Most Massachusetts Peace Action directors serve for a 2-year term. The following candidates have been nominated by the Executive Committee for election in April 2023. The election will take place on April 29, 2023 at the MAPA annual meeting.
New members running for election
|Kevin C. Peterson is the founder and executive director of The New Democracy Coalition, a racial justice group in Boston, known for its work on redistricting and reparations, including the campaign to rename Faneuil Hall. He is originally from North Philadelphia, earned a master’s degree at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, and now lives in Dorchester.
|Nick Rabb has worked to bridge the climate crisis and militarism through viewing both as contributing to each other, fueled by desires to dominate and control. Through that work, he developed a 4-part series of workshops, co-sponsored with MAPA and the Peace and Climate Working Group, describing the connections and how to address the crisis through a framework describing a Domination Crisis. He has also spent time organizing with the climate justice movement through Sunrise Movement’s Boston hub, specifically focusing on base-building, outreach, and political education. Since then, he has also volunteered with Dissenters as part of their national trainings team and with local chapters, including anti-militarist organizers at Tufts University, where he has worked with students to protest recruitment events from organizations like General Dynamics, Raytheon, and the CIA, building critical consciousness on campus. Rabb is a PhD candidate at Tufts University for a joint PhD in Computer Science and Cognitive Science, where his primary research topic is disinformation and, more broadly, political discourse, formation, and change of political beliefs. His work uses computational modeling of belief spread and formation as a method to learn more about the complex ways that political opinions form and change, and has thus far concluded that the current disinformation crisis is not one of social media or Russia’s making, but rather the result of a decades-long clash of worldviews formed by elites vying for power in an era of dealignment and intense social inequality.
|Claire Schaeffer-Duffy is a founding member of the SS. Francis and Therese Catholic Worker house in Worcester, program director of the Center for Nonviolent Solutions, and a contributor to National Catholic Reporter.
Candidates for re-election
These current Board members have been nominated for re-election:
Rosalie Anders – Cambridge (CD7), Peace & Climate co-chair
Rosalie Anders retired in 2012 from her job as an environmental planner with the City of Cambridge. A longtime peace and environmental activist, she is co-chair of the Environmental Justice Task Force at First Parish Church in Cambridge, a board member of GreenCambridge, and a coordinating committee member for Greenport. A former Williamstown resident, she cofounded the Nuclear Weapons Education Center there in 1980 and was active in peace and environmental justice issues in Berkshire County. She was associate director of the Council for a Livable World from 1984 to 1991 and is a past vice president of WAND. Before becoming a planner, she was a family therapist for many years. She serves as president of the Massachusetts Peace Action Education Fund (MAPA EF) and co-chairs our Peace and Climate Working Group.
Rosemary Kean – Dorchester (CD7), Racial Justice/ Indigenous Solidarity co-chair
Rosemary Kean is co-chair of our board of directors and co-chair of our Racial Justice/ Indigenous Solidarity Working Group. She is an active member of Dorchester People for Peace (DPP) and of the Social Justice Committee of First Church Boston UU. For the past 8 years and especially since retirement 2 years ago following a 45 year nursing career, Rosemary has been focusing on activism and community organizing for peace and economic justice under the tutelage of long time activists and organizers at DPP. She worked on the Budget For All campaign with the Coalition to Fund Our Communities/Cut Military Spending 25% which includes DPP, New England United for Justice, Boston Workers Alliance, City Life/Vida Urbana, AFAB, and Survivors, Inc., among other Dorchester-Roxbury-Boston community groups. Rosemary is her church liaison to the Greater Boston Interfaith Organization which organizes around health care, housing, and education. She is currently working on the Jobs Not Jails campaign and on a UU Mass Action effort for passage of 2 bills in the Massachusetts legislature to end mandatory minimum sentencing for drug offenses and to reform pre-trial bail procedures. Rosemary has an MS degree in psychiatric nursing and has written about providing psychiatric care to older adults in the home, a model which continues to be practiced by beloved colleagues at the Cambridge Health Alliance.
Jeff Klein – Dorchester (CD7), Palestine/Israel working group co-chair
Jeff Klein is a retired machinist and union activist. He worked at GE in Lynn and for the Mass Water Resources Authority on Deer Island, where he was president of his local union for ten years. Since 2003 he has been active with Dorchester People for Peace in opposing US wars abroad and promoting social justice at home, in cooperation with many other grassroots organizations, and he edits the weekly newsletter DPP Update. During the past decade he has traveled almost every year to Palestine/Israel and elsewhere in the Middle East, participating in solidarity efforts and promoting freedom for the Palestinians from occupation and racism. He has spoken many times about the Israel-Palestine conflict in schools, churches, mosques, community and peace organizations, and has appeared on local TV and radio. He also published articles and op-ed pieces on US policy, politics and Middle East issues. In the 1980’s Jeff lived and worked in Nicaragua, then joined the South African freedom struggle, working for the exiled African National Congress in Lusaka, Zambia. He helped to teach English at the Association of Haitian Women in Boston (AFAB) for the past two years. He lives in Dorchester and has two grown children. Jeff is active in MAPA’s Palestine/Israel Working Group. His recent articles include “Voters have spoken — will Washington listen?”, “The Way the Wind Blows in Syria (and Beyond)”, and “Romney’s Iran Campaign”.
Maryellen Kurkulos – Fall River (CD4), Treasurer
Maryellen Kurkulos is our Treasurer and participates in the Nuclear Disarmament and Racial Justice/Indigenous Solidarity working groups and in our Communications Committee. She grew up in Fall River and has lived in New York, Baltimore and Athens, Greece. A graduate of Wellesley College, she received her doctorate in Biological Sciences from Columbia University and has been a researcher and professor of molecular biology and genetics. Over the last 11 years she has been involved in a range of anti-war and social justice activism including organizing for the Budget For All-MA campaign, Occupy Fall River, and Our Revolution Greater Fall River. In 2005 she attended Z Media Institute, the annual summer school in Woods Hole run by cofounders of Z Magazine. She speaks fluent Demotic Greek.
Susan Mirsky, Newton (CD4), Nuclear Disarmament Working Group chair
Susan Mirsky is chair of the Nuclear Disarmament Working Group and is MAPA’s legislative coordinator for CD4. She is a founding member of Newton Dialogues on Peace and War since its beginning in 2001. In high school in 1959, she helped organize the Youth Committee on Sane Nuclear Policy in Essex County, NJ, and in college helped organize a student group against the Vietnam War. She was instrumental in advocating for city of Newton to have a city-wide municipal election on nuclear issues. She also organized the City Council to pass a resolution on the dangers of the Boston University Homeland Security BK-4 Bio-lab. She had worked steadily in Newton and In Massachusetts to publicly discuss the dangers of nuclear weapons and the money being drained for their production for resources needed to support our people and our planet – finding common threads of concerns. She has a special interest in helping young people to become engaged in these issues.
Val Moghadam – Somerville (CD7)
Valentine M. Moghadam is Professor of International Affairs and Sociology and director of the International Affairs Program at Northeastern University, Boston. She is the author of Modernizing Women: Gender and Social Change in the Middle East (2013, third edition), Globalization and Social Movements: Islamism, Feminism, and the Global Justice Movement (2012, second edition), and other books and journal articles. Her research areas include globalization and development; transnational movements; the political economy of gender in MENA; revolutions and social movements; and citizenship. A native of Tehran, Iran, she is also a member of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom. She is a member of MAPA’s Middle East Working Group.
Rev. Vernon K. Walker – Brighton (CD7)
Born and raised in Philadelphia, Rev. Vernon K. Walker earned a Bachelor’s of Science degree with a major in Organizational Leadership and a minor in Psychology from Penn State University in 2012. During his time in college, Rev. Walker also was elected to become the President of the Abington Christian Fellowship at Penn State Abington; which is the campus Christian Organization. He served there for two years and the group experienced exponential growth as the group met weekly to engage the campus community about growing in the Christian faith and introducing non-believers to the love of God.
Walker earned a Master Degree in Theological Studies (M.T.S) in 2016 from Boston University’s School of Theology. During this time, Rev. Walker also took courses at Harvard University’ Divinity School on non-profit leadership. Rev. Walker was also enrolled in a Master of Social Work (MSW) program at Boston University where he took classes that focused on social justice and macro social work practices.
Rev. Walker served as an associate pastor over social action and outreach at the Berachah Church in Dorchester for 3 years under the leadership of Rev. Dr. Keith L. Magee. It was under Rev. Walker’s leadership that the church formed relationships with various non-profits organization to serve the poor.
Walker has organized with the Massachusetts Poor People’s Campaign, the 2018 Massachusetts Nurses Association ballot campaign called the Safe Patient Limit Ballot Initiative, and the New Democracy Coalition. He is currently Program Manager with Communities Responding to Extreme Weather (CREW), an initiative of the Better Future Project.
Nominating Additional Candidates
Continuing Board Members
Because of staggered terms, current members Merri Ansara (CD1), Shelagh Foreman (CD5), Joseph Gerson (CD5), Keith Harvey (CD9), Hayat Imam (CD7), Avery J (CD2), Jared Hicks (CD7), Jackie King (CD7), Jonathan King (CD7), Prasannan Parthasarathi (CD4), Alec Neilly (CA), Steve Powell (CD7), John Ratliff (CD7), Paul Shannon (CD7), Michael VanElzakker (CD7) and Calla Walsh (CD7) will continue to serve for another year before being eligible for re-election in early 2024.