The Jeannette Rankin You May Not Know

“Introducing the Jeannette Rankin You May Not Know”

The Peace Center’s namesake, Jeannette Rankin, was a tireless campaigner for women’s suffrage, not only leading the movement in Montana that won women the right to vote in 1914, but also working for the cause in New York, North Dakota, South Dakota, Missouri, Nebraska, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Tennessee, Alabama and Florida. Rankin was the first woman elected to the US Congress, where she voted against US entry into WW1. In her second Congressional term, she voted against US entry into WW2. In later life, Rankin led a peace march against the Viet Nam War.

The New York Times described Rankin this way: “Given her electric presence, she was eminently suited to symbolize the emergence of women in national politics.”

Who was the woman behind the image?

Rankin was born and raised right here in Missoula, and is our most famous native daughter. It’s no wonder we have generated a set of common beliefs about her life that have built up an image of Rankin as an egalitarian Montanan of high integrity on issues of women’s rights and peace. In actuality, Rankin was a product of her family and the times. A closer look at her life, her actions and words reveal the contradictions and failings of a real person grappling with the need to make a life of meaning for herself and sometimes succeeding, other times falling short.

The Jeannette Rankin Peace Center, together with the League of Women Voters of Missoula, are co-hosting “Introducing the Jeannette You May Not Know: The Life and Times of Jeannette Rankin,” a free public lecture:

When: Wednesday, November 20, from noon to 1:00 pm,
Where: Missoula Public Library large meeting room.

The presentation and discussion feature James Lopach and Jean Luckowski, authors of the book “Jeannette Rankin: A Political Woman.”. In writing their book, Lopach and Luckowski did extensive research into the correspondence of Rankin’s family members and contemporaries. What they found gives us a more realistic picture of Rankin, one that makes her less iconic, more human and imperfect.

Come join us on November 20th and meet the Jeannette Rankin you may not know.

Nancy Leifer, member Jeannette Rankin Peace Center and co-president, Missoula League of Women Voters

Thank you!

Dear friends,
The words, “thank you” do not come close to expressing the emotion, the gratitude and the pride I feel as I look back to the generous contributions of time, energy, money, muscle, music, food, services, gifts and so much more that was given to us last Sunday to make our peace party a success.  And it was a very wonderful success.  We had fun together, we raised money for a cause close to our hearts and we celebrated our successes and our connections.  It was a perfect example of what “we the people” can do.  Many people do not know that the Peace Center relies entirely on the money we receive from the public to survive — that’s your memberships, your donations at the end of the year, the sales from our fair trade store and this event.  And for 33 years, the public – our community – has come through for us.  Check out the list of donors and volunteers below and make a point to thank them yourself!  Thanks to all of you, we will forge ahead into the future to work alongside you in order to leave a better world to those who come behind

With much gratitude for each and every one of you, Betsy

In case you missed the party, but still want to get in on the fun, we have a few dinners left that are available for purchase.  To find out more, see the program or give us a call at 543-3955.

  • The Flavors of Tuscany: Cuisine of the Italian Heartland by Chef Ray Risho, November 9, 2019, 1 plate at $350
  • Authentic Portuguese Dinner by Sofia Reis at the home of Steve and Connie Running on Saturday, January 18, 2020, 2 plates at $225 each
  • A Turkish Delight from Leslie Burgess, Serena Early and Cyndy and Ray Aten on Saturday, February 1, 2020, 2 plates at $350 each
  • Taste of New Orleans Cajun and Creole Dinner by Nancy Leifer and Linda Andrus on Saturday, February 8, 2020, 2 plates at $225 each
  • Authentic Indian Dinner from former Coordinating Council member Srini Mondava on Saturday, February 29, 2020, 3 plates at $375

And of course, THANKS to our sponsors: 

This is the power of gathering

“This is the power of gathering: it inspires us – delightfully – to be more hopeful, more joyful, more thoughtful: in a word more alive!” ~Alice Waters

Dear friends,
Alice Waters reminds us there is great power in the times we come together. Fall is a time of harvest, of letting go and of preparation for winter. So it has been a great tradition of the JRPC to gather together as a peace community each fall — to celebrate the harvest we have come to enjoy together, to let go of our work for a while to enjoy each other while we raise the money and the energy to go forward. This year, we will gather on Sunday, October 13 to celebrate “we the people”, the gatherings through history that have moved us forward – toward democracy, equality and justice. We still have work to do — to make women equal to men, to restore dignity and respect to our indigenous peoples around the world and to live up to the words “liberty and justice for all”. As we look to the work ahead, it is vital to keep the voice and the vision of peace alive and present. And we thank you for being a part of that work.

We are delighted to have the support of several amazing sponsors: The Good Food Store, Homestead Organics, Imagine Nation Brewing, First Security Bank and Anderson Zurmuehlen. And this year, we the people will enjoy SO much entertainment from such a variety of voices – the old world Klezmer music of Chutzpah guaranteed to make you want to dance, the stories put to music that only Missoula legend, Tom Catmull can do and finally a little jazz from the Classy Kiwi Jazz Trio of Hellgate High students. Plus kids are free this year and we have fun activities for kids of all ages — face painting and marshmallow building! If you’ve been to the peace party before, you know it is one of the most enjoyable events in Missoula. If you haven’t been, this might be the year, you should change that. In the next couple weeks, I will share some of the amazing items that the generous Missoula community has given us for our raffle and auctions. But meanwhile, you have 17 days to get your tickets!

See you there…the Peace Party 2019 Planning Committee

Art — Change

“Art is such a powerful vehicle for change.” ~RAICES, a Texas Immigration Advocacy Organization

Dear friends,
This week, two California professors installed pink seesaws at our southern border. The images of children playing and families laughing contrasts sharply with previous images we have seen from the border. The headline reads “we are all connected”. This story is a great learning tool for us in so many ways. How simple it is to transform violence into something beautiful. It only takes us to participate. We cannot be mere spectators. And any gift we have to give can work to power change, especially in concert with the gifts of others. Each side of the seesaw must act in order for it to work and the action of each side impacts the other. Likewise, each of us has a part to play in a world that is all connected. And every thing we do — for good or bad — has an impact on others. The Alternative Energy Resources Organization is encouraging us to eat one local food each day during August. I’d like to challenge us further to find one act of connection we can do each day to transform the violence of our world. I’m going to start today by writing a note to someone who is going through a tough time. What can you do?…Betsy

Friday, August 2, 5-8:30, JRPC. Join us for First Friday with our own intern, Jessica Jewell. Jessica is a local artist with a passion for the environment. She looks to Nature for inspiration and wisdom which are reflected through her paintings. Through art, she seeks to rekindle our relationship with our beautiful planet!

We Stand on the Shoulders

“If we stand tall, it is because we stand on the shoulders of many ancestors.”
~African Proverb

Dear friends,
Nelson Mandela reminded us of how important it is “…to celebrate milestones as you prepare for the road ahead.” The road we face today is laden with ruts and rocks — obstacles to the world we want. To any one of us, the obstacles may be unbearable. But together, it is a different story. We know we have much to be grateful for at JRPC. We stand on the shoulders of some pretty amazing founders and guardians, and we want to acknowledge them and their contribution to our journey.

This year marks our 25th year owning our storefront on the “Hip Strip” and I continue to marvel at the foresight of those who gave us this gift and to rejoice in being part of this great community of businesses and residents. We invite you to share in our celebration on Tuesday, July 23 from 4-7 pm at the Gild (check out the details below).

We are also planning a July 31 reunion of the folks who have served us as board members over our 33 years. We unfortunately don’t have contact information for some of the 120+ folks on our list. So if you helped steer this organization as a member of the Coordinating Council and haven’t heard from us, please call us at 543-3955 or send me an email. Let’s celebrate the people and passion of the past and join together to raise the bar a little higher…Betsy

Tuesday, July 23, 4-7 pm, The Gild. Join JRPC for a celebration of our 25 years on the Hip Strip. A suggested donation of $25 includes snacks and 2 drinks. Jesse Dee will play music from 5-6:30 and everyone who comes will be entered into a raffle for a basket filled with goodies from our generous Hip Strip neighbors. Of course, you can purchase extra raffle tickets or items off the Gild menu. Thanks for celebrating with us!