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!

Lights for Liberty

The love of one’s country is a splendid thing. But why should love stop at the border?”
~Pablo Casals

Dear friends,
Love does not stop at borders; it transcends them. Tonight Missoula will be joining

Artist: Ben Wild Flower

hundreds of cities around the nation and across Montana to call for an end to child and family detention at the border. In partnership with Montanans for Immigrant Justice, Missoula Rises and Soft Landing Missoula, we invite you to join the Lights For Liberty Vigil to express our horror at the conditions in the detention center and the deaths of 7 children in America’s custody. Violence is not only what we do or say. It is also what we allow. The most vulnerable need us to educate our minds, open our hearts and raise our voices to protect them. Tonight, let us join together in solidarity with the world. And tomorrow, let us find our path to action…Betsy


Friday, July 12, 7:30 pm, St Paul’s Lutheran Church (202 Brooks). Close The Camps Rally in conjunction with the national Lights for Liberty — Stand to voice our horror over the situation on the southern border- specifically in relation to detained children. Join with others in Missoula and around the nation. There are rallies planned for all across the country, including Helena and many other cities. For a listing near you, visit



Dear friends,
Kendrick Castillo represents the latest addition to our shared grief and our disappointment with a government that cannot see past it’s differences to keep our citizens — our children — safe. It is up to us to raise the bar and demand accountability and action. Part of that action must be “being the change”. We can work for change and treat each other with decency and civility. In fact, if you think about it, treating others with respect may be the only way to get their attention and make them feel like listening and learning alongside us.

We are thrilled to join at least 15 other localities around the country calling for National Decency Day on Tuesday, May 14, 2019. Join us at noon at Imagine Nation Brewing Company for “a decent lunch”. Bring your lunch or purchase it from vendors on site. Mayor Engen will read a proclamation we have prepared and we’ll have buttons or stickers for everyone who shows up. But the important thing is that you show up and stand up next to other members of our community and pledge to treat each other with civility and decency in our everyday conversations, thoughts and actions. It won’t heal our grief but a commitment to treat each other with decency is at the heart of understanding and moving forward together. Please join us, no matter what your perspective or beliefs. We are a community together. I look forward to standing alongside you…Betsy


Saturday, May 18.  Honor our 2019 Peacemaker and the Fr. Jim Hogan Search for Peace award nominees.

10:30am-12pm -Living Rhythm Community Drum Circle
with Matthew Nord & Dave Robertson – Tangled Tones
12-2pm: Imagine Ireland Irish Circle
1:30-2:30 – Strategic Peacebuilding Workshop w/ Denis Matveev senior advisor from CMI
3-3:45 – Congolese Choir and Youth Award
3:45-5pm – Montana Women’s Chorus Missoula and Peace Award to the Peacemaker of the Year
5:30-8pm – Live Music w/ Good Old Fashioned


We Shall Have to Begin With the Children

“If we are to teach real peace in this world…we shall have to begin with the children.” ~Mahatma Gandhi

Dear friends,
There are so many stories of folks doing great things to change the world. And we love to hear them. Gandhi tells us that if we want to change the word for peace, we must begin with the children. But here is something I have learned. The “children” have a lot of wisdom to share with us if we will listen to their stories.

Today, I would like to introduce you to several young people who are changing the youngpeacemaker2019world. They are living stories of courage, compassion and justice that will inspire us all with hope. These are the nominees for our 2019 Fr. Jim Hogan Search For Peace Award.

  • Allison Moran, a 6-year-old kindergartner at Jeannette Rankin School who epitomizes kindness and caring by volunteering in the community, looking at the positive in every situation, going out of her way to help others and pay it forward and spreading love everywhere she goes.
  • Cecilia Spencer, a 4th grader who is active in the constant effort to promote justice and harmony;
  • Kara Good, Blake Lindemer and Emma Stevenson, from Seeley Lake who are bravely spreading awareness about discrimination, injustice and environmental issues;
    University Congregational Church of Christ Missoula Youth Group who are active in a broad spectrum of social justice issues such as food insecurity, homelessness and Native American reservation issues
  • Lily & Maizy Miller, middle school sisters who started businesses to raise money for girls to go to school in Nepal and Malawi

These are the faces and voices of the future stewards of our world — the authors of the stories that will change our world. A group of their peers will have to select one of these individuals or groups to receive a cash award for their contribution to the search for peace — not an easy task! But we want to honor and appreciate all of them for giving us hope for the future.

Please join us on Saturday, May 18 at Imagine Nation Brewing Company at our annual Peacemaker Celebration to honor and thank all these young people and announce the winner of the Fr. Jim Hogan award just prior to celebrating our 2019 Peacemakers, Fernanda M. B. Krum & Robert Rivers. If you are at all discouraged by the world around you, these inspiring young people along with our two amazing peacemakers will renew your hope for the world and make you proud to be part of this community. At 1:30, before we announce the Search For Peace winner, there will be a special peacebuilding workshop arranged by our peacemakers. This is a celebration you won’t want to miss and there will be a reception to follow so you can meet and mingle with all the movers and shakers of peace in Missoula!

See you there…Betsy