The Arkansas Coalition for Peace and Justice has named two recipients for its annual Peace Activist of the Year award.
They are Caroline Stevenson, who leads the Episcopal Peace Fellowship, and Furonda Brasfield, the executive director of the Arkansas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty. The awards were presented Saturday night.
Stevenson has been involved with the Arkansas chapter of Women's Action for New Directions, an organization committed to empowering women to produce legislation on nuclear weapons, the military budget and war.
The Peace and Justice Coalition said that Stevenson's leadership with the state Women's Action chapter influenced the creation of the Beacon of Peace and Hope and its Peace Garden, which is located at North Shore Riverwalk Park in North Little Rock, where the city of North Little Rock and the Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum provided space.
She is also credited as the originator of the annual Pilgrimage for Peace walk, which commemorates victims of violence.
Brasfield, an attorney, directs the efforts of the Arkansas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty, a nonpartisan, nonsectarian coalition of religious and civic organizations and concerned people who are working to end capital punishment in Arkansas.
She rallied community supporters last year in protest of Arkansas' push to execute eight death-row inmates over 10 days. The state executed four of those inmates in April. Three other inmates were granted stays, and one was granted clemency.
Brasfield continues to advocate for the group's ultimate goal -- the creation of a state law striking the death penalty from criminal sentencing statutes in Arkansas.
The Arkansas Coalition for Peace and Justice is a nonprofit, voluntary association of individuals and organizations in support of a vision of harmony with the earth and all people through education, dialogue and action. Its focus is on three areas: peace and nonviolence, social justice, and ecology.
For 12 consecutive years, it has honored someone with the peace activist award. This is the first year the organization has named two recipients, according to John Coffin of the Peace and Justice Coalition.
Metro on 02/19/2018
Print Headline: 2 activists honored by state nonprofit