Each year, the Marquette University Center for Peacemaking receives a generous grant from the Sally and Terry Rynne Foundation. Their contributions make up the vast majority of our operating expenses. Their grant also allows us to continue virtually all of our programs at the center. We should add that Terry Rynne takes a very active and supportive interest in the center; his personal and professional interest is invaluable.
Each year, the center also receives a grant from William E. Szymczak of Preservation Partners Development LLC. This grant allows us to fund the students who want to spend their summers putting the principles of nonviolence into action. Each year, the students’ summer projects have grown more creative and more effective. Each year, they come back with more to offer the peacemaking community at Marquette. Szymczak Internships.
The center has also been the recipient of two other grants to further specific projects.
We have received a grant from the Frankel Family Foundation to pursue peace in Israel-Palestine. The grant allows us to fund speakers who come to Marquette and illuminate the issues. We have an ongoing study group with readings that discuss the struggle for justice there. From this group, we will choose 4 students and one alternate who will go to Israel-Palestine to work with NGOs who are working for peaceful coexistence of Israelis and Palestinians. An important feature of this grant is that each student agrees to return to Marquette after their internship in Israel-Palestine, and share their knowledge and experience with Marquette, and with the wider community, thus creating an ongoing dialogue on the struggle for justice there. We know that peace must eventually come to the region. It will be wonderful to say that Marquette had some role in that peace. Israel-Palestine Program.
Our center also joined with the Marquette University Law School, the School of Education, and Milwaukee Public Schools to receive a Brighter Futures Initiative grant. We had already begun a program to teach peer mediated, nonviolent conflict resolution in some schools in the Milwaukee area. The BFI grant allowed us to expand and formalize the program in 5 different middle schools, and institute a peer jury program in a local high school.
We are so encouraged by our support in this program that we’re daring to “dream big.”
We want to develop a peacemaking curriculum for the schools that we’ve worked with. Now that we’ve instituted the processes for nonviolent conflict resolution, we need to begin to study it in the classrooms themselves. We’ve already piloted such a curriculum in an alternative school with “at risk” students, and it was very successful. We need the funds now to expand that program. Peer Mediation Program.
We need more funds for faculty research fellowships. We are presently able to offer only two small summer research fellowships to the Marquette faculty. But if the center is to grow and be recognized as an academic resource for the exploration of nonviolence, then we need much more funding for the kind of top-flight research that our faculty is capable of. Rynne Fellowships.
The applications for our student summer internships are increasing, and becoming more and more creative. We want to fund all of them, but we simply can’t yet. We would need three or four times our current budget to fund the wonderful projects that our students submit to us. Szymczak Fellowships.
There is a constellation of incredibly talented and generous students who come to work or volunteer at the center. We would like to offer year-long funded student internships to them. It’s an act of justice to compensate them for their work, and it helps them through the University.
Speaking of which, we would very much like to offer peacemaking scholarships to students who are minoring (and hopefully someday, majoring) in peace studies here at Marquette. Even partial scholarships – four or five scholarships of $5,000 each – would help our students immensely. In some cases, it could mean the difference between staying at Marquette or not.
This year, we are publishing the center’s first academic journal. It’s a project we want to continue. And that means more funds, for the editor and assistants, for publishing and distributing.
We think, too that if a donor could sponsor the directorship of the center, then we could dedicate what is the present salary of the director to fund more programs at Marquette, and for the wider community.
As the scope of our activities extend farther and father beyond campus, into the city, national and international communities, we could use funding for an outreach coordinator to oversee all the efforts that are building our reputation beyond the Marquette campus.
We have other dreams, too. For example, we want to host an international video conference for peacemakers. Over the past 30 years, the world has seen one nonviolent revolution after another, overthrowing seemingly invincible autocratic governments. The dream is to contact the various leaders of those nonviolent revolutions (the center has the means to make these contacts), and then “bring them to Marquette” through international video hookups. Marquette’s IT services has assured us that they have the capability to accomplish this. Conversations with the leaders of the peace and justice movement in the US have indicated enthusiastic support from them and their constituencies. Preliminary contacts with the leaders of those nonviolent revolutions have all been positive. We even have a young man who has already organized (and won international acclaim for) two international video conferences, ready to work with us on this wonderful project.
It’s the generosity of so many in our community that allowed to begin and build the Marquette University Center for Peacemaking. It’s the same generosity that will enable us to grow and have Marquette University itself known as a national and international “center for peacemaking".
If you are interested in donating to the Center for Peacemaking, please visit our donation page or send your donation to the address below.
Center for Peacemaking
P.O. Box 1881
Milwaukee, WI 53201-1881