About PEACE Iowa


PEACE Iowa is a grassroots organization supported by many individuals and local groups in eastern Iowa.


PEACE Iowa Vision

  • Make visible the way of peace. Increase awareness of the presence of peace-minded individuals and groups in eastern Iowa, and support their endeavors.

  • Facilitate community, common purpose, and cooperative action among diverse peace-oriented groups. Draw from the peace traditions of many faiths and from secular movements promoting peace.

  • Inspire and educate future generations of peacemakers.

  • Connect eastern Iowans to people affected by violent conflicts around the world, in order to hear first-hand their experiences, perspectives, and needs.

  • Foster communication between eastern Iowans and ordinary people in nations and groups labeled our "enemies."

  • Serve as a resource for individuals who want to learn about historical peace traditions and movements.

  • Educate ourselves and others about the links between war and political, social, and economic practices.

  • Provide resources to help eastern Iowans make personal choices that decrease the likelihood of war and promote international peace.

Meet the PEACE Iowa Board of Directors

PEACE Iowa board of directors, April 2019

PEACE Iowa board of directors, April 2019

  • Newman Abuissa
    Newman is a transportation engineer working for the Iowa Department of Transportation. He was born and raised in Damascus, Syria and attended South Dakota State University where he received an MS in Civil Engineering. He is active in grassroots politics in Iowa. He is also active in the Council for International Visitors to Iowa City, St. Raphael Orthodox Church, the Iowa City Human Rights Commission, and the Arab American Institute. He has appeared on Al Jazeera Arabic and BBC Arabic covering American politics for Middle East audiences.

  • David Hempel
    David is a retired classical musician (piano and oboe). He served as Principal Oboe in Orchestra Iowa (formerly Cedar Rapids Symphony) for over 40 years. He also owned a sheet music and book store, Eble Music Co., in downtown Iowa City for 25 years. He has been an active anti-war and peace advocate since 1967, and a conscientious objector since 1970.

  • Huda Humyma
    Huda is orginally from Sudan but has lived in Iowa City for many years. She is a University of Iowa student studying global health.

  • Margaret (Meg) Kiekhaefer
    Meg began working for peace and justice through the Lutheran church and her public health studies. Global issues have always grabbed her. She is a member of the (Dis)Order of Sts Martins and Theresas, Bread for the World, and Church World Service/CROP. She traveled to Mexico to learn from the Base Christian Communities in 1995 following NAFTA, worked on Sal Y Luz advocacy for Colombia (with Lutheran World Relief and Mennonites), spent time in Palestine and Israel as an observer for the World Council of Churches, and worked extensively with hunger issues in Iowa City. She believes that human rights and environmental issues are an important part of allowing the possibility of peace in our world.

  • Malerie Plank
    Malerie Plank is an Iowa native who joined Peace Iowa in January of 2019. She is an Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner and attends First Mennonite Church in Iowa City. Malerie became passionate about peace and justice during her undergraduate study-abroad experience in Central America through Eastern Mennonite University. She later earned a doctorate in nursing practice from the University of Iowa. Her interests lie in social justice, caring for our immigrant neighbors, and equitable effective healthcare. She worked as a nurse in Honduras for 2 years and continues to work with immigrant advocacy here in the US. She enjoys travel, interacting with people from diverse backgrounds, and gardening.

  • Mel Schlachter
    Mel Schlachter

    Mel Schlacter is currently the president of the PEACE Iowa board. Mel is a retired Episcopal priest, and he is a long-time member of the Episcopal Peace Fellowship and the Fellowship of Reconciliation. His ministry has included parish, pastoral counseling, and serving as a prison chaplain. He is currently a volunteer chaplain with the Iowa City Police Department. He has served on many state-level and community boards, including the American Civil Liberties Union. In his spare time, he is a wine maker and wine judge.

  • Carole Winkleblack
    Carole Winkleblack is currently Treasurer.
    Carole Winkleblack lives with her husband on a small farm near Riverside where she tends chickens and a garden, having retired there after 16 years as Director of the Marshalltown Public Library. She attends the Iowa City Friends Meeting, and she is active in the Friends Committee for National Legislation.
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