About CCJP

Financial Assistance
Non-violent Actions
Reconciliation of Controversial Issues

Membership Form

Promoting justice and peace in the Cumberland Plateau;
thinking globally, acting locally.

We accomplish this through:

Education – forums, pamphlets, newsletters
Networking – works with local and regional organizations whose aims are consistent with ours.
Financial assistance – awarded over $15,000 in grants and gifts to other organizations.
Non-violent actions – advocating non-violent problem solving strategies.
Facilitating reconciliation of controversial issues – devoting time to studying issues and offering support and strategies.


Committed to deterring prejudice and heightening awareness, CCJP is engaged in a number of educational activities.

The Jane Addams Children’s Book Awards (JABA) project is affiliated with the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom’s Jane Addams Peace Association. JABA recognizes children’s books which promote the causes of peace, social justice, world community, and the equality of the sexes and all races. CCJP members read newly published children’s books, make nominations to the national committee, and vote on the recipients of this annual award. We donate award-winning books to local public school libraries and recently compiled two lists, one a list of “Books for Girls” from titles read in the selection process, and a second list of books for children by southern writers written since 1996.

Disturbed that so many of the toys and games on the market today evoke violence and gender stereotyping, CCJP launched the Toy Action project, directed toward encouraging people to buy toys and games promoting peace and justice. The reaction voiced time and again was, “What a great idea!” We conducted workshops on children’s play and sent out several thousand brochures both on our own initiative and in response to the many requests from individuals and groups who heard or read about our campaign. To the same end, we provided funding to The Lion and Lamb Project, an organization devoted entirely to educating the public about how violence is a learned behavior, through means such as television and toys.

Responding to the frequency with which the Bible is cited in justifying moral and ethical positions, CCJP saw a need to explore topics of current importance using a critical-historical approach to Biblical interpretation. The brochure produced, “Homosexuality and the Bible: Another Look,” is now in its second printing with over 2500 copies distributed.
The Center has offered many forums for the community: the death penalty, violence in our culture, desegregation of the Franklin County school systems, integration of the Sewanee Inn, nuclear disarmament, environmental policies of the presidential candidates (2000), what to expect from the Bush administration (2001), the plight of Tibet, ‘Just War’ theories and the bombing of Afghanistan, and global feminism.

The Center publishes a quarterly newsletter for members and other organizations. The newsletter contains educational information about the center and relevant events affecting our world both locally and globally. CCJP hosts an awards banquet annually to recognize individuals from the surrounding area who have made significant contributions to the furthering of peace, justice and equity in our community.

Realizing the need for a younger generation of activists, CCJP began a series of free classes on social activism, drawing on the experiences of its members. Offered through the auspices of the University of the South as part of the “short course” non-credit listings, the class brought students, activists and other members of the Sewanee community together. Each class was taught by a different instructor and covered subjects such as the history of Sewanee and activism, theories of non-violence, everyday tactics for activism, methods for organizing movements and demonstration techniques.



CCJP is committed to the belief that peace and justice begin where one lives and are not likely to be achieved in the world unless they are achieved at home. In response to the needs of the community, we aided in the development of a family non-violence program, worked to improve the school situation in Franklin County for African Americans and for students in general, lobbied to make affordable housing available and helped with housing rehabilitation, and continue to seek ways to increase economic opportunities for low-income people.

Desiring to enhance the efforts of local and regional organizations whose aims are consistent with ours, we have assisted many grass-roots groups. Among these are the Appalachian Women’s Guild, the Community Action Program of Otey Parish Church, the Franklin County Black Community Coalition, the Franklin County Community Services Council, the Haven of Hope, Mid-Cumberland Mountain Ministry and Mid-Cumberland Mountain Housing, the Sewanee Community Council, the Sewanee Lease Holders and Utility District Ratepayers Associations, NAACP, Save Our Cumberland Mountains, Tennesseans for Fair Taxation, Interfaith Colleagues of Chattanooga, Tennesseans Against State Killing, the South Cumberland Regional Land Trust, Sewanee Food Buying Group, Students for a Free Tibet, Tennessee Industrial Renewal Network, Network for Global Economic Justice, Dogwood Alliance, Oak Ridge Environmental Peace Alliance, South Wings, Sequatchie Valley Institute, Appalachia-Science in the Public Interest, The Lion and Lamb Project, St. Mark’s Community Center, INFACT, Tennesseans for Non-Violent School Discipline, Highlander Folk School, and Campaign for Labor Rights.
In addition, we network with other organizations to support their events and issues. Recently, the Center organized a showing of INFACT’s video Making a Killing to promote a ban on tobacco companies and their subsidiaries. We also helped host, feed, and lead a non-violent workshop for thirty peace walkers marching against nuclear proliferation. Every year we support and attend a Black History Month Celebration near our town.


Along with its direct operations, CCJP engages in outreach and empowerment by providing small grants to aid individuals and groups with peace and justice activities. Grants are awarded twice a year in March and September. The Center has awarded over $15,000 in grants and gifts.

The Degen Grant was established in March of 2000 to encourage understanding of our relationship with and our responsibility for the local environment, to increase knowledge of our earth, its variety of physical environments and cultures, and to develop an appreciation of our inner dependence. This grant may also be used for supplies such as maps or equipment for enrichment programs.



Believing that violence teaches violence and is an ineffective and unacceptable means of bringing about change, CCJP devotes much energy to advocating non-violent problem-solving strategies.

We vigorously opposed the Gulf War, the bombings in Serbia, and the recent bombings in Afghanistan, responding with news releases and letters-to-the-editor and speaking at local peace rallies. In keeping with the principle that knowledge and awareness foster compassion and understanding, we have promoted international education in local schools and helped coordinate the visits of Russian cultural groups and Japanese students to rural Tennessee.

Taking a hands-on approach, CCJP sponsored the local elementary school in purchasing the “Reading, Thinking and Caring” curriculum applied in the Kindergarten classes. This program teaches the children conflict-resolution skills, empathy, tolerance, and responsibility. In 2001, CCJP helped facilitate and make arrangements for a “Peaceable Schools” training, held in Sewanee, for 80 teachers and administrators to promote the use of “Peaceable Schools” throughout the state. As a result, the program has been implemented in the entire school and the rights and responsibilities of children is a part of every classroom constitution.

Our booth at the annual Sewanee July Fourth parade showcases an array of pacific literature available for the taking. CCJP has joined with Tennessee Peace Action to advance the cause of nuclear disarmament and with Tennesseans Allied for Strong Communities in attacking federal budget priorities diverted toward military spending and away from community needs. Each year the Center contributes to and helps coordinate a Martin Luther King Day Celebration and a Hiroshima Day Observance. We aim to remind our community of the need for peace, equity and justice.



Understanding the importance of action, the Cumberland Center has tackled controversial issues such as tax reform and gun control in Tennessee as well as eco-justice issues.

The inequities in Tennessee’s tax structure have led to CCJP’s involvement in the statewide campaign to address the issue of tax reform. The sales tax on food and numerous loopholes in the current law, releasing businesses and industry from tax responsibilities, causes the heaviest tax burden to fall on low income Tennesseans. CCJP members have testified before the Tennessee State legislature, addressed interested citizen and community groups, launched a campaign of telephoning and writing letters to state legislators, as well as writing letters to local newspapers advocating tax reform. CCJP is an organizational member of Tennesseans for Fair Taxation (TFT) and joined in their march on the state capitol protesting Tennessee’s unfair tax laws. We collaborated with TFT to draft a comprehensive justification of tax reform which is being used as a benchmark to judge tax structure proposals introduced in the Legislature.
Shortly after the Columbine murders, CCJP members joined over two hundred Sewanee citizens to march against lax gun laws. CCJP has collaborated with the Million Moms March to highlight gun control in our community. We organized a demonstration at a gun show in Chattanooga protesting the gun show loophole, which allows minors and people with criminal histories to purchase guns.

Recognizing that the nature of and solutions to environmental problems are deeply intertwined with principles of justice, CCJP strongly supports the need to protect, preserve, and improve the local and regional natural environment. We sponsor local Earth Day events, helped start an ecologically responsible gardeners’ market and recycling center, joined in efforts to oppose a housing development harmful to Sewanee’s natural beauty, lobbied to reform water and sewer rates (especially for low-income customers), and participated in campaigns opposed to locating a hazardous waste incinerator in Marion County, a nuclear processing facility in Oak Ridge, and unregulated chip mills along the Tennessee River. We advocated and have marched for the creation and preservation of a national park in Chattanooga. During the past several years, the environmental movement has gained considerable momentum in southeastern Tennessee. CCJP networks with groups like the Oak Ridge Environmental Peace Alliance (OREPA), the Grass-roots Environmental Network, Save Our Cumberland Mountains (SOCM), and the South Cumberland Regional Land Trust whose efforts on the local and regional levels are meeting with great success in their goal of preserving and protecting our natural world.

CCJP continues to lead the way as one of the few organizations in rural southern Appalachia to address peace and justice issues.

In the past several years there has been a renewed interest on the part of grass-roots people in the area to seek greater control over their lives and a more just and peaceful future. Many of the groups we have assisted were not in existence when CCJP was formed in 1986: the Appalachian Women’s Guild, Haven of Hope, and the South Cumberland Regional Land Trust, to name only a few.

CCJP strongly encourages individuals or groups desiring organizational or financial assistance in advancing their personal commitment to justice and peace to contact us. Membership in CCJP is open to all who share our mission.



Cumberland Center for Justice and Peace
Membership Form

P.O. Box 307
Sewanee, TN 37375

[Membership Dues are $10 per year per person, Students, $5. No one is excluded from membership for lack of money.]
Telephone: Home ________________ Work___________________
Amount enclosed: $
If you wish, please look over the areas below; feel free to check any that interest you. Please understand checking an item entails no obligation on your part; it is merely for our records.
Areas of Interest:
Peace, including: ___ Nonviolence; ___ Nuclear; ___ Gun Control; ___ Other (specify) ___________
Education, including: ___ Children’s Book Project; ___ Educational pamphlets; ___ Forums;
___ CCJP newsletter; ___ Local history; ___ Other (specify) ____________
Environmental, including: ___ Earth Day; ___ Recycling; ___ Clean Air, Water Issues;
___ Clear Cutting; ___ Land Use; ___ Conservation, including Endangered/Threatened Species;
___ Other (specify) ___________________
Social, including: ___ Racism; ___ Gender; ___ Sex; ___ Feminism; ___; ___ Child/Adolescent Issues; ___ Senior Issues; ___ Other (specify) ________________
Political, including: ___ Capital Punishment; ___ Penal/Justice System; ___ Other (specify) _______________
Economic, including: ___ Taxation; ___ Corporate Welfare; ___ Globalization; ___ Medical/Dental/Mental Health Insurance; ___ Housing; ___ Other (specify) _________________
Additional comments:



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