Cultivating the Next Generation of Peace Activists
The Steven Brion-Meisels Peace Fellowship is dedicated to our 30-year leader and board chair, who continually insisted on the importance of of bringing youth and Peace Action together, and who we lost to cancer on March 9, 2014 only two months after our board approved this project, which Steven did so much to shape (read about Steven’s life here). Steven continually insisted on the importance of of bringing youth and Peace Action together. He modeled for all of us an inclusive embrace of the energy and insight of the young people who have worked with us and encouraged them to leadership of Massachusetts Peace Action. His vision is very much embodied in this Fellowship which he led the Board to adopt.
The peace movement is old. Massachusetts Peace Action, the largest peace organization in the Commonwealth, reflects the aging demographics of other peace groups around the country, with most of its members and leaders over 60.
Age has brought experience, but we must also replenish our ranks. If we do not bring the younger generation into the peace movement in numbers within the next 10 years, the voices for peace will grow faint, and the voices for war will grow ever louder.
Unless today’s youth play a larger role in the peace movement, the result over time can only be more overseas military interventions, more money for the Pentagon and more likelihood that nuclear weapons will be used.
Boston’s metropolitan area is home to more than 100 colleges and universities and 250,000 students, and the rest of the Commonwealth hosts many other schools. Each campus is a garden in which we can plant the seeds for the next generation of activists. Today’s students are not idle — local campuses are hotbeds of activism on climate change and for justice in Palestine, among other critical issues.
Our organization has solid experience with our internship program, which works with 12 students a year, and our student board members. We also have strong relationships with peace-minded faculty and peace studies programs.
This fall, Massachusetts Peace Action will launch “Cultivating Peace,” a new initiative to attract, inspire and equip the next generation of peace activists. Cultivating Peace will focus on the region’s many college campuses, and will build on lessons from the successful program to build campus chapters of Peace Action of New York State (PANYS).
Planned activities from March 2014 to August 2015 include:
Budget: (18 months)
Staff – half time organizer (recent graduate) – $25,000
Stipends – 5 campus leaders (current student) – $6,000
Mini-grants – $5,000
Travel stipends – $3,000
Printing and materials – $3,000
Office/rent/online services – $3,000
Total – $45,000
How to Donate
Donations to the Steven Brion-Meisels Peace Fellowship can be made payable to the Massachusetts Peace Action Education Fund and mailed to 11 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA02138. Write “Steven Brion-Meisels Fellowship” on the memo line. Or, you may donate online using the button below. To use a credit card, go to the lower left where it says “Don’t have a PayPal account?”, or call the office at 617-354-2169 to give your credit card number. Either way, your donations are fully tax-deductible.
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