Pictured above are Kendall Brown of On Earth Peace, Gary Ghirardi of NNOMY, Michael Knox, Rick Jahnkow, and Cassy Hernandez of Project YANO.
By US Peace Prize, September 20, 2023
The 2023 US Peace Prize has been awarded to National Network Opposing the Militarization of Youth (NNOMY) “For National Efforts to Stop U.S. Military Influence on Young People, Saving Lives Here and Abroad.”
The US Peace Prize was presented on September 19, 2023, at the Peace Resource Center of San Diego by Michael Knox, Chair and Founder of the US Peace Memorial Foundation. In his remarks, Dr. Knox said, “National Network Opposing the Militarization of Youth shields young lives from some of the strongest influences of militarism. Your work not only saves U.S. lives by dissuading young people from joining the military – it also saves the lives of people in distant countries who they could harm once they were part of the U.S. war machine. NNOMY positively impacts countless young adults, and its nationwide efforts involve the contributions of many stellar antiwar figures and organizations. The US Peace Prize is a prestigious honor that will help call attention to and reinforce your important work for peace.”
The award was accepted by Rick Jahnkow, the organization’s Steering Committee Representative, and several network members. Mr. Jahnkow responded, “NNOMY is grateful for receiving this award and the recognition it will, hopefully, bring to the urgent need to counter the militarization of young people. Protesting war once it begins is never enough; if we are ever going to have a truly effective peace movement, it must include proactively reaching out to and engaging with younger generations in order to groom them to become activists for peace, instead of war. It is this long-term vision that NNOMY brings to the peace movement.”
US Peace Prize recipients are National Network Opposing the Militarization of Youth, Costs of War, World BEYOND War, Christine Ahn, Ajamu Baraka, David Swanson, Ann Wright, Veterans For Peace, Kathy Kelly, CODEPINK Women for Peace, Chelsea Manning, Medea Benjamin, Noam Chomsky, Dennis Kucinich, and Cindy Sheehan.
The US Peace Memorial Foundation awards the US Peace Prize to recognize and honor the most outstanding American antiwar leaders. These courageous individuals and organizations have publicly opposed military interventions such as invasion, occupation, production of weapons of mass destruction, use of weapons, threats of war, or other actions that threaten peace. By honoring these and other courageous role models, we hope to inspire more Americans to speak out for peace and to work to end the hatred, ignorance, greed, and intolerance that lead to war. Recipients have been designated as Founding Members of the US Peace Memorial Foundation.
NNOMY is an organization that brings together national, regional, and local groups to oppose the military’s growing intrusion into young people’s lives, focusing on trying to slow the process of militarization in schools by Pentagon programs designed to promote recruitment into military service. By training and sending antiwar counter-recruiters to speak with high school students, NNOMY attempts to change the minds of young adults considering joining the U.S. military. NNOMY also offers alternatives to entering the military and its wars, focusing on communities significantly affected by military recruiting and the violence of militarism.
Other US Peace Prize nominees in 2023 were Gerry Condon, Francesco Da Vinci, Daniel Ellsberg, Friends Committee on National Legislation, Abby Martin, and Jill Stein.