How to be a Peacemaker

Founded in 1974, the 8th Day Center for Justice served the Chicago area and beyond as a “prophetic voice against injustice.” However, while doing further research into this organization, I discovered that they officially closed their doors in August 2018. As the organization commented in an article to the Global Sisters Report, combined with financial support losses and a declining necessity for their organization in the modern world, the organization no longer has a pressing need to continue. As the primary goal of the organization was to stress the various intersections of injustice, the organization saw the new involvements in intersectional justice movements throughout the past few years as a sign that their work is complete, and the world is a step closer to fixing injustices. Similar to class discussions about the intersectionality of the Catholic vote, the organization’s mission was to explore and educate the intersectionalities of social movements.

The pamphlet above was issued by the 8th Day Center for Justice to list possible ways any (religious) person could make an impact of the peace movements of the late 20th century. Although there is not a known date of publication, the contents of the pamphlet show that it was published and distributed between 1977-1982. Most likely sometime in the early 1980s before August 6th- opening of an exhibit listed in suggestion four. From influences of Vatican II and the end of the Vietnam War, the 8th Day Center for Justice opened and acted in a time of immense Catholic involvement in social justice which we have studied throughout the semester. As we explored responses to Vatican II and different social movements of the 20th century, the center was created “in the spirit of the transformation that came with the Second Vatican Council as religious communities discerned how to respond to the ‘signs of the times’.” 

One of the deepest connections to the 8th Day pamphlet and class exploration was the encouragements to discuss peace and social issues with neighbors, friends, and peers. Like shown in Berrigan Week with the dinners on Block Island, the importance of conversation and discussion to facilate peace and justice ideals was practiced by the community under the influences of Daniel Berrigan, WIlliam Stringfellow, and other figures.

Link to PDF of the pamphlet: 8th_Day_How_to_be_a_Peacemaker-2


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