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.


PEC 2015 Annual Membership Meeting and Community Potluck

The Peace Education Center’s annual membership meeting and potluck dinner will be held on Saturday, April 25, 2015, 4 p.m. – 7 p.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Church in East Lansing. The potluck will be from 4 p.m. – 5 p.m. The program and membership meeting will be 5 p.m. – 7 p.m. featuring special guest speakers, board elections, and the Peacemaker of the Year award ceremony.

PEC members, volunteers, and donors as well as Peace supporters and activists are invited to attend. Please bring a dish to pass, if you can.

If you need additional information, please contact us by emailing or calling the office at 517-515-5634.

An Evening Celebrating: One Community, One Week, Many Faiths: The Diversity of Worship and Belief

The Peace Education Center and Everybody Reads Bookstore will cohost an evening with MSU School of Journalism professors and editors of One Community, One Week, Many Faiths, Eric Freedman and Howard Bossen, who will talk about the book on Wednesday, March 11, from 7 – 9 p.m. The event will be at Unitarian Universalist Church of Greater Lansing, 855 Grove Street, East Lansing. The event is free and open to the public.

The book profiles the Lansing area’s many religious institutions and covers a wide theological array. Students from Michigan State University School of Journalism visited local churches and other religious institutions, taking photos and interviewing clergy and parishioners for the book. Freedman and Bossen, who taught the classes, led the project and served as editors.

“We wanted to give students a real-world experience that would mix reporting, interviewing, research and photography in a collaborative project to give them something professional for their portfolios,” Freedman said. “And, we wanted to get them off campus. The university, as big as it is, is often like an island and students sometimes don’t interact with the broader community.”

Copies of the book will be available for purchase at $21.95. All proceeds from the book sales will go to support the efforts of the Peace Education Center.

For more information, contact the Peace Education Center at or call 517-515-5634.