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 Abuissa is currently the President of the PEACE Iowa Board. 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 Aljazeera Arabic and BBC Arabic covering American politics for Middle East audiences.

  • John Jadryev
    John Jadryev
    John Jadryev is currently Secretary of the PEACE Iowa Board.
    In the past, John spent several years in the military and a number of years in college, striving for a better understanding of the world. He now is an active member of Veterans for Peace Chapter 161 in Iowa City. At home John Jadryev lives in a quiet elegance among works of art lighted by spacious windows. A "Yoga Junkie" is how he describes himself, having learned from many instructors, and having taught many locally in a variety of Yoga techniques for achieving an inner peace.

  • Lori Nelson
    Lori Nelson has served as director of PEACE Iowa since its founding. Lori teaches psychology part-time at the University of Iowa and does volunteer work with local refugees. She previously taught at Cornell College for 3 years, and at Shippensburg University in Pennsylvania for 11 years. Lori also co-directed a multicultural understanding program for nine years while in Pennsylvania. She grew up in Ames, received her bachelor's degree in psychology from the University of Iowa, and her Ph.D. in social psychology from Princeton University.

  • 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 joined the PEACE Iowa Board of Directors in February, 2015.

  • 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 is a retired Episcopalian priest. More information coming soon.

10-21-12 board meeting

At the 2012 PEACE Iowa Board retreat

We appreciate the service of our former Board members

  • Tom Baldridge
    Tom was born and raised in Iowa City, graduating from City High in 1948 and the University of Iowa in 1952 with a B.A. and a commission as a Second Lt in the U.S. Army. After graduation, he was called to active duty and arrived in Korea in early 1953. Not long after a truce was reached he returned to the US and attended graduate school. During his studies he decided to transfer to Military Intelligence in the Army Reserve and received a job offer that took him to Western Europe, performing background checks for visa applicantions of displaced persons. Tom then began a two-year term in the Foreign Service, during which he was assigned to Switzerland, Algeria, and Laos. Retuning to Iowa, in part because of his mother's declining health, Tom found opportunity at the Office of International Students and Scholars, as well as the newly formed Iowa City Foreign Relations Council, and later as director of the International Visitors Council.

  • Laura Crossett
    Laura is a native of Iowa City and has been an activist since joining the anti-war movement during the Gulf War, when she was a freshman in high school. She is currently a librarian at the Coralville Public Library. Her essays, op-eds, and reviews have appeared in Little Village, the Des Moines Register, The Rumpus, the New York Times, and elsewhere.

  • Paul Deaton
    Paul is retired from CRST Logistics, Inc. where he served as Director of Operations after 25 years in transportation. Paul holds a Masters Degree in American Studies from the University of Iowa Graduate College and is a former United States Army officer. A native Iowan and empty nester, he lives near Solon, Iowa with his wife.

  • Andy Douglas
    Andy is a writer and editor who's lived in Iowa City for 18 years. Before that he traveled and worked for seven years with Ananda Marga Yoga in India, Japan and Korea, an experience which sharpened his interest in the connection between spirituality and social justice. He's working on a memoir about that time. Andy has been active in FAIR!, the Green Party, Central America Solidarity Committee, the Oakdale Community Choir, and served on the Iowa City Housing Commission. He has a Master of Fine Arts Degree in Nonfiction Writing from the University of Iowa and likes making funky music.

  • Ed Flaherty
    Ed is a retired banker who has lived in Iowa City since 1981. He was in the Army (though not in Vietnam) in 1966-1968, and was among those veterans who threw their medals over the fence at the Capitol in 1971. He always thought that if the US learned the right lessons from our Vietnam fiasco/quagmire/immoral disaster, we’d have a chance of getting on a right track. As a banker Ed worked with lots of farm families and small businesses from 1981 to 2009, and now welcomes the opportunity to devote more time to working for peace. Ed’s been a part of the Friday afternoon vigil at the SE corner of the Pentacrest since 2005, and helped form an Iowa chapter of Veterans for Peace in 2010. He has volunteered at PEACE Iowa since 2009, and poses the question, “How are we going to recycle all those anti-war signs once peace breaks out?”

  • Diana Henry
    Diana Henry is a museum education assistant at the African American Museum of Iowa. Diana is a retired teacher with over thirty years of teaching experience, having taught elementary school in Iowa City for 19 years, and taught learning-disabled students in Cedar Rapids for 12 years. She also taught at the Lab School at Gallaudet University for the Deaf in Washington DC, and the Boston School for Deaf Children. She is an honorary member of Veterans for Peace and is active in the Unitarian-Universalist Society.

  • Dawn Jones
    You may well remember having seen Dawn at local demonstrations, at which she displays her distinctive needlepoint signs for peace. A retired UI staff member, Dawn is active in many local groups including Move to Amend, Greens, and 100 Grannies, playing a leadship role in workshops and rallies. She lives in Wellman, Iowa.

  • Garry Klein
    Garry is a long-time peace advocate and is especially proud of the fact that his birthday coincides with the day Martin Luther King gave his “I Have a Dream” speech. He is Director of Program Assessment & Research at The University of Iowa’s Pomerantz Career.

  • Chris Klug
    Chris has been on the staff of peace education centers in Richmond, VA and Brookings, SD, and has many years experience leading groups to India to learn about Gandhi and nonviolence. He currently is a grief counselor, educator and consultant in private practice in Iowa City, and teaches Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.

  • Maria Ortega Kummer
    Maria is a California native who has lived many years in Iowa City. She loves to travel, walk or visit with friends, cook with ingredients from the Farmer's Market, dance, and garden. Maria's active peacemaking began in the 1980s and ranged from protesting nuclear bombs, marching in solidarity with Latin Americans, addressing urban issues, boycotting South African goods during apartheid, co-founding CAP Gun Violence group after attending the Million Mom March, organizing speakers & worship services, candlelight vigils & peace walks. She's a member of First Mennonite Church and volunteers with several groups including the Oakdale Community Choir and Friends of International Students.

  • Andrea Niehaus
    Andi is a native Iowan and holds a BA in Political Science with Honors from the UI. She has now returned from Chengdu, China where she had been teaching at Sichuan University after relinquishing her PEACE Iowa Board duties.

  • Gerald (Jerry) Partridge
    Jerry is a military veteran, an attorney and consultant, and a member of First Mennonite Church of Iowa City. The Vietnam War, the Iraq War, and twenty years of criminal trial work steeled his resolve to use non-violent alternatives to solve conflicts. In the 1990's, Jerry initiated a victim-offender reconciliation program in Washington County, Iowa, to resolve or defer criminal cases. He and his wife moved to Iowa City in 2008.

  • Nancy Porter
    Nancy is a retired reading teacher who is involved with the Iowa City Education Association. She is also involved in the National Education Association Peace and Justice Caucus and the Iowa United Nations Association. In her spare time, she enjoys subbing in the Educational Services program at the University of Iowa Children's Hospital. Family and traveling are currently high priorities in her life.

  • Sarah Raine

    Sarah is a graduate student in anthropology and library science.

  • Aaron Rempp
    Aaron Rempp grew up in Iowa City, currently lives in Solon, and has many years of experience in human services. He is currently employed as a social worker in Cedar Rapids. He is interested in fostering critical thinking about social and political issues. He is a regular volunteer at PEACE Iowa, working with our UI student intern on an interview project, and staffing youth events such as our Iran booth at Arts Fest and the Peace Literacy workshops. In addition to working for peace, Aaron likes to spend time outdoors, and he enjoys traveling to New Mexico.

  • Lisa Schumacher
    Lisa Schumacher

    Lisa is an Iowa transplant and has lived in Iowa City for almost 30 years. She has been an advocate for people with disabilities throughout her career, as a massage therapist, a recreational therapist, and a scholar in adult education. Lisa believes health and education equity are the foundation for peace. She finished her PhD in Higher Education in 2017. Her research focused on people who care for a person with a disability or chronic illness, and how caregivers cope to maintain their own health. Lisa strives to help facilitate an inclusive community where our neighbors of every ability level feel safe and supported. She is a member of First Mennonite Church.

  • Ann Stromquist
    Ann Stromquist is a lifelong Quaker, pacifist, a member of West Branch Friends Meeting, and currently Co-Clerk of the meeting’s Peace and Social Concerns Committee. As a volunteer with the American Friends Service Committee, she lived for 2 years in an ujamaa village in Tanzania, East Africa, working with women and teaching Swahili literacy. Ann was involved in the Catholic Worker community in Milwaukee and for years was active in the anti-Vietnam War movement. She has served on the National Board of the AFSC, as well as on the executive committees of AFSC in the Great Lakes Region and the Central Region (which includes Iowa). Ann worked for 19 years as a Research Scientist in the UI College of Public Health coordinating a rural environmental health study. She loves to read, travel, bike, play piano and flute and, most recently, spend time with her grandsons. Ann has lived in Iowa City for over 30 years. She is a PEACE Iowa office volunteer.

  • Miriam Timmer-Hackert
    Miriam Timmer is a mediator with a law degree. She has also worked as an advocate for survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence. She attends Trinity Episcopal Church and was instrumental in founding a peace and justice committee there. She and her family have lived in Coralville for many years.

  • Yashar Vasef
    Yashar formerly served as the executive director of the Iowa United Nations Association. Before joining the United Nations Association, he served internships with the policy think-tank The Stanley Foundation and the Middle East-centric media consultant BoomGen Studios. A native of Iran, Yashar attended the University of Iowa with an academic focus on international politics and Islam.

Copyright © PEACE Iowa