Fifty Years of the Peace Education Center : Book Project – Call for articles

We at the Peace Education Center (PEC) want to write a book! Actually, we want YOU to write a book for us. We’ve done great things together, there are some interesting events that have happened over the years and we just don’t want to lose them! Help us by sending in your recollections of events, people, happenings, places and times.

The PEC started in 1969 or 1970 as the Peace Council before changing its name – so there’s been almost fifty years of working for peace in the Lansing area.  

Stories: What happened that needs to be remembered?  What events did you help with or attend? How did you start learning about social justice, women’s issues, war and militarism?  When did you get involved? Who inspired you? Was there a moment or an event that you remember with satisfaction or humor – or with rage?  Stories can be from the 1970s or any time up to today.

History/Background: It helps to know the drumbeat of the times. Write a narrative that gives a sense of the times as various social justice issues came to the fore. Keep your focus on how events played out on a local or personal level.

Photos – clippings – mementos: We can make copies and return the originals, or you can donate items to the PEC. (Much of our historical material is stored in the permanent collection at MSU.)

What will really make this readable is your front-row view of a specific episode from history.

Your social activism stories do not need to be directly connected with the PEC, but those stories will be given preference.

We are proud of the PEC’s meaningful social justice work. Help us pass on the lessons learned from the last 50 years. After all, ‘Education’ is our middle name!

Questions? Contact Becky Payne at 517-862-5921, evenings, or by email at Or Jim Detjen at

Please submit stories, encounters, memories, photos, etc. to PEC at or by mail to PEC c/o, University United Methodist Church, 1120 S. Harrison Rd, East Lansing, MI 48823.

Writing Guidelines

  1. Please try to stay within 2,000 words – anything from one paragraph up to three or four pages. If you write long, we can edit it. Feel free to write more than one piece.
  2. Writing style isn’t the best? We want to hear all voices, so write it the best you can. We have some fantastic editors on board for this who can help, if needed.
  3. Would you rather be interviewed? We have members who are willing to listen, interview and write your memories for you.
  4. YOU are the one who lived through these times, we want to hear YOUR voice and YOUR memories. Send us what you have and let us see where and how it fits in.  
  5. Talk about recent events, too. We want submissions that cover all 50 years.

A Few Possible Topics…

  • Founding – what motivated the beginnings of the Peace Council and then the Peace Ed Center? What made it stronger, who dug in and helped, what were the issues, problems, successes, events? Who was involved? What funny, poignant, sad, frustrating stories can you remember.
  • Vietnam War – Anti-recruitment, draft board counseling, protests, MSU and John Hannah’s involvement…
  • Boycotts and divestments
  • Police/prisons?
  • Elections/politics?
  • Involvement with MSU or local governments.
  • Teach-ins, sit-ins, marches, gatherings, protests over the years.
  • Bush/Cheney and Iraq war
  • Current times – PEC issues and the Trump administration – environmental/social issues.
  • Israel/Palestine issues
  • Military Industrial complex/Pentagon spending
  • Youth Outreach
  • Middle-East Awareness Committee
  • Single actions – one person stands alone? Coming to consensus on an issue? Divisions or discord?
  • Breaking ground into new issues – Growing awareness of social justice causes previously ignored. What triggered the awareness, were there roadblocks? Who were the powerhouses to move things forward?
  • Women’s Movement – women’s efforts to break into men’s careers. Abortion rights. Divorce. Who… what raised the consciousness… what were the problems, victories, movements, leaders… what stood in the way.
  • LGBT issues and PEC involvement
  • Integrating housing in East Lansing? Racial issues?
  • WILPF, GLNAWI and other associated organization memories

2 Comments on “Fifty Years of the Peace Education Center : Book Project – Call for articles

  1. I was an anti-Vietnam War Activist at Michigan State University from 1970 thru 1974. I am writing a memoir, and I remember some conversations I had with the woman who headed the Lansing Area Peace Council between 1969-1970, that is, before Ann Francis. But I cannot remember her name. I want to quote something she told me in my memoir. Is there anyone still active who remembers this woman’s name? I would appreciate any help you can provide. Thank you. John Royal
    P. S. I am currently the President of the Michigan Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild. We provide legal support to social justice protests across the State of Michigan. If you ever need legal support for a protest or demonstration, feel free to call on me.

  2. I just met with John Materson and Peter Guins in late July when visiting the area and we brain stormed some memories while our brains are still “intact”. Since you want some memories I will try my best to gather my thoughts since Peter Gina Mandola (left right away to work in Italy) and I headed the Peace Center when we moved from Washington St. in Lansing and were housed in UMHE. I have made some notes along the way and will send them shortly.