Welcome to the Peace Center!

Thanks for visiting.

Plowshare Peace & Justice Center of Roanoke VA. is a grassroots organization focused on working for peace and justice for all beings. We serve Southwest Virginia and link with groups in Virginia and across the nation.

Please scroll down for some of our latest events. See menu items at top of page for more information. 

Teen Peace Jam – April 11

The 3rd annual Teen Peace Jam Sat, April 11 8:30 AM to 4 PM Location: the Roanoke Unitarian-Universalist Church, 2015 Grandin Rd. All youth from ages 12 to 19 are invited! tpj registration form The Jam offers workshops on peace, justice, art … Continue reading

Witness against torture – fasting

Plowshare Peace Center will again participate in the Witness Against Torture fast from January 5 to 13.    Participants will fast at least one day and perhaps more with a concern for the detainees at Guantanamo.  If you would like to join us, please contact Joan Wages at jmgw42@yahoo.com.  More information is available at www.witnesstorture.org

Lobby Day – Gun Safety Jan 19

Plowshare belongs to the Blue Ridge Coalition Against Gun Violence.  Participant organizations and individuals will be going to Richmond on January 19 for Lobby Day to speak about gun violence.  In view of Governor McAuliffe’s recent call call for bills on gun violence, it’s really important you you attend, if you are able.  If you’ve never done something like this before, don’t worry.  Others with experience will be there and your presence will be an important witness in itself.

Please email Mary Croft if you’d like to go with the group:  brcagv@gmail.com.

Nov. Holiday Parade – Plowshare entry

Peace On Earth2014 parade

Lori Haas speaks about gun violence in Virginia

October 30, at 6 PM-

Lori Haas of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence will speak on gun violence at the Unitarian-Universalist Church, 2015 Grandin Rd.  There will be a meeting for local organizers following. All welcome

After her daughter Emily was shot twice and survived the 2007 Virginia Tech massacre, Lori became personally involved in gun violence prevention efforts. She has worked with the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, the Virginia Center for Public Safety, Protest Easy Guns and Mayors Against Illegal Guns. She has lobbied on Capitol Hill in Washington and before the Virginia General Assembly for responsible gun laws numerous times. She promotes awareness of the issue by speaking to various groups from her perspective as a family member of someone who has survived gun violence. Lori graduated in 1976 from Saint Gertrude High School and attended Virginia Tech for two years. After a successful career in real estate, Lori volunteered for many neighborhood, church, school and civic organizations. She was born and still lives in Richmond, Virginia. She is married with three children: Emily, a Virginia Tech graduate and elementary school teacher; Wyatt, a student at William & Mary, and; Townley, a student at Benedictine College Preparatory. Her husband Channing is a self-employed residential builder.

PEACE IN THE PARK Sunday Sept. 21

IMG_1440_edited-1Peace in the Park new 2014  – click for flyer

Sept. 21 is the International Day of Peace and Cease fire.  Locally,  we are hosting a peace afternoon in Smith Park, 1618 Wiley Dr. Roanoke.  One way route downstream from Wasena Park along Green Way.

2P – 6P   A of variety of interactive peace activities including music with  Joy Truskowski and Bill Hudson , origami peace cranes; a participatory art mural and a community / global peace information area in the shelter.  You are welcome to bring flyers/ network with other activists.  Bring instruments to Drum circle,  craft supplies or hula hoops.   2P meditative walk from Ramada Inn back lot to form a yoga circle with Debbie Stevens in the park.  Dances of Universal Peace at 3P with Kathryn Ashera Rose, Cliff Dumais and Rick Parrish.  Large circle of silence with everyone at 5P.   Bring a picnic blanket, lawn chair or use a picnic table.  Playground for children available.  Inspire peace. Participate, and make new friends!  Some parking near the park shelter, more parking before smith Park near Wasena bridge, and beyond towards River’s edge.  For more information or questions:  Polly, volunteer@plowshareva.org

Youth Peace Summit

April 5th 2014- The 2nd annual Youth Peace Summit

– location: Unitarian Universalist Church, in Raleigh Court Roanoke.  Free!

Plowshare Peace Center invites youth age 12 – 19  for a day of fun and informative workshops on Peace, Empowerment, Art & Social Justice led by facilitators and teachers from the community.   Youth organizers also participate in facilitation.  Arrive for registration 9 Am.  Opening speaker ; Gene Edmunds, minister – 9:30;

First workshops 10 AM; see schedule below;  art projects; free breakfast and lunch; entertainment by youth musicians; closing and comments  4 PM.   A really great day!  2014-Youth-Peace-Summit-Registration-Form  Your pre-registration will help us get a head count idea.   You are also welcome to come on the day to register.  Unitarian Universalist Church, 2015 Grandin Rd. at the corner of Brandon and Grandin.

There will be 4 workshop sessions: 10 – 11, 11- 12, 1-2 and 3-4 Breakfast and Lunch provided FREE       THIS YEAR’S WORKSHOPS INCLUDE:  

  • Qigong, (pronounced chee-gong) – breath and body awareness
  • Singing For Social Change - learn songs from civil rights movement and other songs of peace and empowerment
  • Conversations with Afghan Youth - through a Skype link
  • Conflict Resolution
  • Stress Mangement 101 for youth
  • Youth in Islam - what’s it like to be a youth in Middle East?
  • Celebrating Diversity - what happens when you see someone being bullied because of  their gender?
  • Yoga and meditation for world peace
  • Making Peace Cranes
  • Activism through Social Media
  • Drama practice to create a conflict/peaceful resolution scene.
  • Peace Perspectives from a war veteran
  •   For more information Call Gary at  (540) 989-0393, or Polly at (540) 598-1118 or email Plowshare@plowshareva.org or acornbranch64@aol.com    If you are interested in volunteering during the day with food prep or registration time, call or send us a note.   Thank you!

JUST IN!   Music during lunch provided by: Levi’s Gene Pool, a youth band from Blacksburg.

Youth Peace Summit 2014

Peace building Workshop, 3/16

cooperative games_last_ 001text_edited_1title_Kim_only_edited-5Using cooperative games, Kim Kristensen will guide us through activities and discussion about how and why we unconsciously compete with others and ourselves.  Join us for a Sunday afternoon in the Grandin Village, at the YOGA Center, 1316 Grandin Rd. above Grace’s Pizza.  A donation is requested, but not required if you can’t.  For more info., or to give us a head count, call Polly (540) 598-1118

Come learn some new tools for sharing with your family or groups!

Kim balances his day job as a manager for the Dept. of Transportation with teaching Leadership and Managing Conflict, Applied Psychology, Human Relations, Critical Thinking, Sociology, and Management at several colleges and universities. Kim is a certified mediator with a Master’s degree in Social Sciences and a Bachelors degree in Management and Human Resources. He also is a Life Coach, men’s group leader, and former circus performer (which ties it all together). Kim provides one on one conflict coaching, and couples relationship coaching. Life Mission: I’m putting together a workshop/process on developing one’s Life Mission. This includes some powerful processes where a person looks at their life, why they are here, and how they will proceed in the direction of their Mission.

Vigil at museum, protect negotiations with Iran – no sanctions

iran vigil 1-14 iran sanctions 2014photo_1 photo_2

Contact Senator Warner at Roanoke Office: 540-857-2676  or via email found on Virginia Senate contact page here.

Please tell Virginia’s Sen. Mark Warner that you would like him to withdraw his co-sponsorship for the Menendez-Kirk Bill which increases sanctions against Iran.  Tell him to support President Obama’s negotiations to settle the nuclear proliferstion issue without further violence in the Middle East.

Photographs taken outside The Taubman Museum, Jan. 11, 2014 during last day of the Yoko Ono “Imagine Peace” Exhibit.  Note: the art museum is free.  Please see the last week of the photography exhibit on Civil Rights events.



Peace Maker of the Year to Michael Bentley

We honored the work and dedication to peace making by presenting the annual “Peace Maker Award”  to Michael Bentley.  Michael has been a consistent presence with Plowshare and our work for peace.   He is our organizer for the monthly silent peace vigil in downtown Roanoke, where we recently celebrated our 100th vigil!  Michael is on the steering committee, has been a guide in the awareness of public radio access, and is a speaker for various programs, as well as keeping up with lobby efforts.  Thank you Michael!  Seen here between director, Gary Sandman and long time Plowshare supporter, Gene Edmunds .IMG_1265small