Cranbrook Peace Foundation
The philosophy of the Cranbrook Peace Foundation is rooted in the concept that conflict is natural. Conflict can prove an important opportunity for change. A violent response is neither inevitable nor necessarily productive.
What sets the Cranbrook Peace Foundation apart from other peace and justice organizations is its focus. Typically, peace organizations react to conflict as it occurs and often attention is directed toward the confrontation rather than to the root causes of such conflict. Local peace organizations which rise in response to a specific problem have a limited life-span, no matter how valuable their work, because the public’s attention is diverted from one area to another. CPF is structured in such a way that it is designed to respond to the needs of the local community and in general, it is not an advocacy organization for specific issues.
The crane has been the symbol of the Cranbrook Peace Foundation since its inception. The crane is an international symbol of peace. For thousands of years, humankind has been inspired by the primeval calls, elaborate dances, impressive migrations, and graceful beauty of the cranes. They are fitting symbols of diplomacy and cooperation.
The first goal of the Cranbrook Peace Foundation is educational. The primary function is the Annual Lecture. Since the first lecture, given by John Kenneth Galbraith to a standing-room only audience, the program has fulfilled the aim of bringing a speaker of national or international stature to the metropolitan Detroit area. These are individuals whose life and work have enhanced peace-making.
The second goal of the Cranbrook Peace Foundation is to serve as a granting agency. Peace organizations or individuals, primarily in southeastern Michigan, may apply for funds for specific project that are not part of their regular operating budget. These peace initiative grants began in September 1989. Startup funds have been granted to 110 projects since then. These unsolicitied grant proposals have addressed key isues in conflict transformation, peace education, racism, the death penalty, and human rights. CPF funds have provided ongoing support of the education department at Marygrove College. Programs for conflict resolution have been conducted in elementary and high school systems throughout the Detroit area.
The latest program of CPF is the Youth Leadership Project, a series of adventure experiences for juniors in high school to learn firsthand about the complex issues of our society and to prepare them for active citizenship as adults. Under the direction of Marie Hochstein, the students participate in daylong programs that address food production and distribution, hunger & homelessness, health care, the arts and culture, the legal system and advocacy for social change. The program culminates with a trip to the Mexico-U.S. border to study the effects of globalization.