About PeaceWorks Kansas City

Our vision

To nonviolently embody and empower our core truth—peace works!

Our mission

To embody and empower our core truth—peace works!

Our core values

Earth is our precious home, to be cherished and preserved for future generations. All persons, all living beings, all in the universe are of intrinsic value. Honoring the interdependence of all fosters an embrace of diversity and variety.

Cooperation and collaboration are essential to our well-being and potential. Peace is attained only through justice for all.

Peace works, and the way to peace is nonviolence. Conflict is best resolved by mediation and reconciliation, not war and violence. PeaceWorks Kansas City speaks truth to power and stands up for the oppressed. We advocate justice, particularly with marginalized and at-risk persons.

Our concern for the world

Our world faces multiple alarming crises—racism, poverty, militarism (war and the war economy). Two existential threats could end life on Earth as we know it: environmental degradation and nuclear weapons.

We in PeaceWorks advocate a safer and more livable world as we stand in opposition to the destructive forces threatening our Earth and its inhabitants.

Massive and ever-increasing military budgets show that US leadership, the military-industrial complex, and our culture of American exceptionalism prioritize domination, violence, and war over diplomacy, negotiations and cooperation.

“We the People” must speak out to demand that our nation prioritize people and life over profits and death.

Censorship, and the spread of misinformation and disinformation, have created deep political divides and internal civil strife. We urgently need a world based on the common good, instead of an us-versus-them world. By uniting as a common humanity, we can ultimately address the enormous challenges facing us. It is our collective responsibility to chart a path toward a livable, more peaceful world for our children and future generations.

Our history

The founding motivation and ongoing impetus for PeaceWorks is the abolition of nuclear weapons. PeaceWorks began in 1982—through efforts of members of All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church—as the KC Nuclear Freeze Coalition, part of the national coalition. The KC group, which changed its name to PeaceWorks in 1990, was active with the local Interfaith Peace Alliance and with the American Friends Service Committee. Now affiliated with Peace Action (the largest alliance of peace activists in the US), PeaceWorks Kansas City is a 501 (c)(4) nonprofit organization.

By accident, design or miscalculation, nuclear weapons—indiscriminate weapons of mass destruction—could trigger catastrophic death and destruction, both in immediate blasts and through the nuclear winter that would follow. Even if never detonated, nuclear arsenals have already diminished humanity by the massive theft of resources that should have been invested in social programs, by creating a global atmosphere of divisive fear, and by harmful toxins resulting from nuclear weapon production and testing.

PeaceWorks stands for harmony and peace, attained not through war and violence but through mediation, reconciliation and nonviolence.

Annual events

Each Memorial Day, PeaceWorks rallies for a nuke-free world, often with nonviolent civil resistance, at the Kansas City National Security Campus. The facility makes and procures about 85 percent of the mechanical and electronic parts for US nuclear weapons. An important action at the rally is to name and remember hundreds of persons who have become ill or have died from toxins in the production of nuclear weapon parts in Kansas City since 1949.

PeaceWorks holds an annual Hiroshima/Nagasaki Remembrance to mourn the lives lost from the atomic bombings of Hiroshima on Aug. 6 and of Nagasaki on Aug. 9, 1945. At our remembrance, we recommit ourselves to cultivating inner peace as a step toward a life of peace activism.

The PeaceWorks KC Local Art Fair, our only annual fundraiser, is held on the same weekend as the Plaza Art Fair, usually the third weekend after Labor Day.

Peace education

We support peace education in the world and peace in one’s community and personal life.

We visit local colleges, talking with students about the KC National Security Campus that makes mechanical and electronic parts for nuclear weapons. The KCNSC encourages students to take temp jobs there and pursue careers there. We ask the students to go online to sign this pledge asking schools to separate themselves from nuclear weapons production and funding.

We financially support Learning Club of Kansas City, KS, one-on-one tutoring and mentoring for 2nd through 6th graders in the urban core of Kansas City, KS, and KC MO.

Our commitment to nonviolence

PeaceWorks partners with other groups to right what is unjust and oppressive. We make common cause, for example, with environmental activists, CODEPINK, Missouri Voter Protection Coalition, KC Tenants, MORE2 (Metro Organization for Racial and Economic Equality), Justice for Wyandotte, Poor People’s Campaign, United for Peace and Justice, and Veterans for Peace. Together, we try to address the interconnected ills cited by Martin Luther King, Jr.—racism, militarism, and poverty/economic oppression. We share Dr. King’s vision for the Beloved Community:

“In the Beloved Community, poverty, hunger, and homelessness will not be tolerated. … International disputes will be resolved by peaceful conflict resolution and reconciliation of adversaries, instead of military power. Love and trust will triumph over fear and hatred. Peace with justice will prevail over war and military conflict.”

PeaceWorks promotes the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. Approved by nearly ⅔ of the United Nations members in 2017, the treaty “entered into force” on Jan. 22, 2021, after 50 nations had ratified it. The treaty declares that the production, testing, possession, transfer, use, and threatened use of nuclear weapons is illegal. The treaty mandates assisting victims of nuclear mining, production and testing, and it requires the clean-up of environmentally damaged environments. Who cares? We do! In 2021, PeaceWorks joined the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), which won the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize for writing the treaty and gaining its passage by the UN. In addition, PeaceWorks collaborates with the Alliance for Nuclear Accountability and Physicians for Social Responsibility—national leaders in seeking a nuclear-weapon-free world.

PeaceWorks meets with members of Congress and policymakers to expose the danger of expanding the nuclear arsenal and to condemn the crime of drone warfare. We gather at Whiteman Air Force Base, near Knob Noster, MO, a few times each year to protest the drone operations conducted there. Also, we insist whistleblowers, who reveal serious abuses of power by the US government and military, receive protection from persecution and compensation for their physical, fiscal and psychological losses. We seek the reordering of our nation’s priorities from excessive military spending to instead meeting human needs and protecting Earth.

Our care for the Earth

Our beautiful home, Mother Earth, sustains life from moment to moment, year upon year. Her generosity invokes a spirit of gratitude, a desire to care for the Earth so future generations may be blessed as well. Sadly, human activity is instead contributing to harmful global climate change through exploitation of fossil fuels, deforestation, agribusiness, overfishing, and other practices that are destroying animal and plant species, melting glaciers, and polluting air, land and water. We will strive to foster within ourselves, our communities and our world an ethic of responsible Earth stewardship, with an eye toward the future “seventh generation” cherished by First Nations people. We will practice gratitude toward our brothers and sisters, both human and nonhuman, and the Good Earth that sustains us.

Our contact information

Phone: 816-561-1181
E-mail: PeaceWorksKC@gmail.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PeaceWorks.KC
Man hanging origame peace cranes.