By Lindsay Steele
The Catholic Messenger
CLINTON — Recently, the organization formerly known as the Center for Active Nonviolence and Peacemaking wanted to create a billboard advertisement to share its message with the community, but the length of the group’s name was getting in the way.
“When we tried to include the name, we had to put the type on so small that you couldn’t read it,” said organization co-coordinator Laura Anderson. “The length was starting to hinder our ability to raise awareness.”
A brainstorming session followed, and along with it, a more focused moniker: Franciscan Peace Center. Board members say the new name is easier to remember and clarifies its relationship with the Sisters of St. Francis, with whom the organization has been affiliated since its inception 25 years ago.
Anderson said, “The (former) name was confusing a lot of people.”
Board members said the most crucial aspect of the new name is that it emphasizes their goal for active nonviolence, which co-coordinator Sister Nancy Miller describes as active engagement in respectful, nonviolent ways. Through active nonviolence, the Franciscan Peace Center advocates for social justice issues including poverty, immigration reform, care for creation and an end tohuman trafficking, the death penalty, domestic violence and sexual assault.
Sister Anne Martin Phelan, president of the Sisters of St. Francis, said, “The concept of active nonviolence grows out of the fact that it is not necessary to hurt one another in order to achieve justice. It is actually a much more successful method for bringing about long-lasting social change and true peace.”
The organization has a new logo to go along with the new name. It features an olive branch as a symbol of peace. The logo — and new name — will be featured in outreach materials for the organization. All email addresses, website and social media presence will remain intact.
Board member Sister Nancy Miller, OSF, said the new name and logo “don’t change our goal, they just focus on what we are called to do.”