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FOR Annual Peace Awards

Each year, the Fellowship of Reconciliation awards three peace awards to individuals or organizations whose commitment to peace, justice, and reconciliation is recognized as extraordinary.

The International Pfeffer Peace Award was established in 1989 by Leo and Freda Pfeffer to particularly honor those around the world working for peace and justice. Leo Pfeffer was the United States' leading theoretician on religious liberty and the separation of church and state, and he argued these constitutional issues before the Supreme Court. A long-time FOR member, Leo was a founding member of the Jewish Peace Fellowship. Leo died in 1993 and Freda died in 2013, but their legacy continues to contribute to a more peaceful society.

The Martin Luther King Jr. Award was established by FOR in 1979 to recognize persons or groups working in the United States in the tradition of Martin Luther King, Jr. The Rev. Dr. King was a member of FOR and worked closely with the organization; he was serving as a member of FOR's Advisory Council at the time of his death. The award honors those who make a significant contribution to the furtherance of Dr. King's nonviolent approach to transforming racial, economic, and social injustice.

The Local Hero Award: Formerly the Nyack Area Peace Award, established in 2006, which recognized folk working for peace and justice in the vicinity of FOR's national headquarters. In 2015, we changed this award so it now celebrates an individual or organization working to promote peace and justice within their own local community anywhere in the United States.

Each year, FOR solicits nominations for each of these three awards from peace groups and individuals. You need not have any affiliation with the Fellowship of Reconciliation in order to make a nomination; we welcome anyone to suggest a worthy recipient!

Nominations for 2016 are now closed. Thank you for your suggestions! Awardees will be announced shortly, and we'll begin accepting 2017 nominations early next year.

Previous Award Winners

International Pfeffer Peace Award

Martin Luther King Jr. Award

  • 2015: Ruby Sales, Cheryl Blankenship and the SpiritHouse Projectread profile
  • 2014: Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II, founder of Moral Mondays NCread profile
  • 2013: Dorothy Cotton, Ithaca, NY, and Vincent Harding, Denver, COread profile
  • 2012: Jim Murphy, Ithaca, NYread profile
  • 2011: Save Our Streets (S.O.S.) Crown Heights, Brooklyn, NYread profile
  • 2010: Medea Benjamin, San Francisco, CAread interview
  • 2009: Cynthia Brown, Durham, NC
  • 2008: George Lakey, Philadelphia, PAread interview
  • 2007: Samina Faheem Sundas and American Muslim Voice, Palo Alto, CAread profile
  • 2006: Walter and June Keener Wink, Sandisfield, MAread interview
  • 2005: Margaret Morgan Lawrence, Pomona, CAread profile
  • 2002: Dustin Washington, Seattle, WA
  • 2000: Kay Camp, Haverford, PA
  • 1999: Edith Bush, West Palm Beach, FL
  • 1998: Ken Brown, North Manchester, IN
  • 1997: Anne Brooks
  • 1996: Louis Coleman, Louisville, KY
  • 1995: Margaret Moseley, Cape Cod, MA
  • 1994: Daniel Alejandrez, Santa Cruz, CA
  • 1993: One Day at a Time, founded by Henry T. Wells, Philadelphia, PA
  • 1992: Charles Alphin, Atlanta, GA and Sam Day, Madison, WI
  • 1991: Glenn Smiley, Glendale, CAread essay
  • 1990: Randall Kehler, Colrain, MA
  • 1989: Carl Upchurch, Bexley, OH
  • 1988: Maurice McCrackin, Cincinnati, OH
  • 1987: Archbishop Raymond G. Hunthausen, Seattle, WA
  • 1986: Myles Horton, New Market, TN
  • 1985: Shelley Douglass and Jim Douglass, Birmingham, AL
  • 1984: Pete Seeger and Toshi Seeger, Beacon, NY
  • 1983: Septima Poinsette Clark, Charleston, SC
  • 1982: Katherine Garry
  • 1981: Robert C. Aldridge, Santa Clara, CA
  • 1980: Fay Honey Knopp, Shoreham, VT
  • 1979: Frederick Douglass Kirkpatrick, LA and NY

Local Hero Award