The Wisconsin Network for Peace and Justice (WNPJ) was founded in 1991 as a coalition of activist groups and citizens of conscience within Wisconsin.
WNPJ facilitates activities, cooperation and communication among Wisconsin organizations and individuals working toward the creation of a sustainable world, free from violence and injustice.
Notes from our 2012 Steering Committee Meeting, here...
Report on our 2011 Statewide Assembly, including bylaws and budget approved, here...
Download a copy (.pdf) of our "Connecting the Dots" brochure here...
On February 23, 1991, more than 350 people representing over 60 communities throughout the state responded to a call from Representative Frank Boyle and crowded into the Assembly Chambers of the State Capitol to gather strength from one another in their frustration and concern about the Gulf War.
On that day, the ground war began.
Out of that gathering arose the Wisconsin Network for Peace and Justice. Since that time, the Network has grown to include over 170 peace, human rights, religious, labor, and environmental organizations throughout the state.
Founder and Wisconsin State Representative Frank Boyle of Superior said in February, 1991:
"The country's ethical compass has snapped. We're careening through violent military adventures abroad, converting this country into a two-class state of rich and poor, vastly increasing the inequalities in education, health care and employment, all of which feeds a social disintegration creating hopelessness, violence and crime. Instead of awareness and feeling, we're given platitudes and thought control. This country is in deep trouble. Knowledgeable and courageous people joining together can demand a new course and stop this disintegration. That's the definition of patriotism!"
Bonnie Block, Nan Cheney (1930 - 2010) and Judy Miner compiled a history of WNPJ. Please let us know if there is something important missing from this listing. Send us your changes to the WNPJ Office....email@example.com.
Our "State of the Network 2012" is available as a PDF download, here. To see previous annual reports, click on the year: 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011.
Thanks to John Quinlan for producing an amazing 20-minute video, with interviews of WNPJ founders and past chairs over our first 20 years. The world premiere of this video was at our 20th anniversary reception, on February 19, 2011, at the Goodman Community Center in Madison, WI.
Alfred Meyer, WNPJ chair from 2002 to 2007 and now living in New York, speaks to videographer John Quinlan about his years at WNPJ. Alfred says, "Whenever I feel a bit down about the state of the Earth, I just read the WNPJ weekly events calendar."
Steve Braunginn was one of two original co-chairs of the group, along with beloved political activist Nan Cheney (who passed away in 2010). Here he offers warm memories of Nan, and the inspiration she provided him and so many others, while discussing the many challenges inherent to creating an effective and sustainable new coalition like WNPJ.
The Membership of WNPJ is of two categories: individual members and member organizations. For details, please see our "Join us!" page.
Now in 2012, WNPJ membership consists of over 160 member organizations and 400 individual members. A BOARD , representing a broad range of interests, experience, and localities - meets four times per year. The Steering Committee, composed of the organizational contacts, meets annually in the Spring to set directions for the organization which are ratified by members at the Annual Assembly. The Network hires three part-time staff persons, as well as work-study students. Several "staff" volunteers, in addition to other volunteers, help with special projects.
WNPJ is a tax-exempt 501(c)3 organization. Contributions to WNPJ are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.
We work for these things in common:
alternatives to militarism
respect for diversity
a safe, clean environment
lifestyles of active nonviolence
human rights for all
WNPJ's Bylaws were last approved at the Fall Annual Assembly on October 2009. Click here to see the Bylaws.
1) Conferences/meetings to explore peace and justice issues as well as the "common ground" upon which members might coordinate their activist activities. There is an annual spring Steering Committee for WNPJ organizational representatives and a fall Assembly for all WNPJ members and friends. It is at this General Membership meeting when a new BOARD is elected and new Budgetapproved by the general membership, as well as a presentation of Peacemakers and Lifetime Achievement awards.
2) Publication of a weekly e-bulletin, with a listing of statewide WNPJ events, by region. WNPJ also publishes a bi-monthly Newsletter or Bulletin which highlights activities and groups from around the state and which includes a calendar of events and numerous networking and action suggestions.
3) Publication of an annual on-line directory of member organizations.The directory contains a page for each organization, describing its purpose, projects, publications, etc. For a current listing of member organizations, see our Member Organizations page.
4) Work Groups have contributed to the work of the organization, creating brochures on corporate accountability topics and peacemaking and packets of information for educational use about our focus areas of immigrant rights, environmental work, and anti-militarism work (such as truth in recruiting efforts and the Bring the Guard Home! It's the Law. campaign). We also are committed to anti-racism work in all we do. Please contact the WNPJ office if you need more information - info<at>wnpj<dot>org or 608-250-9240.
5) Presentation of the annual Peacemakers of the Year Award at the Fall Annual Assembly. Nominations for peacemakers are due each year, July 31st. To learn more about this peacemaker award process, to download the nomination form, and to see all the past award winners, click here. Starting in 2012, WNPJ also awards the Dennis Bergren LGBT advocacy award (click here for nomination form). We also present a Lifetime Achievement Award periodically, selected by the Board. The Madison Raging Grannies won this award in 2010, Senator Fred Risser in 2011, and Joyce and Joe Ellwanger of Milwaukee in Oct. 2012.
We celebrated all those who VIGIL for Peace - in March 2007 ...with over 30 groups vigiling each week in our region. You can see the power point presentation here.
Nurturing the Network by linking people; 6) the BOARD of WNPJ is made up of representatives from across the state; 7) WNPJ now provides another statewide resource through the Speakers Bureau, with a listing of WNPJ members or members of WNPJ member groups who are prepared for give presentations to any gatherings across the state, on justice and peace subjects. To see a copy of the annual report for 2011, click here.