MJ and Jerry Park founded Little Friends For Peace (LFFP) in St. Paul, Minnesota, in 1981. Named for the "little" part we can all play in spreading peace, LFFP seeks to eradicate violence by teaching skills for peace.
After relocating to Mount Rainier, Maryland, in 1988, MJ and Jerry brought peace-building to the D.C. metropolitan area while continuing their mission through partnerships in Minnesota and international communities, such as El Salvador.
In 1999, Little Friends For Peace became a founding organization of the community-initiated Perry School Community Services Center by establishing a Peace Room for the Youth Development Department and the Sursum Corda neighborhood.
In July 2006, LFFP was officially incorporated as a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt nonprofit, and it continues to operate through dedicated, individual donor support. You can show your support here.
LFFP runs week-long Peace Camps throughout the summer and also brings peace education to schools and after-school programs for youth across the DC-MD-VA area. LFFP also offers trainings, peace circles and enrichment programs for adults throughout the year. Over the decades, MJ and Jerry's dedication to peace and their consistent commitment to meeting people where they are have empowered many communities to transform into cultures of peace.
In the summer of 2009, the Parks purchased the "Peace Oasis" in Accokeek, Maryland, where visitors can experience peace with nature.
Awards and Accolades
On May 14, 2016, MJ and Jerry received the Kit Collins Micah Award from the Stuart Center in Washington, D.C. This award is named after the founder and director of the Stuart Center who was known for her strong spirit and dedication to social justice. It is presented to a person or group who exhibits much of the same qualities as Sr. Kit Collins.
Saint Francis International School
MJ and Jerry Park and were recognized on May 11, 2016, for their work in partnership with Saint Francis International School.
Msgr. John Enzler and Deacon Jim Shanahan from Catholic Charities DC celebrated the Innovations in Catholic Education Award from Today's Catholic Teacher magazine, and the school's peacemaking project that was the focus of the award.
During Mass, Fr. Jacek Orzechowski, O.F.M., explained the importance of peacemaking in the message of Jesus and the central role that peacemaking plays in the Franciscan tradition.