History and Mission of WNPJ

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

 

Mission

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.

 

Vision Statement

A peaceful, just, and sustainable world.

 

Values Statement

  • We welcome all people in a collaborative effort for social justice.
  • We value coalition building and support grassroots efforts within our communities.
  • We work through consensus to find common ground.
  • We respect and celebrate the dignity of all humans and of all life.
  • We uphold the virtues of compassion and nonviolence.
  • We are passionate about creating a just, vibrant, peaceful, and sustainable world, for ourselves and future generations.
  • Our vision of justice includes ending all systems of oppression.
  • We recognize that racism, sexism, and other forms of oppression are systemic and we must challenge those oppressions in all of our work.
  • Peace is possible.

 

Annual reports

Click to download our "State of the Network 2016," reporting on WNPJ's activities, accomplishments and finances for the year.

To see our previous annual reports, click on the year: 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015.

 

Bylaws

WNPJ's Bylaws were last revised at the Member Assembly on October 11, 2014 in Madison.  Click here to see the current Bylaws.

 

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

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 (1930 - 2010) and Judy Miner compiled a history of WNPJ. Please let us know if there is something important missing from this listing, by calling (608) 250-9240 or emailing info@wnpj.org.

 

Video histories

Thanks to John Quinlan for producing an amazing 20-minute video, with interviews of WNPJ founders and past chairs over our first 20 years. The world premiere of this video was at our 20th anniversary reception, on February 19, 2011, at the Goodman Community Center in Madison, WI.
Alfred Meyer, WNPJ chair from 2002 to 2007 and now living in New York, speaks to videographer John Quinlan about his years at WNPJ. Alfred says, "Whenever I feel a bit down about the state of the Earth, I just read the WNPJ weekly events calendar."
Steve Braunginn was one of two original co-chairs of the group, along with beloved political activist Nan Cheney (who passed away in 2010). Here he offers warm memories of Nan, and the inspiration she provided him and so many others, while discussing the many challenges inherent to creating an effective and sustainable new coalition like WNPJ.

Membership

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

In 2012, WNPJ membership consists of over 160 member organizations and 400 individual members. A BOARD ,  representing a broad range of interests, experience, and localities - meets four times per year. The Steering Committee, composed of the organizational contacts, meets annually in the Spring to set directions for the organization which are ratified by members at the Annual Assembly. The Network hires three part-time staff persons, as well as work-study students. Several "staff" volunteers, in addition to other volunteers, help with special projects.

WNPJ is a tax-exempt 501(c)3 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