About Us

The Wisconsin Network for Peace and Justice (WNPJ) was founded in 1991 as a coalition of activist groups and citizens of conscience within Wisconsin.

 

Check out the WNPJ Membership Brochure (PDF)

 

Mission Statement

Wisconsin Network for Peace and Justice advances a sustainable world free from violence and injustice by connecting, engaging, and strengthening member groups and serving as a catalyst for community organizing and education.

 

Origins

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 150 peace, human rights, religious, labor, and environmental organizations throughout the state.

Co-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 and Judy Miner have compiled a history of WNPJ. Please let us know if there is something important missing from this listing. Send an email to the WNPJ office at office@wnpj.org.

 

Membership

The Membership of WNPJ is of two categories: individual members and member organizations. For details, please see our "Join us!" page.

 

WNPJ membership consists of over 150 member organizations and nearly 400 individual members. A Board representing a broad range of interests, experience, and localities meets about four times per year. The Steering Committee, composed of the organizational representatives, meets annually in the Spring to set directions for the organization which are ratified by members at the Annual Fall Assembly. The Network has on the payroll two part-time staff positions, as well a representative of the Veterans for Peace #25 and a special volunteer to assist with newsletter layout. Volunteers help with other special projects.

 

WNPJ is a tax-exempt, non-partisan 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Contributions to WNPJ are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.

 

We work for these things in common:

  • alternatives to militarism
  • economic justice
  • grassroots democracy
  • global community
  • respect for diversity
  • sustainable agriculture/development
  • a safe, clean environment
  • lifestyles of active nonviolence
  • human rights for all

 

Bylaws

When needed, the WNPJ's Bylaws are revised at the Annual Fall Assembly.  Click here to see the current WNPJ By-laws.

 

Projects

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 an Annual Fall Assembly for all WNPJ members and friends.

2) Publication of Action Alerts, highlighting action alerts and/or events from around the state. WNPJ also publishes a Newsletter that highlights activities and groups from around the state and which includes a calendar of events and numerous networking and action suggestions.

3) Maintain on-line directory of member organizations. The directory contains a page for each organization, describing its purpose, projects, publications, etc.

4) Work Groups turn creative study and thought into positive action by linking work already being done by WNPJ member organizations. They create flyers and packets of information for educational use - and plan events in our communities, focused on their area of activism.

Active WNPJ Work Groups in 2012 are Immigration Rights, Anti-militarism/pro-peace, Environmental issues, and Anti-racism.

5) Presentation of the annual Peacemakers of the Year, Dennis Bergren LGBTQ Advocacy, and Lifetime Achievement Awards at the Annual Fall Assembly. Nominations are accepted all year round, but to be considered for award, nominations are due by August 31st of the year award is to be presented.

6) WNPJ provides another statewide resource through a 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.

 

Board members

The Board of Directors of WNPJ is made up of representatives from across the state, and are elected at the Annual Fall Assembly.