What We Do

The Modesto Peace/Life Center’s projects include:

• A family Peace Camp held every year in the Sierras
• The Annual Peace Essay Contest for which essays are written and submitted by Stanislaus County school children
• The Homeless ID Project
• A Media committee which produces videos on important local issues.
• A monthly Peace & Justice Vigil on the first Wednesday from 4:30 to 5:30 PM at McHenry & J Sts., Modesto
• The yearly Harvest Gathering dinner to benefit the Peace Essay Contest
• The peace and justice newspaper, Stanislaus Connections
• The Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemoration co-sponsored by the City of Modesto Neighborhoods and Recreation Department, Modesto Junior College, Associated Students of Modesto Junior College, CSU Stanislaus, and others
• An Annual Pancake Breakfast held in June
• The Annual John McCutcheon Concert in January
• A monthly movie night
• Various lectures, marches, vigils
• The new and exciting development of a new, full-power FM radio station

For further information about our projects and activities, call the Center (209-529-5750), or email James Costello at


More on Modesto Peace/Life Center projects and events

Peace Essay

Each year since 1987, the Modesto Peace/Life Center has sponsored the Peace Essay Contest, open to 5th-12th grade students who live or attend school in Stanislaus County. Students write an essay in response to a question, carefully crafted anew each year, and the winners in four divisions are awarded prizes in a public ceremony. Over 1000 students from throughout the county entered the contest this year. They wrote essays in response to a question that began, “Imagine that you suddenly have the power to put into action a non-violent plan to bring about a more peaceful future that includes respect and fairness for all….”

If you would like to learn more about the Peace Essay Contest, contact

Enter the Peace Essay Contest here

Peace Camp

Each year, the Modesto Peace/Life Center organizes a Peace Camp held over the last weekend in June at Camp Peaceful Pines in the Sierras. 2017 will mark our 35th year. The weekend offers workshops, hiking, campfires, singing, a talent show, children’s activities and often thought-provoking speakers. Join us for great discussions, stimulating community and fun for people of all ages.

About Camp Peaceful Pines

At the 6,200-foot elevation in the Stanislaus National Forest on the Clark Fork of the Stanislaus River, Camp Peaceful Pines rests 25 miles above Pinecrest off Hwy 108. Surrounded by tall peaks, the camp has a creek running through it. The Clark Fork and Sunrise Rock, with views of the river valley, are short walks from camp.

The camp features kitchen and bathroom facilities, rustic cabins and platform tents (unheated) and a cabin for those with special needs. Campers share in meal preparation, cleanup, and other work.

Families and individuals are welcome.

The usual $85 fee covers program, food and lodging for the weekend. Young people are $65. Early registration, by May 1st, entitles registrants to a $10.00 per person discount. Partial financial aid and day-rates are also available.

Registration form will be available in April, 2017.

Campers may arrive any time after 2:00 p.m. on Friday. The camp opens with supper on Friday and closes at noon on Sunday. Directions and information will be mailed to participants before camp.

For more information contact Ken Schroeder: , or at (209) 569-0321.

Media Committee

The Media Committee meets periodically to develop projects. If you have ideas for social justice videos or computer skills in film-making, editing and/ or writing and would like to be involved, contact John Lucas at or call at the Center at (209) 529-5750.

Social Justice Youth Leadership Conference (inactive)

The first annual Social Justice Youth Leadership Conference was held in the fall of 2009 and was attended by 60 area high school students. The keynote speaker was Bonnie Kay, a representative of the international organization Free the Children. Free the Children built a school in the rural village of San Miguel, Ecuador, this last year with funds ($10,000) earned through fundraising efforts by area students. The Conference also allowed over a dozen area organizations such as the NAACP, PFLAG, Sierra Club, Tuolumne River Trust, and the ACLU to explain how area youth can be involved in their endeavors.

Vigils

The Modesto Peace/Life Center has a vigil the first Wednesday of the month at McHenry Ave. and J St. (“Five Points”). At present the times are from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. Signs will be provided. The latest videos can be found on vimeo at http://vimeo.com/user9154856/videos/sort:date