The Peacebuilding Society is a new society on campus that started in 2023.

“The society teaches students how to understand themselves and how they can address conflict in a way that can help reduce it, instead of spreading it,” said Elnora Adams, president of the society and current marriage and family studies major.

Adams’ passion for building peace began on her mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Minnesota. She served numerous refugees who immigrated from Myanmar.

“I got to experience lots of different cultures and just see how hard it was for them to adjust here because English wasn’t their first language,” Adams said. “I think it’d be really cool to… help them adjust to society while also still being able to keep some of who they are.”

Thomas E. Ricks Building

Thomas E. Ricks Building. Photo credit: Dakotah Barclay

She first heard of the society from David Pulsipher, a BYU-Idaho professor. He mentioned starting a peacebuilding society.

“I was determined, I gotta make it happen,” Adams said.

Last semester, members celebrated their first two meetings.

“The first was, you know, the opening social and then the next one was the closing social. But, it was exciting because we had people come who were interested,” Adams said. “Everybody’s welcome because it applies to everyone.”

Students studying in Ricks building

Students studying in Ricks building. Photo credit: Dakotah Barclay

The society has big plans for the coming weeks. They will meet twice a month, every first and third Wednesday at 7 p.m.

“In the spiritual sense, we’ve all been called to spread peace, to spread it out. Then in the secular sense, there’s so many skills and mindsets that can help you talk to everybody,” Adams said. “We’re hoping that this (society) will create those opportunities for them (members) to hear from speakers that have experienced it in their personal life and in their career.”

View of BYU-I campus from Ricks building

View of BYU-I campus from the Ricks building. Photo credit: Dakotah Barclay

Adams described peace as something you feel for yourself.

“The major doesn’t matter. The department doesn’t matter, or the career. No matter who you are, it’s something that you can care about; and, you can actually make a difference,” Adams said.

The next event will be hosted on Wednesday at 7 p.m. in the Thomas E. Ricks Building, room 125.

To stay connected with future events, follow the organization on Instagram.