2020 Greater Tacoma Peace Prize Laureate: Marilyn Kimmerling – Cityline – July 16, 2020
The Greater Tacoma Peace Prize is an award that recognizes, honors and encourages peace-building by members of the community and who have promoted peace locally, nationally and internationally. Meet our 2020 Greater Tacoma Peace Prize Laureate: Marilyn Kimmerling.
After careful consideration, the GTPP Board of Directors has made the difficult decision to postpone the 2020 Laureate recognition banquet which we normally hold in the fall. Our first priority is to ensure the safety of our laureate and all who attend, so we have yet to set a date and venue for this event. Please know that we will make every effort to do so when it is safely possible. Thank you for your understanding, and most of all, for your continued support of our mission to honor the peacemakers in our community.
We, the members of the Board of the Greater Tacoma Peace Prize are outraged and deeply saddened that yet another black life has been taken by police. We grieve with the families and friends of Manuel Ellis, George Floyd, and all victims of racial injustice. We fear for our nation. We commend and we support the peaceful protestors who line the streets of America demanding meaningful structural change, leading to true peace and justice for all.
We add our voices to all who condemn the appalling use of brutal force by law enforcement, to those who believe that all people not only deserve, but must have equal access to education, health care, respect, and a life lived without fear. We need our police officers to become PEACE officers.
We look to local leaders to guide us through these painful times, as Tacoma Peace Prize laureates have done in the past, among them Dawn Lucien, Thomas Dixon, David Alger, Melannie Cunningham, Willie Stewart – to name just a few.
We are proud of our affiliation with them and look to others like them to guide us in the quest for peace and racial justice. We believe that law enforcement (no, ALL of us) must be educated about violence, and we encourage all to read a powerful statement from Lutheran Bishop Richard Jaech.
Recognizing the importance of both global human rights and climate justice, the Board of Directors of the Greater Tacoma Peace Prize (GTPP) proudly announces the selection of Marilyn Kimmerling as the 2020 GTPP Laureate.
Ms. Kimmerling believes in and works for worker rights, minority rights, human rights and finding peaceful solutions to conflict. Since climate change is already resulting in mass migrations and conflicts over land and resources, her work has grown to include climate justice.
Marilyn has been a community activist since the mid 1990’s. Two organizations where she had great impact were Jobs with Justice, where she served a term as Chair, and United for Peace of Pierce County where she was one of the major organizers.
Kimmerling is one of the founding members of the Tacoma chapter of Jewish Voice for Peace, as well as a member of 350 Tacoma and an active associate-member of Veterans for Peace. In 2017, she co-founded the current Tacoma branch of the Industrial Workers of the World, and she is currently active with the Save the Wetlands Behind TCC campaign. She is the chief organizer and writer of material for the “Raging Grannies” and their myriad performances. She is President of Radio Tacoma, having worked tirelessly on the successful FCC application for an FM license, and she has continued volunteering with them for six years. [Radio Tacoma is a low-power FM public access radio station, developed to serve Tacoma with opportunities for progressive groups, union members, minority groups, and local talent that might otherwise not be heard.]
Believing that the proposed Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) storage/ refinery presented a regiona environmental and health threat, and having exhausted other means of opposition (for example, attending and speaking at numerous public meetings), and motivated by compassion and conviction, Marilyn and five others engaged in acts of civil disobedience, knowing they risked arrest. The risk was outweighed, they believed, by the plant’s potential danger and the treaty violation involved in its construction. They were indeed arrested, tried by jury, and exonerated on all counts.
In today’s world, the need for community activists is never-ending, and Marilyn continues to show up to build local and global community that is humane, compassionate, and just. On her own initiative for more than ten years, she held Soup Sundays in her home, an open house for all of Tacoma, to build community.
“Marilyn Kimmerling is the epitome of a human being working on behalf of others, and she possesses the “knowhow and do now” energy. Furthermore, she exudes a spirit of warmth and inclusiveness which is an inspiration to others. She is most worthy of the 2020 Greater Tacoma Peace Prize.”
Nancy Farrell, who nominated Ms. Kimmerling
The Greater Tacoma Peace Prize, inspired by the Nobel Peace Prize, was founded in 2005 in order to honor local peacemakers and has been formally endorsed by the Pierce County Council and the Tacoma City Council. In Norway, partners of the GTPP include the Norwegian Nobel Institute, Norwegians Worldwide (the Norse Federation), the Nansen Center for Peace and Dialog, Bjørknes College, the Oslo Center for Peace and Human Rights, the Nobel Peace Center, and the Peace Research Institute of Oslo. Recipients of the Tacoma award are honored at a Laureate Recognition Banquet in the fall and are presented with a trip to Norway in December for the Nobel Peace Prize events.
“Negotiating a peaceful transfer of power between the Sandinistas and the National Opposition Union in Nicaragua in early 1990 was not a sit-down job. Government records had been systematically destroyed, bribes payed, and laws broken. But change was in the air, and if two sides were at the table—no matter how acrimonious the relations—then both of them had something in common.
Negotiating a pause in the 1964 Rochester race riots, to allow firefighters in to try to save the neighborhoods, wasn’t really a sit-down job either. From Afghanistan to Wounded Knee, Bill Lincoln often found himself an interesting footnote to some of the world’s most significant conflicts, and he probably liked it that way: His first lesson to potential mediators was, “Don’t make it about you.”
Yet that is where Bill found himself—the center of attention, sitting comfortably in front of a class at FEI in 2016, working through his Strategic Negotiation lesson plan and offering tales of the negotiations that almost went bad—tales that made more than a few students look around in disbelief… “
TACOMA– It is with great sadness that the Greater Tacoma Peace Prize Board of Directors announces the death of beloved Board member and 2006 Greater Tacoma Peace Prize Laureate William Fawcett Lincoln, who succumbed to complications from leukemia on March 21, 2020.
“Bill served our Board with great commitment. He leaves a legacy of incredible training acumen, conflict resolution, and passion for justice recognized by all of us, as fellow colleagues who came to know him for his negotiation skills and passion for the cause of peace.”
Thomas Heavey, GTPP Founder
Bill was a revered and treasured member of the Board of Directors of the Greater Tacoma Peace Prize, and was one of the early laureates (2006 – along with Polly Davis and Dawn Hooper), recognized for his work at the Conflict Resolution, Research and Resource Institute (CRI).The mission of CRI was to teach and practice the prevention, management, and resolution of conflict in the community, the nation and the world. Just a few examples of their work include the following:
Settling of a dispute between community, city and natural resources and wildlife representatives in the upper Kittitas County here in Washington state
Collaborative negotiations, training and mediation education for the Central American region and key groups of the population in San Jose, Costa Rica
Development of the Sudan-American Program for Peace (S-APP) in association with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Sudan Council of Churches
Practical experience in negotiation and facilitation on a project with the Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights in Warsaw, Poland
Long-term collaboration on the subjects of conflict prevention, management and resolution with organizations like the Russian-American Program on Conflictology at the University of St. Petersburg, Russia
Many years of instruction in Strategic Negotiations at the Federal Executive Institute in Charlottesville, VA and at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, CA.
In 2004, Mr. Lincoln received the Annual Award of Excellence by the International Academy of Mediators. Bill has been recognized as a pioneer in mediation and negotiation theory and practice. He was a federal commissioner who helped found the United States Institute of Peace, he had extensive experience working in hot spots – Wounded Knee, Walpole Prison, with the Sandinistas in Nicaragua, the URNG in Guatemala in preparation for the UN-sanctioned peace talks and with warlords in Afghanistan. Bill is a co-founder of the Russian-American Programs for Peace which started the first graduate program in conflict resolution in Russia.
Many practitioners in our region have been trained by Bill whether as members of his early mediation training programs at Antioch, or through the State of Washington Career Executive Programs or through the Pierce County Dispute Resolution Center of which he was a founder. He was also involved in training negotiators with the United Nations food safety program.
In the past five years, Bill devoted much of his time, energy, and support to the Greater Tacoma Peace Prize, while also teaching Strategic Negotiations as Senior Lecturer at the Naval Postgraduate School and the Federal Executive Institute. He was passionate about the mission of GTPP – to recognize and honor Peacemakers in the local community. First awarded in 2005 during the Centennial celebration of Norway’s independence, the award has its roots in Norwegian-American culture. Laureates of the Peace Prize are given a banquet in their honor, a medallion, a unique piece of locally made glass art, and a trip for two to Oslo, Norway to attend the festivities surrounding the awarding of the Nobel Prize for Peace.
Bill lived his life deeply and with intent. Our sympathies are extended to partner, his children and extended family (to whom Bill was devoted), and all who knew and loved him. His presence, intellect, and tremendous dedication to make the world a better, kinder and more understanding place will be deeply missed.
When the Power of Love overcomes the Love of Power, the world will know Peace. (Jimi Hendrix)
EDUCATOR WILLIE C. STEWART SELECTED AS 2019 TACOMA PEACE LAUREATE
The Greater Tacoma Peace Prize is proud to announce that Willie C.
Stewart, Sr. has been selected as the 2019 Laureate. Mr. Stewart was
selected for his long-term service and ongoing commitment to the
community and Tacoma schools, particularly in the Lincoln District and
the Hilltop. As a practitioner of racial reconciliation, he has been a
consistent calming influence in situations involving racial friction or
A longtime public school educator, Willie became the first black
school principal in Tacoma history when he took on the role at Lincoln
High School in 1970. “He was able to diffuse many of the possible
‘riots’ on campus by engaging people in conversation that could lead to a
possible resolution or more peaceful ending,” wrote Linda Caspersen
(Lincoln Class of ’72) in a letter to the GTTP Board nominating him for
the Prize. “He had the innate ability to teach us to not look at color
as a dividing factor, but rather as a unique opportunity to appreciate
everyone as an individual and be part of a larger group.”
Mr. Stewart grew up in Texas where he picked cotton as a child,
attended high school, earned a B.A. at Texas Southern University, and
worked a series of odd jobs before eventually joining the army and
retiring as a colonel. He spent 36 years working for the Tacoma School
District as a teacher and administrator and sat on the Tacoma School
Board from 1999 to 2005 and remains heavily involved in local
organizations. He has served as the Coordinator for the Weekly Breakfast
for the Homeless since 1995. He’s also a member of the Tacoma Athletic
Commission, the Goodwill Industries Board, and the Boys & Girls
Clubs of South Puget Sound Board of Governors.
The Greater Tacoma Peace Prize recognizes and honors Peacemakers from
the Tacoma/Pierce County region. First awarded in 2005 during the
Centennial celebration of Norway’s independence, the award has its roots
in Norwegian-American culture. It’s founded on the idea that peace