Pace e Bene Speaker Terry Rynne Honored with Award


Terry Rynne is a Pace e Bene speaker on nonviolence and involved with the Catholic Nonviolence Initiative that Pace e Bene has been working with as well. Last month, he received the humanitarian award from the James Foley foundation for founding the Marquette University Center for Peacemaking, and this week he was featured in an article in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

The article discusses how Terry got his start down the path of peacemaking after reading a book by James Douglass that changed his perspective and changed his life. He began by considering how the Catholic church embraced violence with the Just War theory, then turned his new view of violence and nonviolence to the local issues plaguing his community in Milwaukee. His perspective expanded to where he rejected the idea that violence was natural for humans. "We're equivalently hardwired for cooperation. That's how we survive. Being able to respond to violence without violence, people have demonstrated that all through human history."

After enrolling in a doctorate program at Marquette University, he accepted a job teaching there and worked to create the Center for Peacemaking on campus. "When we founded the center, my thought was to have all of the students that graduated from Marquette know and be competent in their role as peacemakers," Rynne said. "Some of that has happened and also we've had a significant number of faculty begin to incorporate the issues of peacemaking into their own curricula."

The Center for Peacemaking is a strong start, and its effects have been felt spreading throughout the city of Milwaukee as well. But the goals for this work are a little loftier—to help its graduates begin to change the country and the world. Terry said, "In the United States, there's such a deep belief that the only way to overcome violence is through counter-violence, and it is just a vicious circle. It's going to take a fundamental shift from the grassroots away from our addiction, our belief, in the power of violence."

Read more about Terry’s work and the James Foley Foundation’s humanitarian award here.