Where: UW-Madison Pyle Center, 702 Langdon St., Madison WI
When: Saturday, October 8th, 2:30pm-5:00pm
Contact: Steve Burns, Program Director, Wisconsin Network for Peace and Justice, 608-250-9240 (office), 608-332-3717 (cell)

On Saturday, October 8th, Senator Fred Risser will be presented with a "Lifetime Peacemaker" award by the Wisconsin Network for Peace and Justice. "From sponsoring one of the first lesbian and gay rights bills in the country back in 1982, to taking a stand for workers' rights as one of the 'Fighting 14' earlier this year, Senator Risser has long fought the good fight," said Diane Farsetta, WNPJ Executive Director. Senator Risser also played a key role in the founding of WNPJ in 1991, at a historic citizens gathering in the Capitol's Assembly chambers in response to the start of the first Gulf war.  Senator Risser has also compiled a distinguished record as an advocate for the environment and womens' rights.

WNPJ is coalition of more than 160 organizations around our state that work on a variety of peace and social justice issues, and Senator Risser has won the admiration of many of these groups through his decades of work in the legislature. Lynn Pauly, of WNPJ member group Alliance for Animals, said, "Senator Risser authored, co-sponsored or supported virtually every animal protection bill introduced in Wisconsin over the past 50 years and he has taken on some very powerful adversaries in the process."

Senator Risser will be presented with the Lifetime Peacemaker award at an awards reception at the UW-Madison Pyle Center on Saturday, October 8th from 2:30 to 5 pm.

At the same ceremony, three other Wisconsinites will be honored with "Peacemaker of the Year" awards, in the "Senior", "Adult" and "Youth" categories:
  • Senior Peacemaker: Madison resident Dr. Judith Ladinsky will be recognized for more than three decades of work to promote public health in Vietnam. In 1980 Dr. Ladinsky joined with other scientists and health professionals to form the  US Committee for Scientific Cooperation with Vietnam and Laos, collecting hundreds of thousands of dollars-worth of medical supplies, medicines, medical books, and equipment for Vietnamese hospitals, traveling to Vietnam more than 100 times, and working with research teams in the study of malaria, diabetes, and Japanese encephalitis. In addition to this work, Dr. Ladinsky has helped to bring Vietnamese doctors to the UW-Madison and has helped dozens of Vietnamese students come to the UW System schools for study.
  • Adult Peacemaker: Athens resident Tony Shultz, operates Stoney Acres Community Supported Agriculture. Tony began his public advocacy for family farms and against corporate agribusiness while a student at the UW-Madison, and has combined his work as a farmer and farm advocate with a strong belief in worker rights, most recently organizing a Farmer Labor Solidarity Tractorcade that coincided with the March 12th rally at the State Capitol, considered by many to be the largest rally in Wisconsin history. Tony and his partner, Kat Becker, both serve on the board of Family Farm Defenders, a WNPJ member group.
  • Youth Peacemaker: Racine resident Christian Pacheco has distinguished himself though his work on behalf of the DREAM Act, legislation that would enable undocumented youth to pursue a college education in the United States. In 2010, in a speech to a rally of more than 200 people in front of Congressman Paul Ryan's Racine office, Christian took the courageous step of making public his own undocumented status, explaining that he was brought to the United States from Mexico by his parents when he was just 5 years old. Describing himself as "undocumented and unafraid," Christian has since spoken before a Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Community Banquet about Dr. King's commitment to social justice and how it is related to the struggle for immigrant rights today and has organized a meeting with his own State Senator, Van Wanggaard, to oppose Governor Walker's plan to strip in-state tuition rights from undocumented Wisconsin resident students.
The October 8th awards reception will include a keynote speech by environmental activist Winona LaDuke, internationally known for her work on environmental justice with Indigenous communities. A resident of the White Earth reservation of northern Minnesota, LaDuke is the founder of the White Earth Land Recovery Project, a project that received the 2003 International Slow Food Award for Biodiversity in recognition for work to protect wild rice from patenting and genetic engineering. She is also the author of five books, including Recovering the Sacred, All our Relations and a novel, Last Standing Woman.

Steve Burns
122 State St. #405
Madison, WI 53703
(608) 250-9240
Copyright © 2011 Wisconsin Network for Peace, Justice, & Sustainability, All rights reserved.
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