LAKE CHAMPLAIN Ed Everts has made such a profound impact at the Peace and Justice Center, that the organization decided to name an annual award after the Charlotte resident.
On Sept. 29, in a Rock the Boat sunset cruise on Lake Champlain aboard the Northern Lights, the Center presented Mr. Everts with the first Ed Everts Award for Peace and Social Justice.
This award will be given every year to a person who, in the words of PJC Executive Director Serena Chaudry, meets these criteria that Ed embodies. A long-standing commitment to activism through volunteerism; an understanding of the interconnectedness of economic justice, racial justice, peace, and human rights; educating the masses about issues that the media usually ignores; working collaboratively across distinct sectors; and, inspiring others to action.
Four colleagues of Eds at the Peace and Justice Center spoke about his work and the characteristics that make him a successful activist.
Ellen Kahler, the Executive Director of the Peace and Justice Center from 1990-2002, said, The Peace and Justice Center would not be so thriving had it not been for the incredible generosity, involvement and leadership that Ed Everts has given all these years.
John Tucker, former director of the Racial Justice and Equity Project at the Peace and Justice Center, declared, Ed Everts represents whats best [in the work] that all of us do and a generation of people who did everything that they could to save the people on this earth.
Wendy Coe, founding member of the PJC and current office manager, said, Eds activism for me is defined by his vision of the interconnectedness of the issues of economic and racial justice, peace, and human rights. He is the embodiment of the PJC mission.
Mr. Everts began working with the Peace and Justice Center around the time of the Winooski-44 trial in 1984, in which 44 people, not including Ed, were arrested following their occupation of Senator Staffords office in Winooski. He is currently an emeritus member of the Board of Directors of the Center, having actively served on the board for 18 years between 1988 and 2006.
He also, and perhaps most significantly, produced 662 episodes of the Peace and Justice Review, a weekly television program about peace and justice issues on public access, Channel 15. The show first appeared in September 1992, and aired the final episode produced by Ed in March 2007.
After his service in World War II, Mr. Everts joined and has remained an active member of the Veterans for Peace. In an interview with the Vermont Times-Sentinel, Mr. Everts said, My military experience was one step that made me move to the left.
When Ed began receiving his Air Force pension in 1987, he immediately started donating this money to the Peace and Justice Center with the idea of turning swords into plowshares.
Mr. Everts is also a hearty word traveler, having visited over 120 countries in his life. He said that he met, such a group of people and theyre all about the same. They all want peace and justice, a job, and some scope to do what they want to do.
Building on this, Mr. Everts claimed, If you want peace, this [the current attitude of the US government and military] isnt going to do it. The people who run this country want a war economy, and they have unparalleled access to the media and the methods of communication to paint us as the good guys.
Speaking on the interconnectedness of peace and justice, Mr. Everts stated, If you dont have justice, youre not going to get peace, because without justice someone will always be treating some other person brutally, and that other person will always be looking to strike back.
The old saying, said Mr. Everts, is you cant have one [peace or justice] without the other.
Join the Peace and Justice Center! Mr. Everts stated in an open message to all who read this article. They are always on the lookout for more members. They serve a community who is hard-up, and they help give a voice to the voiceless. And if any veterans want to join the Veterans for Peace, contact me.