PPF celebrates two awards annually, the Peaceseeker Award and the The Ann Barstow and Tom Driver Award for Excellence in Nonviolent Direct Action in Retirement.
About the Barstow-Driver Award:
This award was created in 2014 by the Presbyterian Peace Fellowship in order to specifically honor those who have taking significant risks in their retirement for the cause of nonviolent peacemaking. It is our desire to honor these leaders of our movement and to honor them in their local hometown or location where their primary peacemaking work took place. In our inaugural year, the award was named the Anne Barstow and Tom Driver to commemorate two of our key leaders in nonviolent peacemaking and the ceremony of dedication was held near New York City which was their primary place of peacemaking activities for decades.
The Barstow-Driver awardees are nominated by the PPF Development Committee.
All are welcome to nominate an individual or group of people for the Peaceseeker Award. Nomination form below.
In the mid-1960’s, Quakers, the National Council of Churches and others were maintaining a vigil in front of the White House to call for an end to the Vietnam War. This was prior to the big anti-war marches of that era. William P Thompson, the Stated Clerk of the General Assembly, found time in his busy schedule to join this vigil for about a week. The leadership of the Presbyterian Peace Fellowship was impressed with this witness, and felt PPF should honor this in some way. So the Fellowship presented Bill Thompson with a “Peacemaker Award.”
Subsequently, PPF decided that it would be good to call attention to, and celebrate, other Presbyterians who had made a significant contribution to peace, and decided it would present such an award every year at General Assembly. The PPF leaders wisely realized that it is God who makes peace, and we are the ones who seek it. So the award was renamed the Peaceseeker Award.
In the 50 years or so that PPF has given the award, it has almost always gone to an individual in our church who has done something significant for peace. On a few occasions, it has gone to a congregation (i.e. Southside Presbyterian Church in Tucson received the award for its sanctuary work). On a couple of occasions it has gone to a group of Presbyterians (i.e. the Presbyterian prisoners of conscience who went to jail for their witness to close the School of the Americas and the over 200 Presbyterians who were conscientious objectors during WWII). On one occasion it went to a college: Warren Wilson. It was the first Presbyterian college to have a full time faculty member as a peace studies mentor, and Warren Wilson made him available to help other colleges develop peace studies programs.
The purpose of this award is to give well-deserved recognition to those who have made a serious commitment to working for justice and peace, particularly work that has influenced Presbyterians and the PC(USA). It is also intended to inspire others to get engaged in this work that is central to our calling. In recent years we have also included our non-Presbyterian partners working with us for a more just and peaceful world.
The award is annual, and the presentation of the award happens at the PPF Peace Breakfast during General Assembly in even years.