Since 1995, the all-volunteer and interfaith peaceCENTER continues to be a significant community catalyst for peace in San Antonio, Texas. Compassion and Justice are our strong guiding lights. Contemplative Practices, Experiential Education, and Nonviolent Actions are our working expressions throughout the community at large.

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San Antonio, Texas 78216

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Monday’s Monument: Civil Rights Monument, Richmond, VA

Monday’s Monument: Civil Rights Monument, Richmond, VA

This monument, located on the statehouse grounds, commemorates protests which helped bring about school desegregation in Virginia. Opened in July 2008, it features eighteen statues of leaders or participants in the Civil Rights Movement on four sides of a rectangular granite stone block onto which are carved quotes. The specific incident memorialized is a student-led strike in 1961 that protested the poor conditions in the segregated schools. This led to a lawsuit, Davis v. County School Board of Prince Edward County, which was eventually one of the four cases combined into Brown v. Board of Education, the famous case in which the U.S. Supreme Court, in 1954, officially overturned racial segregation in U.S. public schools. The memorial is located on a corner opposite a statue of Harry F. Byrd, Sr., the architect of the massive resistance movement against civil rights.

April 24 in Peace & Justice History

April 24, 1944
In United States v. Ballard the Supreme Court ruled that neither the courts nor the government have the right to evaluate the religious beliefs of a citizen or group, upholding the general principle that “the truth of religious claims is not for secular authority to determine.” Guy Ballard, who believed he had the spiritual gift of curing diseases, solicited contributions in exchange for his healing services and was convicted of mail fraud. This decision prevented juries from being asked to consider whether a person’s religious beliefs were ever true. All that mattered was that the person accept them in good faith; no government was allowed to attempt to determine if they are logical, valid, or accurate.

Happy Birthday, Peacemakers!

April 23, 1928
Shirley Temple Black
“Nothing crushes freedom as substantially as a tank.”

April 23, 1954
Michael Moore
“Somehow, I don’t think Jesus came to Earth to ring the bell at the New York Stock Exchange.”

April 26, 1889
Ludwig Wittgenstein
“A man will be imprisoned in a room with a door that’s unlocked and opens inwards; as long as it does not occur to him to pull rather than push.”

April 23 in Peace & Justice History

April 23, 1951
A 16-year-old student, Barbara Rose Johns, covertly organized a student general strike at RR Moton High School, an all-black high school in Farmville, Virginia, founded in 1923. The school did not have a gymnasium, cafeteria or teachers’ restrooms. Teachers and students did not have desks or blackboards, and due to overcrowding, some students had to take classes in a decrepit school bus parked outside the main school building. . She forged notes to teachers telling them to bring their students to the auditorium for a special announcement. When the school’s students showed up, Johns took the stage and persuaded the school to strike to protest poor school conditions. Over 450 walked out and marched to the homes of members of the school board, who refused to see them. Thus began a two-week protest, which led to a court case where Virginia civil rights lawyers Oliver Hill and Spottswood Robinson brought suit against the school board. Davis v. County School Board of Prince Edward County was eventually one of the four cases combined into Brown v. Board of Education, the famous case in which the U.S. Supreme Court, in 1954, officially overturned racial segregation in U.S. public schools.

April 22 in Peace & Justice History

April 22, 2005
Japan‘s Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi apologized for Japan’s war record: “In the past, Japan, through its colonial rule and aggression, caused tremendous damage and suffering to the people of many countries, particularly to those of Asian nations. Japan squarely faces these facts of history in a spirit of humility,” after this Koizumi added that the Japanese people have “feelings of deep remorse and heartfelt apology.”

April 21 in Peace & Justice History

April 21, 1649
The Maryland Assembly passed the Toleration Act, providing protection to Roman Catholics against Protestant harassment and discrimination, a problem which had been on the increase due to the growing power of Oliver Cromwell in England. All “trinitarian” Christians, whatever their denomination, were given full religious freedom. Anyone who denies the divinity of Jesus, however, was to be be executed.

April 20 in Peace & Justice History

April 20, 1983
In UNITED STATES v. GRACE, decided on this day, The US Supreme Court ruled that Title 40 U.S.C. 13K, which prohibited the “display [of] any flag, banner, or device designed or adapted to bring into public notice any party, organization, or movement” in the United States Supreme Court building or on its grounds, which are defined to include the public sidewalks constituting the outer boundaries of the grounds” was unconstitutional. One of the defendants was Thaddeus “Spike” Zywicki, who spent many years living and working for peace in San Antonio. This 2015 Boston Globe article describes the current law regarding protests outside the Supreme Court.

April 19 in Peace & Justice History

April 19, 1960
More than 100,000 students in South Korea held a nationwide pro-democracy protest against president Syngman Rhee, eventually forcing him to resign on April 26. The protests were touched off by the discovery in Masan Harbor of the body of a student killed by a tear-gas shell in demonstrations against the elections of March. Police opened fire on protesters killing approximately 180 and wounding thousands. That day the Rhee government proclaimed martial law in order to suppress the demonstrations.

April 18 in Peace & Justice History

April 18, 1941
Bus companies in New York City agreed to hire 200 black drivers and mechanics after a four-week boycott by riders led by Reverend Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. of Harlem’s Abysinnian Baptist Church, then the largest Protestant congregation in the U.S. Powell ran and won a City Council seat later that year and became a member of Congress four years later.

Monday’s Monument: A&T Lunchcounter Four, Greensboro, NC

Monday’s Monument: A&T Lunchcounter Four, Greensboro, NC

On Monday, February 1, 1960, Greensboro went down in history for the igniting the civil rights “sit-in” movement in the nation. On this day, four North Carolina. A&T State University students sat down at the F.W. Woolworth Company’s segregated lunch counter and asked for service, which was refused. This sit-in fueled the campaign for racial integration in the South and beyond. The store and lunch counter, located in the Old Greensboro downtown historic district, remained in operation until 1993, when Woolworths closed. It is now a civil rights museum. The statue, dedicated in 2002, is on the A&T campus.

April 17 in Peace & Justice History

April 17, 1959
Twenty two were arrested in New York City for refusing to take shelter during a civil defense drill. Pictured above is Catholic Worker founder Dorothy Day, just prior to her arrest.

Happy Birthday, Peacemakers!

April 16, 1844
Anatole France
“The law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal bread.”

April 16, 1871
John Millington Synge
“What is the price of a thousand horses against a son where there is one son only?”

April 16, 1924
Madanjeet Singh
“Ideas have never succeeded in isolation unless they translated into action”

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