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Builders of Peace and Justice: M.A. Student Brittany Keegan’s Story

Friday, July 14, 2017TOPICS: FieldworkStudent Success

Brittany Keegan addressing a peace rally in Mindanao in 2012
begin quoteI was attracted to this particular program because it was peace and justice, not peace and conflict, like so many other programs.

Brittany Keegan, a Southern California native, found herself on a stage in the middle of a peace rally in Davao, the capital city of the island of Mindanao in the Philippines, in 2012. She was 19. She had only been in Mindanao for a couple of months, and was only beginning to understand the conflict.

But her colleagues shoved a microphone in her hand and asked her to share her experiences as an American working alongside Filipino Muslims, indigenous peoples and Christians.

“It took me out of my comfort zone,” Keegan recently remarked about that day, one of her most memorable experiences working for the Mindanao Peoples Caucus (MPC), an organization led at the time by IPJ Woman PeaceMaker Mary Ann Arnado. “It really helped my education about what it means to do this work.”

After stints as an IPJ WorldLink intern, helping to connect youth to global affairs; working with MPC for six months during a particularly violent period in Mindanao; earning her undergraduate degree; and interning with the institute again on her return to San Diego, Keegan is now fulfilling one of her dreams.

She recalls her interview to become a WorldLink intern and the question, “What would you like to do after this internship?”

“Get a master’s degree in peace and justice studies at USD.”

That first interview for WorldLink was in 2010. Keegan recently completed her first semester as a master’s student at the Kroc School.

“I was attracted to this particular program because it was peace and justice, not peace and conflict, like so many other programs,” Keegan reflects when asked about why she chose the Kroc School.

A few months into her graduate study, she is already looking to how she can use her learning after the program to a career in education. “Being involved at the IPJ and studying at the Kroc School has been a profoundly transformative experience. I can't wait to share what I have learned in the classroom — to guide the next generation toward a more peaceful world.”

Keegan is a student in the master of arts in peace and justice program, which attracts a diverse population of students from over 30 countries. The program, which can be completed full-time in two years or part-time in up to five years, prepares students for careers ranging from conflict resolution and mediation, to human rights, environmental justice, education, development and advocacy.

For more information, visit:

Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies


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