeking personal and collective healing leading to reconciliation; and finally, by finding ways to construct a better future for all, as one people.


Topic: “A Call to Ethiopians from the Marginalized Minorities: Can You Hear Us?”

Description: The Majangir people of Gambella are among the most marginalized of minority groups in Ethiopia. Binyam will address the problems facing minorities when mainstream groups do not speak up for them or include them, often making them even more vulnerable.  He will challenge larger, mainstream groups to stand together for the well being of all people as essential in a healthy society.

OMAR WAKO, the Director of the Tawfig Islamic Center of Minneapolis

Topic: How Can One’s Faith be Used to Bring Harmony in a Country So Divided by Ethnicity, Religion or Other Differences?

Description: Omar will speak on how religious organizations can help Ethiopians embrace the value of others, resolve conflicts and live in harmony in a religiously diverse environment. He will provide counsel as to how religious leaders can contribute to reconciliation, restorative justice and peace among people.

Special Guest: Dr. Mark McCloskeySpecial Guest: Dr. Mark McCloskey, Dean of the Center for Transformational Leadership at Bethel University

Topic: “How Can Virtue-Based Transformational Leadership Change the Landscape of Ethiopia and its Institutions?”

Description: Mark will share his expertise as to how to bring virtue-based transformational leadership to Ethiopia. He will argue “gargantuan changes faced by 21st Century organizations, from [Government and Private Institutions] to Corporations to families, all require leadership based on values mutually held by its visionaries and followers. Anything less offers too low a ceiling of potential achievement.”


For more information please contact

Mr. Negesso Wakeyo, email:

Mr. Obang Metho, email:

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