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Plowshare Center in Waukesha honors those committed to peace

May 12, 2014

Waukesha's Plowshare Center, which promotes peace and justice around the world, honored those who represent its mission during its recent 25th anniversary celebration dinner.

SOPHIA (Stewards of Prophetic Hopeful Intentional Action), a community-wide interfaith organization, along with community activists Bud and Sara Hudson, were the first recipients of the Kate Delaney Jolin Peacebuilder Awards.

This award is named in honor of Kate Delaney Jolin, who co-founded Plowshare and continues to be active on Plowshare's Education Committee and board of directors.

In addition, Deirdre Keenan and Larilyn Carpenter received special recognition for their work at the banquet. All of the honorees, through leadership and service, have made significant contributions to peace, nonviolent solutions to conflict and social justice by enhancing understanding and cooperation among people of diverse backgrounds.

SOPHIA, in collaboration with many congregations, service agencies, and elected officials, spurred the creation of a day reporting program for low risk, nonviolent alcohol and drug offenders and the restoration of jail-release to allow Huber inmates to attend Sunday services, and the targeting of money toward treatment programs. SOPHIA also strives for better solutions connected to problems encountered in immigration, health care and affordable workforce housing.

Reaching into schools

Bud and Sara Hudson have forged partnerships between Rose Glen and Bethesda elementary schools in Waukesha, and sister schools in Guatemala and Kenya. The connections stimulated travel exchanges, improved literary resources and sanitation at the remote schools, and fostered larger community benefits in bridge building and water system development. The Hudsons also teach English as a second language and are active in the Peace Seekers organization in West Bend.

Keenan, an English professor at Carroll University, through classroom teaching and leadership on cultural trips, encourages students to broaden their perspectives and think deeply about cultural differences and values offered by economically developing countries. She has co-chaired the United Nations Association Film Festival at Carroll and has volunteered for many years at the Aids Resource Center.

Carpenter has hosted and coordinated 21 students from numerous countries and religious belief systems through the international AFS program. She has also aided families involved in international adoptions and supported individuals throughout immigration processes.

Program on dialogue

The Plowshare Center will host an orientation on "The Dialogue Initiative" program from 10 to 11 a.m. Saturday, May 17, at the Waukesha Public Library Community Room, 321 Wisconsin Ave. Registration begins at 9:30 a.m. The program is hosted by Alice Foley, who has a master's degree in conflict resolution. The orientation will give an overview of the program.

The program will be an ongoing dialogue course made up of four, 21/2-hour sessions, gathering once a week with an open week between sessions. It is open to all who are interested in creating a new way of thinking together. The orientation is free. RSVP at smichalko@wi.rr.com.

Foley taught for 15 years for the Peace Studies Department at UW-Milwaukee. She has also served as director of the Milwaukee Mediation Center where she worked with schools and nonprofit organizations offering training in mediation and conflict resolution.

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