Monday, November 23, 2015

IPN joins Iowa Pays the Price Coalition

By Christine Sheller, staff, Iowa Peace Network

Iowa Peace Network recently joined an Iowa-based, non-partisan coalition- Iowa Pays the Price- dedicated to change the status quo on corporations' influence on the Presidential candidates' campaigns.

Iowa Peace Network recently joined Iowa Pays the Price.  Iowa Pays the Price is an Iowa-based 501(c) (3) organization with a goal to educate Presidential candidates, the media, and caucus goers of the need for campaign finance reform.  Iowa Pays the Price will be using a digital and field campaign.  See

Iowa Pays the Price is a non-partisan group, aimed to support reform, to communicate the urgency for reform using recent examples of the influence of money in Iowa politics, and to influence debate at key times in the caucus process, according to Ruth LaPointe, Campaign Director, Iowa Pays the Price.

Other organizations joining include Iowa Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Progress Iowa, Governing Under the Influence, Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition, and S.T.A.R Pac.

IPN would like to encourage everyone to go to the Presidential Candidate visits, to educate ourselves on where candidates stand, maybe influence them in our input to the discussion taking place.

The principles that Iowa Pays the Price is based on is below:

Principles for a 21st Century Election System

Everyone participates
In our electoral system, everyone should have a voice in the decisions affecting their lives.

Everyone knows
Voters have the right to know who is trying to influence our views and gain improper influence over our representatives.

Everyone is held accountable
We need a fair and accessible elections system so our elected officials will be responsive and accountable to the people.

Everyone’s voice is heard
Our elections system is based on the principle of one person, one vote — not one dollar, one vote.

Everyone plays by common sense rules
Access to and influence over our elected representatives should not be determined by the size of your wallet.
(again, see

Monday, November 16, 2015

Making an Impact in Terrorist-Ridden Nigeria

A group in Rockford, Illinois is sending a mobile library for kids in terrorist-ridden Nigeria. 

By:  Christine Sheller, staff, Iowa Peace Network

A church and coinciding organization, 
Center for Nonviolence and Conflict Transformation, in Rockford, Illinois is sending a mobile library for kids to terrorist-ridden Nigeria.  This library is a van full of books and also includes a computer.  Nigeria is the “number one place in the world for the most out-of-school kids,” says Melissa Powers, director of missions at Rockford Community Church. (Langer, Lauren, “Stateliners Work to Send Mobile Library to Nigeria,” Nextstar Broadcasting,  Many citizens of Nigeria have been targeted with violence and churches have been burned, people killed and kidnapped and displaced by the Muslim terrorist group Boko Haram.  (See June 14 article, Crisis in Nigeria, for more information on the terrorism in Nigeria and other work that is going on there.)

Samuel Sarpiya is pastor of Rockford Community Church, & grew up in Nigeria, so this is something he holds close in his heart he says.  Currently 48% of the population in Nigeria is under 17, and education is the key, Sarpiya believes, to help raise the next leaders who will be leaders that say no to terrorist activities.  Powers says, too, “Education helps them see that there’s a different way; it helps them to know that they have another choice they can make instead of joining groups like Boko Haram.” (Langer, Lauren, “Stateliners Work to Send Mobile Library to Nigeria,” Nextstar Broadcasting,
The children know the library is coming, and they are excited. 

They are raising money for more books and hopefully additional mobile libraries and computers.  Their hope is to get the whole community of Rockford, IL involved, and to also set up a permanent library in a building (in Nigeria) as well.

If you’d like to know more, go to the website for the Center for Nonviolence and Conflict Transformation:

If you’d like to help the cause- there is an opportunity at the following address:

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Global Zero Calls Iran Deal A Key Step Toward The Global Elimination Of Nuclear Weapons
by Brittany Kimzey,  Global Zero Action Corps Leader, Physicians for Social Responsibility Event and Activity Coordinator 

17 August 2015
On Sunday, August 9, Global Zero activists in 26 cities worldwide took to the streets for "Bike Around the Bomb" events to mark the 70th anniversary of the atomic bombings of Japan and call for urgent action to eliminate all nuclear weapons. The international day of action came as the debate over the nuclear deal with Iran -- a key next step toward the global elimination of nuclear weapons -- heats up in the U.S. Congress.
In Iowa City, Global Zero teamed up with Iowa Physicians for Social Responsibility to host an advocacy forum on eliminating nuclear weapons. The forum featured keynote speakers Paul K Chappell of the California based Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, and Steven Starr, Senior Scientist with National Physicians for Social Responsibility. Participants of the forum gained an increased understanding of the risks posed by nuclear weapons in today’s society. The forum resulted in a number of different advocacy actions being taken including: social media posts and photos, letters to decision makers, discussions on how to advocate using art or lobbying, and a bike ride which highlighted the area of destruction that would occur from a small nuclear blast in Iowa City.
"As we mark the 70th anniversary of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, we must consider the present-day threat posed by nuclear weapons -- and the steps we can take to eliminate that threat. Right now, the U.S. Congress has an opportunity to make the world safer by approving a deal that stops the spread of the bomb in the Middle East. They should seize it," said Global Zero leader and former CIA operative Valerie Plame.
"Nuclear weapons were last used a half century before I was born, yet still remain the greatest threat to our existence. I work to ensure they don't last another fifty,” said Iowa City Global Zero Action Corps Leader Brittany Kimzey. “Our generation must be the one that eliminates nuclear weapons, 70 years is too long to live in fear."

In the United States, "Bike Around the Bomb" demonstrations took place in Washington, DC; San Francisco, CA; Chicago, IL; New Orleans, LA; Seattle, WA; Orlando, FL; New York, NY; Fresno, CA; Grand Junction, CO; Iowa City, IA; Pittsburgh, PA; Concord, NH; Asheville, NC; Eugene, OR; Lexington, SC; and Rock Hill, SC. Global Zero members in Cyprus, Germany, India and Pakistan also hosted demonstrations in their communities.
For more information, or for interviews with Global Zero leaders, please contact Brett Abrams at (516) 841-1105 or by email at
Global Zero is the international movement for the elimination of nuclear weapons. It is led by more than 300 eminent world leaders and backed by half a million citizens worldwide. Fore more information, please visit

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

The Editor's Corner: Hello and Goodbye

IPN’s next editor, Christine Sheller reintroduces herself, while the departing editor, Jon Overton says farewell.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Monday, June 15, 2015

Why opposing the TPP is not a cut-and-dry issue

Progressives and peace organizations seem to, across the board, oppose the TPP and Fast-Track Authority, but the peace and justice issues related to it are not as simple as they seem.

Annual march and prayer service for peace and social justice held in Des Moines

Sponsored by the Methodist Federation for Social Action, the annual March and Prayer Service for Peace and Social Justice attracted many persons from the Methodist church and various peace organizations across Iowa and in Des Moines.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Crisis in Nigeria

Over a year after Nigeria made international news for violence by the Islamist militant group Boko Haram, leaving many dead and displacing over a million, people continue to work to recover and receive help to start over and to heal from the trauma. 

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

End the anti-science partisan mudslinging

Yes, climate change skeptics are usually conservative. That does not mean they’re the only ones who cherry pick scientific information.