The Peace Study Center, Inc. was inspired by a conference in the fall of 2005 at the Callaway Gardens in Pine Mountain, Georgia. The theme was “Children’s Books, Messengers of Peace” and the sponsor was the United States Board on Books for Young People. (USBBY or www.usbby.org)
Both Hannah and Cindy were awed by the speakers and their messages. A display from the International Youth Library (IYL)or www.ijb.de) in Munich, Germany caught their eye. It was full of unusual and powerful books from many countries, all dealing with the theme of “hello, dear enemy.” After hearing a presentation by IYL’s Jochen Weber, Cindy was determined to return to Baltimore and connect children’s books about peace with educators of young children. With encouragement from other participants, Cindy and Hannah began the journey to found a center for the study of peace and justice through children’s literature.
The Session of the Govans Presbyterian Church voted in February 2007 to host the Center in the Milton Jarrell Memorial Library in the Education Building at 5828 York Road in Baltimore city. This facility has a large kitchen, a gallery, a spacious meeting room, a peace garden and a labyrinth. It seemed like the perfect place to host workshops and visits by educators, parents, children and guests.
The Center is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.