2017 Speakers

More from 2017:

Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer

Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer

Watch his 2017 presentation here

Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer is Associate Professor of Justice and Peace Studies at the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota. Jack is a graduate of St. Olaf College where he majored in Political Science. He did his theological training at Union Theological Seminary in New York City where he received a Master of Divinity degree. Jack is an activist academic whose life and work are focused on addressing the political, economic, faith, and foreign policy dimensions of hunger and poverty.

Jack is the author of thirteen books, some of which have been used by progressive social change movements in this country and throughout the world. The focus of recent writings has been on religion, violence and “sacred” texts, and authentic hope. His recent concerns focus on the “most important decade” in which problems linked to climate change, declining U.S. power, and economic systems and priorities that foster inequality and ignore ecological sensibilities, present both challenges and opportunities. His new book, Authentic Hope: It’s the End of the World as We Know It but Soft Landings Are Possible is available from Orbis Books.

Jack is one of the founders of the Minnesota Arms Spending Alternatives Project (www.mnasap.org) a grassroots initiative to build a state-wide movement to shift federal spending priorities from militarization and war to meeting essential needs.

Jack sought but did not receive DFL (Democratic Farmer Labor) Party endorsement for U.S. Senate in 2008. He is married to Sara Nelson-Pallmeyer and has three daughters (Hannah, Audrey and Naomi). He loves to play racquetball and to garden.

Bruce Gagnon

Watch his 2017 presentation here

Bruce Gagnon is the Coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space.  He was a co-founder of the Global Network when it was created in 1992.

Between 1983–1998 he was the State Coordinator of the Florida Coalition for Peace & Justice and has worked on space issues for 43 years.  In 1987 he organized the largest peace protest in Florida history when over 5,000 people marched on Cape Canaveral in opposition to the first flight test of the Trident II nuclear missile. Bruce was the organizer of the Cancel Cassini Campaign (launched 72 pounds of plutonium into space in 1997) that drew enormous support and media coverage around the world and was featured on the TV program 60 Minutes

Bruce has traveled to and spoken in England, Germany, Mexico, Canada, France, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Japan, Australia, Scotland, Wales, Greece, India, Brazil, Portugal, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Czech Republic, South Korea, Sicily, Ukraine, Nepal and throughout the U.S.

He has also spoken on many college campuses including: Loyola University, Drake University, Syracuse University, Cornell University, University of Michigan, Cal Poly State University, University of Pittsburgh, California Institute of Technology, University of Oregon, University of Alaska Anchorage, Marquette University, Brown University, University of Florida, Dalhousie University (Nova Scotia), University of London, Bradford University (UK), and the Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences (India).

Project Censored (from Sonoma State University, CA) named a story on space weaponization by Bruce as the 8th  Most Censored story in 1999.  Again in 2005, Project Censored picked an article on space issues by Bruce as the 16th most censored story of the year and in 2015 his piece on endless war was listed as the 13th most censored story.

Bruce has been featured by artist Robert Shetterly in his collection of portraits and quotes entitled Americans Who Tell the Truth.  In 2006 he was the recipient of the Dr. Benjamin Spock Peacemaker Award.

He initiated the Maine Campaign to Bring Our War $$ Home in 2009 that spread to other New England states and beyond.  This campaign makes the important connections between endless war spending and fiscal crisis throughout the U.S.

In 2013 he helped organize the passage of a drone bill in the Maine state legislature that requires police to obtain warrants before they can spy on the public. The bill was vetoed by the governor.

His articles have appeared in publications like: Earth Island Journal, National Catholic Reporter, Asia Times, Le Monde Diplomatique, Sekai Journal (Japan), CounterPunch, Space News, Z Magazine, Ryukyu Shimpo (Okinawa) and Canadian Dimension.  Bruce published a new version of his book in 2008 called

Come Together Right Now: Organizing Stories from a Fading Empire.  He also has a blog called Organizing Notes.

In 2003 Bruce co-produced a popular documentary video entitled Arsenal of Hypocrisy that spelled out U.S. plans for space domination.  In 2010 Bruce was extensively featured in the award-winning documentary called Pax Americana and the Weaponization of Space.  In 2013 he was featured in the documentary video called The Ghosts of Jeju about the South Korean village fighting against construction of a Navy base.  He has worked to help build support for the Jeju Island issue for many years.

Bruce is also host of a public access TV show called This Issue that currently runs in 15 Maine communities. 

In 1968 Bruce was Vice-chair of the Okaloosa County (Florida) Young Republican Club while working on the Nixon campaign for president.

Bruce is a Vietnam-era veteran and began his organizing career by working for the United Farm Workers Union in Florida organizing fruit pickers.  He is an active member of Veterans for Peace.