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Velvet Mesquite - Illustration by George Malesky
Velvet Mesquite
A Natural Symbol of Sustainable Peace

Culture of Peace Alliance (COPA)
~ promoting peace, justice, and sustainability


The Culture of Peace Alliance (COPA) Coordinating Council is currently composed of members who worked together for a year to develop the vision, mission, purpose, and structure of this organization. Throughout this collaboration process, the council members deepened their capacity to synergistically learn from one another, to personally practice peace in their coordinating council endeavors, and to have fun in the process. Brief introductions to members follow.

Judy Francis
In 1992 during her first year as a full-time RVer, Judy read excerpts from Thich Nhat Hanh's Being Peace and realized that, even while she was alone in the desert, she could contribute to world peace by “being peace” where she was. Judy returned to the desert when she moved from Madison, WI, to Tucson in March of 2007. Shortly after moving to Tucson she started working for Habitat for Humanity Tucson, where she worked until she retired in 2010. In 2008, Judy attended her first Peace Circle and shortly thereafter volunteered to serve on COPA's Coordinating Council. In 2011 Judy participated in Our Family Services' Circle Facilitation Level 1 and Level 2 training. She has facilitated several circles since her Level 2 training. Judy is a Reiki Master/Teacher and volunteers with COPA, Peace Circles, and as a circle facilitator.

Phyllis Grimes
Phyllis Grimes recognized in 1985, during her first trip to the Soviet Union for a Peace Conference, that her life purpose was to help bring peace to our world. After five years and eighteen more trips with the Center for Soviet-American Dialogue and MIR Corporation, Phyllis was looking for her next involvement. That came after she and her husband moved to Tucson in 1992. Here she became a Practitioner in the Church of Religious Science after six years of course study. She continues to work with COPA as an outlet for her commitment to Peace.

Dave Horr

Nick Katkevich

Mark Klym

Del Jones
Del Jones holds a BS in Education and an MS in Urban Planning and has been in management for more than thirty years. She was the Founding Director of WELCOT, the Wellness Council of Tucson and is now Director Emeritus. Del founded the Partnership Way Center, International Partnership Network and was Executive Director of the Center for Partnership Studies Educational Foundation. She initiated the COPA projects, Peace Circles and Elder Circles. She is on the Advisory Board of the Wellness Council of Arizona (WELCOAZ), Board of Directors of the Pima Council on Aging (PCOA), Ben's Bells and Passages. She is married and has three sons and ten grandchildren.

Anton Schmalz
Anton Schmalz has helped evolve, implement, and evaluate comprehensive goals and strategies in a variety of subject areas for both private sector and government organizations for five decades. He served as a consultant for four USA presidents and prepared major goals policies and statements dealing with peace conflict resolution , national security energy conservation, and environmental issues. Collaborating with the "Father" of Earth Day, he helped organize the International "Sun Day" to encourage the maximum use of natural resources.
He served as President of the Los Angeles United Nations Association and organized and chaired several international conferences for the "World Future Society" and others.
He offered numerous papers and several books including "Energy: Today's Choices, Tomorrow's Opportunities and Outcomes" and "Insights Into The Changing Government Market Place", which was widely distributed by Presidents Johnson and Nixon as the "Primer As to How Government Works". In order to enhance a spiritual influence in the evolution of peace he has been a life long student of metaphysics and world religions.

Rev. Gerry Straatemeier
Gerry Straatemeier, MSW, is a retired clinical social worker and an independent New Thought minister. Having received her Masters in Social Work at UC Berkeley in 1967, it might not be a surprise to find she is a lifelong peace activist. Gerry has been the co-chair of the Gandhi/King Season for NonViolence in Southern Arizona (SNV) since 2000. She is also a hobby political and spiritual writer and a committed progressive movement activist. She believes nonviolent practices taught by Gandhi and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. are more relevant than ever in an age of "terrorism", that stems from a culture of dominance and fear.

Jack Strasburg
Jack Strasburg is currently a Tucson Peace Center Board member. He was a founding member of local, state and national Green Parties, served on the national Green Council for three years, and ran for local office twice. He also worked with Diné (Navajo) and Hopi on the Big Mountain relocation issue for twelve years. Jack also facilitated an indigenous permaculture group on the Navajo reservation for eight years. He has been active in peace, justice, and environmental issues for over twelve years. His primary interest is focus on alternative economics and permaculture/sustainability as a way to build infrastructure for a new peaceful paradigm.

Kathryn Twinfeathers
Kathryn Twinfeathers, newest member of COPA, was introduced to Peace Circles in Nogales, AZ in 2005 as part of a NYU research project using Peace Circles to treat families experiencing early stages of domestic violence. She has been trained by Kay Pranis (co-author of Peacemaking Circles, From Crime to Community) to facilitate circles in a variety of settings, has had training in Compassionate Communication (Non-Violent Communication), is an ordained Interfaith Minister and is an excellent community builder (helped create non-profit for Community Coalition of Santa Cruz County-AZ). Upon moving back to Tucson, she found Peace Circles and helped open the door to what is now called “Circles” through Our Family Services that are used to address conflict in the community. As a peacemaker, Kathryn is devoted to being peace and bringing peace wherever she goes through music (as a Native American Flute teaching artist) and play (playshops, play circles, etc). For more about Kathryn, you may visit her web site by clicking here.