Archive: 10/2011

Lela Knox Shanks Lincoln Civil Rights and Peace Activist dies

NFP State Board Member and legendary Civil Rights and peace activist, Lela Shanks, passed away on Monday, October 24 after a long struggle with cancer. Her memorial service will be held at 3:00 p.m. Sunday, October 30 at Saint Paul United Methodist Church, 1144 'M' Street in Lincoln. Reprinted below is the citation Nebraskans for Peace President Emeritus Paul Olson delivered when Lela was honored as NFP's 2008 'Peacemaker of the Year' for her lifetime of achievements in the cause of Peace & Justice.

Essential to the history of Nebraskans for Peace is its motto, “There is no peace without justice."

Lela Knox Shanks like her late husband, Hughes, lived that rule and she now lives it. Beginning in Oklahoma in the 30s, she experienced the most severe kind of segregation. She knew the price that depression and dust bowl poverty exacted from African-American and Caucasian alike in Oklahoma, and she has never forgotten about the wretched of the earth, white or black or brown or red, gay or straight. When she went to college in St. Louis she heard the myths about “the land of the free and the home of the brave” uttered by her professors as she lived in a fully segregated, caste society. She and her husband, Hughes, trained as a lawyer, married in 1947and stayed in St. Louis, hoping to avoid from Oklahoma’s racism. But, in St. Louis, they met with Missouri’s racism and the Missouri mantra, “We do not give employment applications to Negroes.”

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Michael Baker: Finally youth take to streets

MONday, October 23, 2011

This article was originally published by the Lincoln Journal Star.

As media pundits debate myriad reasons why the various "Occupy" movements around the country are happening, I am drawn to a chapter in the late historian Howard Zinn's book, "A People's History of the United States."

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The Annual National Security Budget Figure No One Wants You to See

The following article by Chris Hellman of the “National Priorities Project” in Northampton, Massachusetts, was originally posted on the website back in March. But with the congressional ‘Super Committee’ facing a November deadline to cut the federal deficit by $1.2 trillion over the next decade, the topic is more timely than ever.

NFP has long supported the work of the National Priorities Project, and Chris Hellman is one of the country’s top experts on national security spending, having previously served as a military policy analyst for the “Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation,” a Senior Research Analyst at the “Center for Defense Information,” and a congressional staffer working on national security and foreign policy issues.

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2011 Annual Peace Conference

The executive director of the country’s largest Peace & Justice organization will be the featured speaker at the 2011 Annual Peace Conference Saturday, October 15 in Lincoln. Kevin Martin, who has directed the Washington, D.C.-based Peace Action and the Peace Action Education Fund since 2001, will speak on the all-too-timely topic of “Endless War, Endless Costs: The Crying Need to Change America’s Flawed Military & Economic Priorities.”

This year’s conference is again being jointly co-sponsored by the UNO Grace Abbott School of Social Work and Nebraskans for Peace and will be held at Trinity United Methodist Church, 7130 Kentwell Lane in Lincoln, from 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

To register, visit the website and email us at or contact the NFP State Office at 402-475-4620.

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