Our Capital Campaign- Own Your Peace
The Kalamazoo Peace Center needs your help to raise $60,000 for the construction of a new office!
We need your help! Please go to https://www.wepay.com/donations/own_your_peace or send Checks for Tax Deductible donations can be made out to the “Wesley Foundation”-simply write “peace center” on the memo line and mail it The Kalamazoo Peace Center, 2101 Wilbur Ave, Kalamazoo Mi, 49007.
Or, be sure to check our website for information on upcoming fundraiser concerts, dinners, and events. T-shirts will be available soon!
The Wesley Foundation of Kalamazoo has, for the past twenty years, been kind enough to house the Peace Center free of charge in a basement office within their Ministry Center, near the center of WMU’s campus. Use of this office has played a vital role in the Peace Center’s mission. The office provides a place to meet and plan, houses integral resources, and serves as a safe-space on campus. Both student organizations and community groups alike are encouraged to make use of the myriad resources available through the office. In this way, the Peace Center office has become a hub for activism in Kalamazoo.
However, our time in this office will soon be coming to a close, as the Wesley Foundation prepares to move to a new building. Over recent decades, as WMU’s campus has greatly expanded, the current site of the Wesley Foundation has been entirely surrounded by WMU property. Moreover, the existing Wesley Foundation building is in dire need of renovation which would cost more $1 million in order to bring the building up to modern standards of energy efficiency and accessibility for those with physical disabilities. As it stands, the Wesley Foundation building has three floors, with the restrooms located in the basement and no elevator. Because the Peace Center is located in the basement, it is inaccessible to those who are unable to use the stairs.
Western Michigan University has offered a parcel of land it holds contiguous with the expanded WMU main campus in exchange for the Wesley Foundation’s current building and property, and the Wesley foundation has accepted the proposal. The new building will still be located near the center of WMU’s campus, and the Peace Center’s new office within this building will be an even more welcoming location for student and community activists.
The Wesley Foundation has moved forward on their plan to raise the $2 million required for construction of this building, but the Peace Center will be required to provide $70,000 to finance the construction of a 392 square foot office. This will allow the Peace Center to remain within the proximity of campus, become more accessible, and retain its status as an incubator for social justice in the community. Most importantly, the Peace Center’s relationship with the Wesley Foundation will mean that the professional relationship between the two organizations will be maintained. The Wesley Foundation has agreed to provide the Peace Center with wireless internet, utilities, amenities and usage of the building free of rent provided that the Peace Center finances the offices initial construction. This means that the office will be sustainable, and will continue to serve as a resource to the community for years to come.
This proposal requests support for only the construction costs of a 392 square foot office within the Wesley Ministry Center. Program and operating costs will be managed separately. No support is being asked for continuing operations.
One of the Peace Center’s main functions is as a hub for progressive activism. The office serves as a computer lab, an info-library, a meeting place, and so much more. Many students use the Peace Center as a safe-space on campus, where they can come to unwind and dialogue with others in an inviting atmosphere. Because the Peace Center networks between a diverse array of social justice organizations, the office has become a sort of meeting place for like-minded individuals to coordinate their efforts. Therefore, it’s important that the building be as welcoming as possible.
The Ministry Center will house a multi-use space which can be used for musical performances, an inviting lounge, office space, smaller meeting rooms and a kitchen and dining space. This modern facility will be a single story building with grade level entrances, fully accessible, energy efficient, and flexible for a variety of uses. An office that is accessible to all is a necessity, especially considering the Peace Center’s commitment to equality and social justice. The need for compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act is critical to serve a growing population that includes non-traditional students, especially those with current or past military service.