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The Mt. Diablo Peace and Justice Center is a community organization founded in 1969 whose stated goal is to work towards a culture of peace and justice through education, advocacy, and community building. We are an organizing force, providing a peaceful & sustainable way to use the dedication and vision of our community to create a better world. The Peace Center was founded by local teacher & activist, Andy Baltzo. Andy’s vision was to create a "local voice for peace" in the area. Throughout the years, the Center has evolved to address the prevention of violence and promotion of social justice in the local community. To that end, the Center has recently been focusing on organizing on an inter-generational level, bringing together youth and community members of all ages to organize collectively for a more equitable world.
The Center runs a number of programs aimed at addressing our mission. We hold a monthly forums series, bringing together activists, authors, educators, and community members together to not only educate and inspire, but to also collectively come together to problem-solve and take action. We also organize a number of events/opportunities that serve the community!
One of our most successful programs is our Dennis Thomas Art & Writing Challenge, an annual competition that invites local students to address topics related to peace and justice through visual artwork, essay, creative writing, and poetry. The program was conceived and organized by the late Dennis Thomas, a man of peace and long time Peace Center member. Each year, the winners of the challenge are recognized at our Awards Dinner. In 2019, we added a new category to the Art and Writing Challenge, honoring student activists in the community showing exemplary leadership and dedication for social justice, organizing, and human rights.