“Veterans for Peace” Preview- International veterans organization to host Chicago Convention and Music Festival August 9th-13th

Michael McPhearson, Executive Director, Veteran's for Peace; photo courtesy Veterans for Peace
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“Veterans for Peace”

Announce National Convention and

“Power to Peace Festival” to be held in Chicago

August 9th-13th, 2017


The nation’s only veteran organization fully dedicated to abolish all war, Veterans for Peace, is hosting their first Chicago Convention and Music Festival August 9th-13th, 2017 at the Palmer House Hilton Hotel, 17 E. Monroe, Chicago.

Jackson Browne “Veterans for Peace” poster


Veterans for Peace, now in it’s 32nd year, has styled its convention “Education Not Militarization”, and will host a public Veterans Town Hall with the same name on Thursday, August 10th at 7p.m. at the First United Methodist Church, 77 W Washington, Chicago.  Veterans will discuss how increased militarization and inadequate education impact immigration, violence, sexism, the environment, policing and the social and psychological well being of our neighborhoods.


Veterans for Peace is also presenting its very first music festival, “Power to Peace Festival” at The Vic Theatre, 3145 N. Sheffield, Chicago, on Friday, August 11th at 6pm.


Closing night for the Convention includes a special performance and benefit for Veterans for Peace by Jackson Browne, Sunday, August 13th at Copernicus Theatre, 5216 W. Lawrence Ave, Chicago, at 7:30pm.


Veterans for Peace, an international organization of military veterans of all ages, will host workshops, panels, present speakers, host a banquet, present film screenings and provide musical entertainment. Their mission since 1985 has been “to build a new culture of peace, expose the costs of war, heal the wounds of war, seek justice for veterans and victims of war and end the arms race, reduce and eventually end nuclear weapons.”

“Power to Peace” Festival poster

“We are excited to be traveling to Chicago, to join our local chapter, in hosting our convention.  Chicago has a rich history of political activism and the opportunity to build on what the local chapter has been doing around linking struggles abroad and at home.  As veterans, we know that the cost of war has lasting implications for our communities and our neighborhoods,” said Michael McPhearson, Executive Director, Veterans For Peace. Added McPhearson, “For all of humanity to win, we as peacemakers and justice seekers must understand that all our struggles are inextricably linked. That your struggle is mine and mine is yours. Fear is central to this struggle. It is one of the most powerful means to control us. To make us hate each other for war, religious intolerance or whatever the case may be.”


Speakers at the convention will include: Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, retired U.S. Army Colonel and former Chief of Staff to U.S. secretary of State Colin Powell; Captain Paul K. Chappell, Iraq War veteran, a published author with a Peace Book series, lecturer, college instructor on Peace Leadership and the Director of Nuclear Age Peace Foundation; Rev. Lennox Yearwood, Jr., a minister and community activist who is also an influential member of political hip hop. Yearwood currently serves as President of the Hip Hop Caucus, a national nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that empowers young people to participate in elections, policymaking and service projects.

Veterans for Peace members holding flag

A night of musical and cultural exchange will take place by former Veteran musicians, poets, Chicago bands and DJs at the Festival. Among the talent include Chicago’s jazz singer Maggie Brown;alternative rock band “Acres to Miles”; DJ Dapper; Oklahoma’s national blues star, Watermelon Slim; Indiana’s pop-singer Kaylee Shahira; former veterans-turned musicians: James Toler, the UK’s Jim Radford; rap/hip hop performers Megacciph and Brittney Chantele. There will also be a Poetry Cipher by three female veterans: Sarah Mess, Norma Mahns, and Brittney Chantele.


Documentary films that will be screened include: “Beyond the Divide”, about the political and emotional divides between active duty soldiers in Vietnam and the burgeoning peace community at home in the United States; “A Bold Peace”, the story of Costa Rica’s 68-year victory to abolish their military; and “Three Tours”, about three U.S. vets returning from Iraq, who work to heal their wounds and battle with PTSD.


About Veterans for Peace:

Veterans For Peace is an international organization made up of military veterans, military family members and allies; accepting veteran members from all branches of service. Their networks are made up of over 120 chapters across the United States and abroad. Thsy are dedicated to building a culture of peace, exposing the true costs of war, and healing the wounds of war.


National Board Advisors of Veterans for Peace include activists and former veterans-turned celebrities: Yoko Ono, actor Ed Asner, Director Oliver Stone, musician Jackson Browne, Ralph Nadar, among many others.


Veterans for Peace “Education not Militarization” poster

For more information, visit The Veterans for Peace website


For tickets and information to the “Power for Peace Festival”, go to the victhatre website 



All images and photos courtesy of “Veterans for Peace”


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