Jeannette Rankin Peace Award Recipient for 2012
The Institute for Peace Studies at Rocky Mountain College proudly announces Father John Naumann as the recipient of the Jeannette Rankin Peace Award for 2012. With this award, we acknowledge his lifelong work of promoting peace on many levels - in particular on a global level.
Father Naumann served as Rector of several Anglican Churches in Queensland, Australia, where he was born. In 1989 he was called to serve in Billings, Montana as Rector of St. Stephen's Episcopal Parish; where he became an integral part of the Billings community.
Former parishioners describe Father Naumann as compassionate, loving, and understanding. During his venture to Tanzania in 2000, Father Naumann recognized the need for water, education, and sustainable lifestyles. After five years and much fund-raising here in Montana, Father Naumann moved to Tanzania to start the Amani Center. His vision was to promote peace through education and collaboration. Amani actually means "Peace" in Swahili.
Numerous programs developed by the Amani Center are carried out by local people, led, guided, or encouraged by Father Naumann. They include pre-school, primary, secondary, and higher education levels of school, plus vocational and job training programs. This amazing tree of combined effort is bearing fruit, with one young woman who has already become a kindergarten teacher ahead of two others in training.... the farms, vineyards, grain mill, oilseed processing plant, and concrete block making programs have empowered local people trained through these same programs.
Father Naumann funnels everything toward progress, living on his personal retirement income. This vision of empowerment through education has been a common thread through Father Naumann's life. He has devoted time, care, and finances to this mission of peace, respecting the personal and cultural heritage of the people. He demonstrated the courage of his convictions as he relocated to Tanzania, much as Jeannette Rankin demonstrated the courage of her convictions by taking an unpopular stand - both of them with the goal of peace motivating their decisions.
Father John will join notable peacemakers who have received past Rankin Awards - U.S. Senator Mike Mansfield, Archbishop Raymond Hunthausen, Margaret Ping, Walter and Margaret Huffman, Carol Williams, Reverends Bob Freeman and Phillip Caldwell, Benjamin Pease Jr., Montana Logging & Ballet Co. (Bob FitzGerald, Tim Holmes, Rusty Harper, and Steve Garnaas-Holmes) Edith Gronhovd, Clare Sinclair, Eve Malo, U.N. Ambassador George McGovern, David Morales, Greg Mortenson, Dr. Tom and Jean Sutherland, Ruth Curtis, Dr. Lawrence F. Small, Dr. Arther H. DeRosier, Jr., Terry Fettig, Marietta Jaeger Lane, Chuck Tooley, and Bill Simmons.
The Institute's Peace Award criteria requires it be someone from Montana or someone with significant ties to Montana whose life has been dedicated to peacemaking at any level and who has demonstrated having the courage of their convictions. The award will be presented on stage at the Alberta Bair Theater along with presentation of the Gronhovd Peace Essay Awards to area high school and college students with winning peace essays. The full Rocky Mountain College band will provide entertainment and Father Naumann will share the story of his life in Africa.
For more information contact -
Institute for Peace Studies
Cindy Kunz, Administrator