Chicago Area Peace Action (CAPA) works to promote justice and peace by educating and mobilizing Chicago Area residents and students to promote human and planet oriented policies.
Our vision is a world in which justice prevails for all, free of the devastation caused by war, racism, poverty, nuclear weapons, and environmental degradation.
WHO WE ARE
We are a grassroots Chicago-based nonprofit, and an affiliate of the national organization Peace Action, that seeks to transform our nation’s priorities towards justice, peace and environmental stewardship.
WHAT WE DO
We educate and mobilize Chicago area activists to advocate for policies that reflect our vision and values through letter writing campaigns, petitions, direct action, online advocacy, lobbying our legislators, and more.
LAND ACKNOWLEDGMENT We acknowledge that the “Chicago Area” has endured a history of colonization by force and the attempted erasure of local indigenous peoples by settlers. We recognize this land as the home of indigenous nations and communities including:
Anishinaabeg (Ojibwe), Odawak (Odawa), and Bodéwadmik (Potawatomi); Hoocąk (Winnebago/Ho’Chunk), Jiwere (Otoe), Nutachi (Missouria), and Baxoje (Iowas); Kiash Matchitiwuk (Menominee); Meshkwahkîha (Meskwaki); Asâkîwaki (Sauk); Myaamiaki (Miami), Waayaahtanwaki (Wea), and Peeyankihšiaki (Piankashaw); Kiikaapoi (Kickapoo); Inoka (Illini Confederacy).
SOLIDARITY WITH THE MOVEMENT FOR BLACK LIVES CAPA recognizes that a U.S. history of systemic racism and white supremacy has impacted Black Americans with devastating consequences, many of which remain in place today. We find it our responsibility to actively dismantle these systems, to the best of our ability, through our advocacy and activism. This includes partnering with local Black-led peace and justice groups and “getting in where we fit in.”
SOLIDARITY WITH ALL MARGINALIZED GROUPS Our work to dismantle systemic injustice while building a more just world relies on recognizing the historic and ongoing oppression of many communities impacted by white supremacy, patriarchy, and U.S. imperialism. This includes all groups targeted or refused status and equity due to their race, origin, gender, sexual orientation, and/or ability level.
Chicago Area Peace Action was originally organized as North Shore Peace Initiative (NSPI) in 1978 by Bob Cleland and Mel Traylor. Our initial executive director of 14 years, Allan Howe, spearheaded the group into becoming a major factor in organizing the 1982 Illinois Nuclear Freeze Campaign.
In 1984 our organization worked nationally with Peace Action and other groups to get a Nuclear Freeze Bill through the U. S. Senate. Since then, we’ve expanded the issues to include reducing military spending, stopping armed conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, and addressing climate change.
In 2011, we changed our name to Chicago Area Peace Action, CAPA; to not only expand our reach to the greater Chicago area, but also to become an affiliate of a national organization, Peace Action, the largest grassroots peace network in the nation, with chapters and affiliates across the country. Through Peace Action, CAPA has been able to ensure the Chicago Area’s voice is heard and pressure is applied to policymakers. As an affiliate of Peace Action we are fortunate to share in collaborative efforts with, and the resources of this national organization and its expert staff.
One way that you can engage with the CAPA community is to join our CAPA-Sharing Google Group. It’s a place where any member of the group can post articles and share information that would be of interest to people working for justice through peace and environmental advocacy. To join, send an email to email@example.com and we can add you to the group. You can unsubscribe at any time.
CAPA partners with organizations from around the Chicago Area and across the nation to achieve its mission
Dedicated Chicagoans are responsible for the day-to-day outreach and work achieved at CAPA
AT-LARGE BOARD MEMBERS
STUDENT NETWORK DIRECTOR
Charles Johnson- Organizing Director
As CAPA’s Organizing Director, Charles works to uplift and connect peace and justice campaigns in Chicago and beyond. He aims to build multiracial, multigenerational peace at grassroots level while interacting with all sides and influence levels. Charles seeks constructive models to replace destructive economic, environmental, and security models. Charles has learned from activists and groups including Nonviolent Peaceforce, Institute for Nonviolence Chicago, Chicago Alliance, Codepink, World Beyond War, and lives in an intentional community in Chicago. These experiences have helped him rethink how we share resources, protect ourselves, and include everyone in our sphere of concern.
Liz Bajjalieh- Student Network Director
Liz Bajjalieh is the Student Network Director for Chicago Area Peace Action, where she guides CAPA’s University Chapters at DePaul University, Loyola University, and University of Illinois Urbana/Champagne and mentors their young peace activists. She is also working to build coalitions with Chicago peace organizations and national peace organizations to strengthen CAPA’s mission.
Previously, she worked with the American Friends Service Committee and Friends Committee on National Legislation. In these roles, she lobbied, educated, and advocated for peace and human rights policies related to Yemen, Palestine, and Iran. She is also the current Advocacy Campaigner for Just Foreign Policy, where she manages congressional outreach by assisting senior staff in advancing policy efforts and building relationships with congressional Hill offices.
Liz graduated cum laude from Loyola University Chicago with a B.A. in Sociology and Anthropology and was honored with the inaugural Judith Wittner Social Justice in Action Award. She is also a poet, an avid book reader, is drawn to anything that has eyes on it, and loves the moon.
If you would like more information, to volunteer, or intern for CAPA please contact us