By Chloe Anderson, The Lawrence Times
The Lawrence Coalition for Peace and Justice and Ecumenical Campus Ministries selected nonprofit organization Justice Matters and Lyle Seger, of Building Peace, as the winners of this year’s Tom and Anne Moore Peace and Justice awards.
The annual awards recognize community members who exemplify the organizations’ goals of peace, respect and generosity. One is given to a community organization, and another is given to an individual.
Ann Spangler and Cynthia Eubanks serve as co-presidents of Justice Matters, which is currently working to find alternatives to incarceration, end homelessness, initiate restorative practices in schools and improve elder care.
“What’s central is our common belief that we need to do justice, and it’s rooted in our faith,” Spangler said. “We’re looking at systemic fixes, not just a band-aid.”
Justice Matters continues to advocate for Lawrence by working closely with people like Seger, founding member of nonprofit Building Peace.
Comprising Kansas Supreme Court-certified mediators, Building Peace works closely with the Douglas County district attorney’s office to provide mediation and conflict resolution services.
Seger served as a pastor for 34 years in eastern Kansas, western Massachusetts and Montevideo, Uruguay. He’s worked to provide affordable legal counsel and outreach programs to underserved communities across the globe, leading Bible studies with people in the Douglas County jail and working closely with Latino people in Topeka and Emporia.
“One of the first Spanish language phrases I learned from the two trips I’ve made into the warzones of Nicaragua was, ‘si quieres la paz, lucha por la justicia,’” Seger said during his acceptance speech. “If you want peace, fight for justice.”
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