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Bio Sketches of Our Staff 

Jack Payden-Travers, Executive Director

Jack Payden-Travers has been actively resisting militarism since his college days when he wrestled with the issue of conscientious objection to the draft during the Vietnam War. He refused induction after the Selective Service System denied his request for conscientious objection status. Jack has worked on the national staff of the Fellowship of Reconciliation and the ACLU's Capital Punishment Project. He is an educator, social activist and whitewater enthusiast having just recently learned to roll his kayak.

Jack holds a Masters of Arts Degree in Liberal Studies from Hollins University and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in History from Iona College. In 2010 he received a Certificate in Conflict Transformation from the Center for Justice & Peacebuilding at Eastern Mennonite University. A former history professor, middle school teacher, day care center director and househusband, Jack lectures at law schools, colleges and high schools and speaks at various houses of worship. His goal is to "teach peace" through his consultation service, the New Society Construction Company.

A trainer for nonviolent direct actions, Jack was one of nine abolitionists arrested for demonstrating in January 2007 on the plaza of the U.S. Supreme Court on the 30th anniversary of the execution of Gary Gilmore, the first man to die in the modern era of the death penalty. Jack serves on the Board of Directors of the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty, the Advisory Board of Virginians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty, and the Boards of the Episcopal Thrift Shop of Amherst, Virginia, and the Lynchburg Peace Education Center.

Jack has two grandchildren and loves it when they call him "Papa Jack." He is married to the Rev. Christine Payden-Travers, and together they have opposed paying for war while praying for peace for the past 39 years.