ICPJ to give Peacemaker Awards

The Interfaith Center for Peace and Justice has selected the winners of its Peacemaker Awards for 2023.

Amelia Contreras will receive the Lifetime of Peacemaking Award. The Refugee Resettlement Partnership will receive the Peacemaker of the Year Award. The three most recent former presidents of ICPJ, Christine Kellett, MJ Duffy, and Dennis Murphy, will receive the William J. Collinge Peacemaking Award for service to the ICPJ.

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The ceremony will take place on Wednesday, May 24, at 7:30 p.m., in Valentine Hall Auditorium of the United Lutheran Seminary, Gettysburg. Refreshments will be served. (The event will immediately follow a walk and vigil sponsored by Gettysburg for Gun Sense, scheduled for 6:30 p.m.)

Amelia Contreras, who is originally from Mexico, is honored for her work with the community in promoting the integration of the increasing Hispanic-diverse population in the area. In 2006 she founded Manos Unidas Hispanic/American Center, of which she remains the Executive Director. Manos Unidas provides many services for the Hispanic community, including ESL classes and assistance on pathways for gaining citizenship. Manos Unidas provides advocacy on the state and federal levels on immigration issues and has offered after-school programming, food pantry, and numerous other services, including Spanish classes for English speakers. She has been active in many other community organizations, including Healthy Adams County Latino Services Task Force, the YWCA board, Respective Solutions Group, Vida Charter School Board of Trustees, HACC Community College Advisory Board, Penn State Advisory Board, and the Comite Guadalupano, Cristo Rey, the Parish Council at St. Francis Xavier Church, and the Hispanic Apostolate of the Diocese of Harrisburg. 

The Refugee Resettlement Partnership of Gettysburg is an organization of eight churches, which has sponsored two Afghan refugee families and helped them settle in Gettysburg. Chaired by Rayna Cooper, the committee has helped the families find housing, furnishings, clothing, medical care, language tutoring, work opportunities, school, and recreation. Both families have been settling in well, and the first family just celebrated its one-year anniversary in Gettysburg.

Chris Kellett served on the ICPJ board from 2013 to 2021. She was Co-President with Mary Furlong in 2013 and President from 2014 to 2017. She and her husband, John, hosted a number of ICPJ events at their house, including a board retreat in 2022. A retired law professor, she drew on her expertise to help ICPJ reformulate its bylaws in 2017. She wrote ten Gettysburg Times columns for ICPJ. MJ Duffy and Dennis Murphy brought long experience in the nonprofit world to ICPJ. MJ served on the board from 2016 to 2019 and as President in 2018–19. She was the speaker at our Annual Meeting in 2017 and the author of seven Times columns. Dennis served on the board from 2017 to 2022. He was Second Vice President in 2017, First Vice President in 2018 and 2019, and President from 2020 to 2022. He guided ICPJ through the Covid years, enhanced its fundraising and board development, and wrote six Times columns.

Each Peacemaker Award consists of a framed certificate and the donation of $250 worth of books or other materials to the Adams County Library in the honoree’s name.

ICPJ invites nominations for the 2024 Peacemaker Awards. Please send them to ICPJ at icpj@icpj-gettysburg.org or P.O. Box 3134, Gettysburg, PA 17325.

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