The 2022 William Sloane Coffin, Jr. Peacemaker Awards
presented Monday, October 3, 2022 at 6PM ET
Peace Action Fund of New York State (PAFNYS) was pleased to present the 2022 William Sloane Coffin Jr. Peacemaker Award to Katrina vanden Heuvel, Editorial Director and Publisher of The Nation at an in-person program hosted at Scandinavia House in New York City. We were also pleased to present the Don Shaffer Student Peacemaker Award to Peace Action Le Moyne, and to listen to guest speaker John Nichols, National Affairs Correspondent for The Nation.
The 2022 event focused on the contributions and bravery of journalists in exposing injustice and promoting peace. At the event, PAFNYS recognized the work of local and independent journalists from across New York State who document protest actions which are often ignored by mainstream media. The recognized journalists provide coverage from Albany, Binghamton, Buffalo, Livingston County, Long Island, New York City, Westchester, and represent independent outlets including WBAI Radio (99.5FM NYC), The Indypendent, Black Star News, and The Hofstra Chronicle, among others.
Since 2007, PAFNYS has presented the Peacemaker Award annually to outstanding individuals who exemplify activism and have made an impact in achieving a more peaceful world. PAFNYS also presents the Don Shaffer Student Peacemaker Award annually to congratulate an outstanding student Peace Action chapter for their leadership in peace activism within their community and amongst their peers
About the Awardees
2022 WSC Peacemaker Awardee:
Katrina vanden Heuvel
Editorial Director & Publisher of The Nation
Katrina vanden Heuvel is the 15th awardee to receive the William Sloane Coffin, Jr. Peacemaker Award. Katrina’s lifetime of work supporting independent and progressive reporting, and in speaking out against war and other global injustice, serve as an inspiration to journalists working in today’s particularly fraught media landscape. Katrina also provided the keynote address for the ceremony.
Katrina began working with The Nation as an intern in 1976, becoming a foreign affairs assistant editor in 1984 and eventually being promoted to editor-at-large covering the USSR in 1989. A graduate of Princeton University, Katrina completed a senior thesis titled “American Victims: A Study of the Anti-Communist Crusade” and has long specialized in US-Soviet relations. In 1987, Katrina edited “Gorbachev’s Soviet Union”, a special edition of The Nation which was awarded the New York University Olive Branch Award. Together with her husband, Stephen F. Cohen, Katrina later edited Voices of Glasnost: Interviews with Gorbachev’s Reformers in 1989.
In 1995, Katrina was named chief editor of The Nation, serving in the role until stepping down in 2019. Katrina continues her work with The Nation as Editorial Director and Publisher, in addition to writing a weekly column for The Washington Post and appearing as a political commentator on MSNBC.
The Board of Peace Action Fund of New York State (PAFNYS) agreed that Katrina’s tireless efforts in covering US and Soviet/Russian policy, and in advocating for responsible global policy that supports peace and respect for global human rights, made her a worthy recipient of the 2022 Peacemaker Award.
PAFNYS honored Katrina under the theme of “Journalism on the Front Line: The Fourth Estate in Peril.” The world faces a multitude of crises exacerbated by the war in Ukraine, and Katrina has been eloquently educating the public about the historical and political context of the war. We are equally grateful to her leadership of The Nation, the home of progressive reporting that has been indispensable to the informed public across a wide spectrum of social justice issues.
2022 Don Shaffer Student Peacemaker Awardee:
Peace Action Le Moyne
Peace Action student chapter of Le Moyne College
PAFNYS also presented an award to a chapter of its Campus Organizing Program that has done exceptional organizing work in the 2021-2022 school year. The Don Shaffer Student Peacemaker Award congratulates an outstanding student chapter on their work and leadership in peace education and activism within their community and amongst their peers. This year, the Student Peacemaker Award was presented to Peace Action Le Moyne, the student chapter of Le Moyne College in Syracuse.
Throughout the 2021-2022 school year, Peace Action Le Moyne consistently dedicated weekends to getting active in the local area. In Fall 2021, students volunteered with We Rise Above the Streets, a local nonprofit which distributes food, clothing and supplies to people in Syracuse who are unhoused or living in poverty. That same semester, the chapter canvassed with Back from the Brink at the Westcott Street Cultural Fair, where they were able to hold discussions and provide resources regarding denuclearization efforts to the Syracuse community. Throughout the year, the chapter worked closely with the Syracuse Peace Council, who routinely visited campus for workshops such as origami lessons and roundtable peace discussions. Peace Action Le Moyne also focused its attention on the climate crisis. In collaboration with AGREE New York — an organization which promotes safe and affordable energy and the development of a green economy in New York State — the chapter hosted a Fall webinar on nuclear energy in upstate New York and discussed the industry’s negative effects on the surrounding community. The chapter also participated in Earth Jam, a campus-wide event for climate-related activities.
In the Spring, the chapter educated their peers about issues affecting refugees in the US with a particular focus on upstate NY, hosting a webinar on “Humanitarian Crises and Refugee Flows in the US” with keynote speakers from The Welcome Center, a Utica-based group that provides access and opportunities necessary for refugees, immigrants, and newcomers to receive support services, community resources, education, and vocational opportunities.
National Affairs Correspondent for The Nation
John Nichols is a pioneering political blogger and frequent guest on radio and television programs as a commentator on politics and media issues. He was featured in Robert Greenwald’s documentary Outfoxed, and in Joan Sekler’s Unprecedented, Matt Kohn’s Call It Democracy, and Robert Pappas’s Orwell Rolls in His Grave.
Nichols is the author of numerous books, including Coronavirus Criminals and Pandemic Profiteers: Accountability for Those Who Caused the Crisis and The Fight for the Soul of the Democratic Party: The Enduring Legacy of Henry Wallace’s Anti-Fascist, Anti-Racist Politics. He has also co-authored a number of books with media expert Robert W. McChesney, including It’s the Media, Stupid! and Tragedy and Farce: How the American Media Sell Wars, Spin Elections, and Destroy Democracy.
Since 2007, PAFNYS has existed as a companion organization for Peace Action New York State, a state chapter of national Peace Action. PAFNYS facilitates a statewide Campus Organizing Program that educates college students about peace and foreign policy issues and supports their organizing efforts on campuses across New York.