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The Berrigan-McAlister Award

About The Berrigan-McAlister Award

The Berrigan-McAlister Award is given to a person or organization that exemplifies the practice of active Christian nonviolence. Such nonviolence is rooted in the life of Jesus, who combined the refusal of violence in violent situations with the power of universal love.

From the Civil Rights Movement to the Vietnam War, through the movement against nuclear weapons and beyond, few Catholics in the United States have been more influential than the Berrigan brothers (Daniel and Philip) and Elizabeth McAlister (McAlister married Philip Berrigan and was his lifelong collaborator). Their work against war and in support of peace — a life of provocative nonviolent protest, extensive writing and teaching, and everyday experiments in intentional community — has earned them international stature in the Church and secular society​

Recipient: Los Angels Catholic Worker, Vimeo video: 

About the Los Angeles Catholic Worker: DePaul University presents the Fourth Annual Berrigan-McAlister Award to the Los Angeles Catholic Worker (LACW). A part of the worldwide Catholic Worker movement, for more than 50 years the LACW has provided food, shelter, and support to poor and unhoused persons in Los Angeles. It also engages in nonviolent campaigns and civil disobedience focusing on issues ranging from local injustices and racism to war, militarism, climate destruction, and anti-immigrant policies. The LACW publishes The Catholic Agitator, a bimonthly newspaper in the Catholic radical tradition that provides news, commentary, reviews and updates.

Recipient: Elizabeth Kanini Kamau, Vimeo video: 

Elizabeth Kanini Kamau, an activist engaged in building a culture of peace in Northern Kenya and Southern Sudan, will receive the 2023 Berrigan-McAlister Award. A founder of Horn of Africa Grassroots Peace Forum, Kimau focuses on capacity building of those directly impacted by inter-ethnic violence to support their becoming agents of peace. A lay Christian woman working without funding or an official position, Kimau has spent many years building trust among peoples divided by ongoing violent conflict, including the Rendille and Borana communities. She has often put her life at risk to foster nonviolent options.. . . . “Nonviolence,” Kimau writes, “is the solution to the protracted conflicts which have resulted in the loss of meaning to the preciousness of life and subjected many people to live in dehumanizing conditions.” She has recently become an adjunct professor at St. Paul’s University in Kenya and is pursuing a doctorate at the Centre for Nonviolence in Durban University of Technology, South Africa.. . . . “Working on her own, without the backing of a large institution or NGO, Ms. Kimau is proof that an individual committed to Christian peacemaking can sometimes bring life and light to the world in unexpected ways and places,” said Michael L. Budde, Professor of Catholic Studies and Political Science, and coordinator of the Berrigan-McAlister Award Committee. “She has risked her life and placed herself in difficult situations in the service of peace and the hope of reconciling onetime enemies. Like Philip and Daniel Berrigan and Elizabeth McAlister, Ms. Kimau’s light shines from local circumstances in ways that enlighten the entire world.”.

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Recipient: Precious Blood Ministry of Reconciliation (PBMR) Article: , Vimeo video: 

About: the Precious Blood Ministry of Reconciliation (PBMR), an organization that practices ‘restorative justice’ and reconciliation work in Chicago neighborhoods that daily face the challenges of violence. The group celebrates its 20th year of service in 2022, and is recognized as an innovator in nonviolent conflict resolution, de-escalation of street violence and cycles of retribution, and working with victims, offenders, and their neighbors in mending and reintegrating communities.

PBMR brings together community members and advocates in working to provide peaceable solutions and healing, especially for youth and young adults, mothers and families, and returning citizens (formerly incarcerated). The PBMR approach focuses on providing radical hospitality, hope, and healing that creates safe spaces for persons affected by violence while nurturing healing within their communities.

Leaders and community members associated with the Precious Blood Ministry of Reconciliation will describe their vision and ministry and will be presented with the Berrigan- McAlister Award during the celebration.

Recipient: Kings Bay Plowshares, Vimeo video: 

About: The first Berrigan-McAlister Award will be presented on May 5, 2021 to the Kings Bay Plowshares 7, a group of Catholic activists who engaged in symbolic disarmament of nuclear weapons at the largest nuclear submarine base in the world. The award ceremony will be followed by a moderated conversation with members of the group.

This inaugural Berrigan-McAlister Award will commemorate the 100th anniversary of the birth of Fr. Daniel Berrigan, SJ, who was born on May 9, 1921.

As part of this celebration, there will be a screening online of a new film on the Berrigans entitled, “Devout and Dangerous,” on May 4, 2021. The film’s director, Susan Hagedorn, and members of the Berrigan-McAlister family will join in this event.