Always Making A Difference

I’m delighted to share the following announcement about Jack and Sara Nelson-Pallmeyer and a very deserved recognition planned for them.  Sara is a member of the Winds of Peace Advisory Committee and as one can readily discern from the brief biography presented here she brings a valuable perspective to that work.  All staff and volunteers of Winds of Peace Foundation offer their warmest congratulations to Sara and Jack and look forward to their continuing work in the interest of peace and justice globally.


October 6, 2009


Jack & Sara Nelson-Pallmeyer to receive

2009 Hawkinson Peace & Justice Award

Former U.S. Senate candidate Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer and his wife Sara have been selected to receive the 2009 Honorary Award of the Vincent L. Hawkinson Foundation for Peace and Justice.

Jack, 58, is an associate professor of justice and peace studies at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul. Sara, 53, is executive director of the Center for Families in north Minneapolis and serves on the advisory committee of the Winds of Peace Foundation.

Given annually to individuals demonstrating long-term dedication to furthering peace and social justice, the Honorary Award will be presented on Sunday, November 8, 3 p.m., at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, 2730 East 31st Street, Minneapolis. Also receiving the Honorary Award are medical missionaries Helmut and Rotraut Diefenthal of Moshi, Tanzania. The presentation is open to the public.

“Jack and Sara share a profound commitment to improving the world. They are exemplary models of peacemaking through action and it is our honor to recognize their years of dedicated service,” said Deon Stuthman, chair of the board of directors of the Hawkinson Foundation, established in 1988 to honor the late Rev. Vincent L. Hawkinson, a peace and justice advocate and late pastor of Grace University Lutheran Church in Minneapolis.

Previous Hawkinson Honorary Award recipients have included Mulford Q. Sibley, Polly Mann, Marianne Hamilton, Stanley and Martha Platt, Joel Mugge, Arthur and Martha Sternberg, Eleanor Otterness, Louise Pardee, Larry Cloud Morgan, Joseph Schwartzberg, Marv Davidov, Lynn Elling, Eleanor and John Yackel, Brigid McDonald, Jane McDonald, Kate McDonald and Rita McDonald, Donald Irish, Gene and Mary Lou Ott, Luther Granquist, Marie and John Braun, Ralph and Kay Hilgendorf, Lowell and Carol Erdahl, Arvid “Bud” Dixen, Rhoda Gilman and Betsy Raasch-Gilman.

About Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer

Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer, M.Div., is a nationally recognized teacher, writer, public speaker and activist academic whose life and work over the past 30 years has focused on addressing the political, economic, faith and foreign policy dimensions of hunger and poverty. He is a graduate of St. Olaf College, where he majored in political science. He earned a master of divinity degree from Union Theological Seminary in New York City. His master’s thesis was on the topic of world poverty and was the basis for his first book, Hunger for Justice: The Politics of Food and Faith. He is the author of numerous articles and a dozen books on hunger, poverty, U.S. foreign policy, the historical Jesus and problems of God and violence, some of which have been used by progressive social change movements in this country and throughout the world.

From 1977 to 1981, Jack served as national program coordinator of the Politics of Food Program with Clergy & Laity Concerned, and directed the Minnesota-based Hunger and Justice Project for the American Lutheran Church and Lutheran Church in America for the following two years. He has long been active in the national movement to close the U.S. Army School of the Americas (recently renamed the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation), which has been linked to human rights atrocities.

In 2006, Jack brought his commitment to peacemaking into the realm of formal politics when he challenged the incumbent Martin Sabo in the 5th Congressional District. In 2008, he sought DFL endorsement for the U.S. Senate. At the University of St. Thomas, where he is an associate professor of justice and peace studies, he teaches courses including Active Nonviolence and Theologies of Justice and Peace.

About Sara Nelson-Pallmeyer

Sara Nelson-Pallmeyer graduated from the University of Minnesota with a major in biology. From 1984 to 1986, she and Jack served as co-directors of the Center for Global Education’s house of studies in Managua, Nicaragua. Sara went on to hold various positions, including associate director, at the Center for Global Education. She then worked as family services manager at Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity from 1996 until 2005, when she assumed her current position as director of the Center for Families. She serves on the advisory committee of the Winds of Peace Foundation and is on the board of Congregations Caring for Creation.

The Nelson-Pallmeyers are active in the faith-based Community of St. Martin and are members

of Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Minneapolis. They have three daughters.

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