Audit the Pentagon

Department of Defense has a proposed budget of $585 billion for 2016 for its operations around the world, totaling half of the U.S. discretionary budget.

But guess what: The Department of Defense has never – not once – passed an audit of its activities.

Legislation was introduced to require the Pentagon to audit its activities. H.R. 942, known as Audit the Pentagon Act of 2015, was introduced on February 12, 2015, in the House of Representatives in the U.S. Congress. The bill is currently in a congressional committee and that committee determines whether this bill goes to Congress for a vote.

Sign the petition demanding that Congress pass legislation to require the Pentagon to audit its activities. The petition can be found at here .

Detailed information on H.R. 942 can be found on at

PeaceNotes Fall 2015

International Day of Peace March

The Peace Education Center has published its Fall 2015 edition of PeaceNotes. This edition includes information on Military Recruitment Opt-Out, the Climate Change Summit, the Mid-Michigan Time Bank, the International Day of Peace Celebration, and other contributions on peace and justice issues and activities. The 2015 Tom Schneider Peacemaker Award recipients are also featured.

Click here to read the PeaceNotes Fall 2015 in PDF format.

Mothers’ Day Proclamation: Julia Ward Howe, Boston, 1870

Mother’s Day was originally started after the Civil War, as a protest to the carnage of that war, by women who had lost their sons. Here is the original Mother’s Day Proclamation from 1870, followed by a bit of history.

Arise, then, women of this day! Arise all women who have hearts,
whether our baptism be that of water or of fears!

Say firmly: “We will not have great questions decided by
irrelevant agencies. Our husbands shall not come to us, reeking
with carnage, for caresses and applause. Our sons shall not be
taken from us to unlearn all that we have been able to teach
them of charity, mercy and patience.

We women of one country will be too tender of those of another
country to allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs. From
the bosom of the devastated earth a voice goes up with our own.
It says “Disarm, Disarm! The sword of murder is not the balance
of justice.”

Blood does not wipe our dishonor nor violence indicate possession.
As men have often forsaken the plow and the anvil at the summons
of war, let women now leave all that may be left of home for a
great and earnest day of counsel. Let them meet first, as women,
to bewail and commemorate the dead.

Let them then solemnly take counsel with each other as to the
means whereby the great human family can live in peace, each
bearing after their own time the sacred impress, not of Caesar,
but of God.

In the name of womanhood and of humanity, I earnestly ask that a
general congress of women without limit of nationality may be
appointed and held at some place deemed most convenient and at
the earliest period consistent with its objects, to promote the
alliance of the different nationalities, the amicable settlement
of international questions, the great and general interests of

Julia Ward Howe


The “Appeal to womanhood throughout the world” (later known as “Mother’s Day Proclamation”) by Julia Ward Howe was an appeal for women to unite for peace in the world. Written in 1870, Howe’s “Appeal to womanhood” was a pacifist reaction to the carnage of the American Civil War and the Franco-Prussian War. The appeal was tied to Howe’s feminist conviction that women had a responsibility to shape their societies at the political level.

Three Mid-Michigan High School Seniors Receive the 2015 Tom Schneider Peacemaker Award

The Peace Education Center of Greater Lansing is pleased to announce the recipients of the Tom Schneider Peacemaker Award, given annually to graduating mid-Michigan high school seniors who act to promote peace and justice and who seek to further those values in the world. Awards will be presented in the students’ high school awards ceremonies along with a monetary grant that recipients can use in the way they see fit to further their peace and justice work.  The following three graduating seniors have been chosen as recipients of this year’s award:

  • Mary Haddad of Grand Ledge High School volunteers at both the local hospital and library. A recent visit to the Middle East has heightened her interest in emergency medicine and working with Doctors without Borders. She has also been very active as a Peer Assistant Leader and member of Student Council. She is pictured below left.
  • Stephanie Persyn of Stockbridge High School has been active in environmental justice issues in her former community where cancer clusters have been high especially among native populations. She is dedicated to studying ecology and to help underserved communities. She is pictured below center.
  • Alejandro Trevino of Lansing Everett High School has been active on many fronts including feeding the hungry, and working with refugees on a regular basis in numerous settings. His commitment to the underserved is inspiring. He is pictured below right.

The award is in memory of Tom Schneider, a local activist and Bath Township Supervisor, who touched many lives in the community and around the world. Tom was a model of how we might build a more peaceful community with his hands-on participation in numerous organizations working for the betterment of our civilization. He excelled at “networking” before that term was ever coined, simply by being fully present to others, wherever he went across the globe. Tom actively listened and engaged others to join him in the quest to create a better planet. He died in the prime of his life on December 8, 2011. The Tom Schneider Peacemaker Award recognizes local young people who strive to carry on Tom’s peacemaking legacy.

If you would like to contribute toward the award fund. please follow this link to contribute through Network for Good; under Designation, enter “Tom Schneider Peacemaker Award.” Or make checks payable to Peace Education Center, 850 Grove Street, East Lansing, MI 48823; on the memo line add “Tom Schneider Peacemaker Award.” Thank you!


2015 Tom Schneider Peacemaker Awardees


PeaceNotes Spring 2015 Available

The Peace Education Center has published its Spring 2015 edition of PeaceNotes. This edition includes the PEC Board statement on the Middle East, a Peace and Justice calendar for April and May, information on PEC’s annual membership meeting, and other contributions on peace and justice issues and activities. Click here to read the PeaceNotes Spring 2015 in PDF format.