Ken Butigan is Pace e Bene's Executive Director. A peace and justice worker, workshop facilitator, and writer for two decades, Ken also teaches at DePaul University in Chicago.
Since the early 1980s, Ken has worked with numerous social movements, including movements for a nuclear-free future, an end to homelessness, and freedom for East Timor. He was the national coordinator of the Pledge of Resistance and a national organizer for the Declaration of Peace. Ken joined the Pace e Bene staff in 1990. He developed and for several years directed Pace e Bene’s From Violence To Wholeness program, and was actively involved in creating Pace e Bene’s Engage: Exploring Nonviolent Living program.
Ken earned his Ph.D. in the Historical and Cultural Studies of Religions at the Graduate Theological Union in 2000. He has been a lecturer in the spirituality and practice of nonviolence at the Franciscan School of Theology in Berkeley, and directed the Spiritual Life Institute at Saint Martin’s College in Washington State for three years.
Ken has published five books, including Pilgrimage through a Burning World: Spiritual Practice and Nonviolent Protest at the Nevada Test Site.
Ken lives in Chicago with his spouse Cynthia Okayama Dopke and their daughter.
Veronica Pelicaric is Pace e Bene's International Programs Coordinator. Veronica Pelicaric grew up in Argentina of Croatian parents. She studied Liberal Arts and Psychosynthesis. She has been living in Canada since 1989. She helped coordinate the French translation of From Violence to Wholeness. She is past president of the Resource Center for Nonviolence in Montreal and also one of the authors of “Engage, Exploring Nonviolent Living”.
She has led Pace e Bene workshops in Colombia, Peru, Venezuela, Haiti, Australia, Trinidad & Tobago and England, and for several years in Argentina. She is conversant in six languages. She studies in the Zen tradition.
Veronica creció en Argentina de padres Croatas. Estudió Filosofia y letras y Psicosintesis. Desde 1989 vive en Canadá y es ciudadana de ese país. Apoyo la coordinación de la versión francesa de De la Violencia a la Integridad. Fue presidenta del Centro de Recursos para la Noviolencia de Montreal y una de las autoras de “Noviolenc Compromiso: Explorando la Noviolencia”. Ha enseñado en Australia, Inglaterra, Colombia, los EEUU (en muchos de los estados), Perú, Venezuela, Haití, Trinidad y Tobago y Argentina. Habla seis idiomas y practica el Budismo Zen.
Ryan Hall is Pace e Bene Office Manager. He is a former member of the Las Vegas Catholic Worker community and a graduate of the Franciscan School of Theology in Berkeley at the GTU with a Masters in Theological Studies and a Master of Arts in Ministry for a Multicultural Church.
Ryan received his bachelors degree in sociology from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. In college he was introduced to the Catholic Worker movement, Pace e Bene and Nevada Desert Experience. Having been profoundly influenced by the power of these organizations to peaceably change lives and society, he spent four years following graduation living and working with the Las Vegas Catholic Worker where he was immersed in the power and practice of active nonviolence. Throughout his time in the Catholic Worker he was involved in numerous nonviolent actions voicing opposition to the American wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, praying for a denuclearized world at the Nevada Test Site and participating in the vigil to close the SOA. Ryan also worked for two years with the Catholic Diocese of Las Vegas as the coordinator of the Social Action Office promoting the Catholic Campaign for Human Development and Catholic Relief Services throughout the diocese.
Currently, Ryan lives in Long Beach, CA with his spouse Dr. Erandhi Hall and their cat Pace.
John Dear is Pace e Bene's Outreach Coordinator. He is an internationally known voice for peace and nonviolence. A peacemaker, organizer, lecturer, and retreat leader, he is the author/editor of 30 books, including his autobiography, “A Persistent Peace,” and his latest book, "The Nonviolent Life." In 2008, John was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by Archbishop Desmond Tutu. A former Jesuit, John is a Catholic priest of the Diocese of Monterey, California.
From 1998 until December 2000, he served as the executive director of the Fellowship of Reconciliation, the largest interfaith peace organization in the United States.
After the September 11th, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center, John served as a Red Cross Chaplain, and became one of the coordinators of the chaplain program at the Family Assistance Center.
From 2002-2004, he served as pastor of several parishes in northeastern New Mexico. He co-founded Pax Christi New Mexico and works on a nonviolent campaign to disarm Los Alamos. These days, he lectures to tens of thousands of people each year in churches and schools across the country and the world.
John has been arrested over seventy-five times in acts of nonviolent civil disobedience for peace, and has organized hundreds of demonstrations against war and nuclear weapons at military bases across the country, as well as worked with Mother Teresa and others to stop the death penalty.
John has two masters degrees in theology from the Graduate Theological Union in California.
Marie is a Pace e Bene Associate. She is also a Chicago Campaign Nonviolence Promoter. Marie lives in an intentional community, Koinonia in Rogers Park that focuses on local living and urban gardening. She is also involved in organizing with Witness Against Torture and the Catholic Worker Movement.
Friar Louie Vitale
Louie Vitale is Pace e Bene’s Action Advocate and Co-Founder of Pace e Bene. A Franciscan priest who served as the provincial of the California Franciscan Friars from 1979 to 1988, he also co-founded the Nevada Desert Experience and its enduring movement to end nuclear testing.
Louie earned his Ph.D. in sociology (with a focus on the sociology of religion and social movements) at the University of California, Los Angeles. From 1993-2005 he served as the pastor of St. Boniface Catholic Church in a low-income neighborhood in San Francisco, California.
For many years Louie has engaged in nonviolent action for justice and peace. He served a prison sentence from October 2007 to March 2008 for prayerfully and nonviolently protesting torture training at Ft. Huachuca, Arizona. In 2009, Louie took part in a peace delegation to Iran and a pilgrimage to Hiroshima. He also spoke in over 40 cities across the United States about his peacemaking experience.
Argrow “Kit” Evans-Ford was born in the small town of Mebane, North Carolina. Her passion for nonviolence and peace stems from her work experience with the National Association of Students Against Violence Everywhere since the age of 14. She is a 2004 graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and holds a B.A. in Communications Studies and African and Afro-American Studies.
Ms. Evans-Ford also holds a M.A. in Teaching: Special Education and a M.A. in Social Justice and Community Development. Kit is a 2004 Teach for America Washington, DC alumni as well as a 2008 Returned Peace Corps Volunteer, Saint Kitts and Nevis. Her studies and work experience have been centered around gender equality, nonviolence and peace, special education, domestic sex tracking, HIV and AIDS, healing, spirituality, and the performing arts.
Ms. Evans-Ford earned a Master of Divinity degree at the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, CA. While attending seminary she completed a summer fellowship with Pace e Bene. Her work included giving voice to the hurt, healing, and power that comes from survivors of violence and other peacemakers. She has since led and co-led many Pace e Bene workshops.
Kit is also the founder of Testimonies of Hope an Intercultural Christian Devotional. She lives in Rock Island, IL with her husband Dwight Ford.
LR Berger is the New England Associate of Pace e Bene, as well as a member of the Support Committee of the American Friends Service Committee NH, and the NH Conference UCC Conference Peace with Justice Advocates. She also works closely with NH Peace Action. She offers nonviolence trainings, facilitates a monthly community Building a Culture of Peace film and conversation program, and is involved in grassroots organizing. She has worked for the last 32 years as a poet, community educator, clinical mental health counselor, activist and college instructor. At the heart of all of these vocations has been her devotion to the practice of healing the wounds of violence, and to educating herself and others about the causes, consequences and sacred alternatives to the cycle of violence. She advocates for the arts as being a vital tool for social transformation.
In addition to working with Pace e Bene, Berger offers her poetry seminar, “Letters to the World,” in schools, libraries and community centers, encouraging children and teenagers to raise their voices through the medium of poems about their passionate concerns and wishes for the world. Her book of poems, “The Unexpected Aviary,” received the Jane Kenyon Outstanding Book of Poetry Award, as well as support from the National Endowment of the Arts and the PEN NE Award for Poetry.
In addition to coordinating Campaign Nonviolence's social media outreach, Rivera Sun is the author of two social protest novels, The Dandelion Insurrection and Steam Drills, Treadmills, and Shooting Stars, as well as nine theatrical plays and a book of poetry. Rivera cohosts Occupy Radio with David Geitgey Sierralupe, and cofounded the nationwide nonviolent study and action group network, the Love-in-Action Network. She went to Bennington College to study writing as a Harcourt Scholar and graduated with a degree in dance. After six years working as a professional playwright, choreographer, and director in the San Francisco Bay Area, she founded the nationally touring Rising Sun Dance & Theater company. In 2010, Rivera Sun wrote and currently performs a trilogy of solo theater shows entitled The Freedom Stories of Lala that have received coast-to-coast standing ovations. Rivera lives in an earthship house in Taos, New Mexico, where she grows tomatoes and bakes sourdough bread in an adobe oven. She has red hair, a twin sister, and a fondness for esoteric mystics. Everything else about her – except her writing – is perfectly ordinary.
Brendan is a Pace e Bene Associate in Australia. He was born and raised in Northern Ireland where he was exposed to a culture of violence, injustice and denominational segregation.
Since moving to Perth, Australia in 1981, after teaching high school for seven years in England, Brendan has been working in adult faith education, retreat and community-based facilitation, social justice and the development of a spirituality of nonviolent peacemaking.
Brendan has been involved with Pace e Bene since 1999, introducing the From Violence to Wholeness process across Australia and developing a network of facilitators. He has been instrumental in assisting in the creation of our sister organization, Pace e Bene Australia.
As part of his passion for mainstreaming nonviolence, Brendan also works as an Open Space Technology facilitator with groups of any kind that wish to deal with their important issues by using self-organising, nonviolent processes. He also presents interactive learning workshops on collaborative leadership, conflict transformation and emergent design.
Visit the Pace e Bene Australia website here!