2020 Peacemaker

Dear Peace Community,

In the midst of all of the uncertainty and upheaval in our world, I get to bring you a little spot of hope and inspiration.

I get to introduce our 34th Peacemaker, KD Dickinson!!

She is the founder of Portico Real Estate and her business and personal mission has always centered on people over profits — “to honor diversity, build community and create a lifestyle that promotes the health and well-being of our planet and work to bring integrity and trust into the real estate profession while creating tremendously satisfying and fulfilling lifelong relationships with the people in our community.” That sense of people over profit makes her a perfect Peacemaker for 2020 when we so need to remember our humanity and our connections to each other. And outside of work, she has walked the walk of peace and justice for a very long time.

Imagine the courage needed to be the first out, gay, female firefighter back in the 70’s or the only realtor among the vocal advocates of an open space bond that preserved Mt Jumbo in 1995. She has helped countless people — showing up when they need her the most, even if it meant a sacrifice for her. She has helped build community by giving generously of her time, talent and treasure to many of our local organizations, JRPC included. In her words, “I love this community and I love being able to support it”. KD shows us a peace that is steadily grounded in service, relationship and authenticity as well as large doses of music and play. Several people have described her as “the real deal”.

This year, we are unable to celebrate in the same way we usually do with a large gathering, music, food and lots of speeches! We will plan all that when we are able and present her with the unique quilt the Missoula Peace Quilters are working on. In the meantime, KD’s history of service to so many nonprofits in our community has given us the idea for the perfect way to celebrate and honor her today. 

We are inviting the Missoula community to make a donation in honor of our 2020 Peacemaker to JRPC or ANY participating organization during the Missoula Gives event which begins at 5 pm today, and goes until 7 pm tomorrow, May 1

Not only will we be able to see the impact KD has had around Missoula with donations to several of our organizations, but we can also truly celebrate our connections to each other through this remarkable lady. Thank you KD for your daily commitment to peace, justice and a livable planet, and for doing it with understanding and love…Betsy

New Normal

Dear Friends,

I know many are anxiously awaiting a return to “normal” life. I have heard it several times in the past few weeks. What has been more interesting to me however is the number of people expressing anxiety over returning to that normal. Personally, I fall into this second group. I am enjoying the slower pace of life and have been energized by the freedom of my time. Regardless of what comes as we venture back into the world one of the (many) areas where we cannot afford to return to “normal” is our relationship with the environment. It has been amazing to see how the natural world has rebounded. Dolphins in Venice, cleaner air in Los Angeles, endangered animal populations recovering, and all of this in a few months. It is my sincere hope that we can use the lessons we have learned (and are still learning) form the experiences of the last few months to think more intentionally about what the new normal can look like.

Thank you to everyone who sent in a message to the earth in celebration of the 50th earth day! So many wonderful messages that inspire and show the beauty of our natural world.

Carol Schwartz

Little Moments

When we were asked as board members to write an intro for the newsletter, I was a bit apprehensive, as I am not the best person to put words on paper.  We were asked to write about how the COVID-19 has affected us, and how we are managing.

After the realization that this virus was going to affect our community the same as it has so many others before us, as owners of a small business the first and hardest reality was the fact that we had to lay off our employees.  We are not alone in the fact that our business is our family income. We have many friends who are in the same situation. We will just keep doing what we do, the best way we can and with some prayer and a little sweat, we will come out of this ok.

I have to say, that since life has slowed down a bit, I have taken more time to notice what is around me and appreciate the small things in life.  I have also noticed that people in general seem to be showing more compassion. I have seen so much generosity take place in the last month, and witnessed so much support of one another, it makes me grateful to be part of this community. As for the bigger picture, all you have to do is turn on the news and in five minutes or less, you will spot much of the same generosity everywhere.  People caring about people.

Stay safe and well wishes.

Jana Jackson
JRPC Coordinating Council Member

Shop Fair Trade


Shop Fair Trade Online Here

As you board any airline, you will be advised that in an emergency you should secure your own oxygen mask before helping someone else secure theirs. For the past two weeks, we at JRPC have been working to secure our “oxygen mask”. We have figured out some new routines for our work and some new ways to connect with each other and all of you. Your memberships and donations are helping us continue to pay our employees, to give rent abatements to our wonderful renters (Upcycled and HŌM·BÄDĒ) and to keep up with the expenses of our building and business.

The Olive Branch store is a big part of our business income, but we know its bigger mission is one of justice for communities around the world struggling to lift themselves out of poverty. The artists and craftspeople who make our Fair Trade items also need an “oxygen mask”. If businesses like ours quit selling their goods, they will cease getting an income. Every dollar you and I spend – even now – is a vote for the kind of world we want to live in. The support for local businesses and front-line responders is nothing short of awe-inspiring! But in our global world, local casts a larger net.

We introduced this community to Fair Trade back in the 1980’s and your purchases have made a big difference and cast many votes for justice in the world. Now is not the time to abandon that difference and those communities who rely on us. We succeed together. So, we selected a few items that we felt would be useful and relevant now and created an Online Olive Branch. If you don’t see what you’re looking for, just let us know and we’ll do our best to make it happen! We are happy to offer several ways to get things to you – and happy also to throw in some Fair Trade chocolate for every purchase to say thank you for helping us continue to make a difference in our community and around the world…Betsy

Celebrate Earth Month

This month we celebrate the 50th earth day. Since we all seem to have some extra time on our hands why not spend the whole month celebrating? I am calling on our peace community to send messages of/to mother nature, the plant, earth, the environment… whatever you call this natural world that surrounds us. For some, the message might be

a photo of a flower blooming in your yard. For others, a favorite poem. It might even be a literal letter from you. Let your creativity run wild.

If you feel inclined to share your message, from now until April 19th you can send your messages or a version/ representation of them to me at programs@jrpc.org. It is my intention to take the messages people share and compile them in a larger message from our peace community so the more we collect the better!

Need inspiration? Get outside. Practice safe social distancing but get outside. Go for a hike, work in your yard, take a drive, or just sit on your deck for a bit. Be with nature and think about what you would like to say or show. Write about the experience, take a photo, find a quote, make art, sing a song, plant something, or make a promise to change a behavior. Do what makes sense for you.

I look forward to seeing your messages in whatever form they come,

Carol Schwartz