NNOMY at the 2017 VFP Education Not Militarization Convention in Chicago

Education Not Militarization

The National Network Opposing the Militarization of Youth will be participating in the 2017 Veterans For Peace National Convention in Chicago August 11th, 2017. Located at the beautiful and historic Palmer House Hotel, veterans and allies will gather to discuss "Education Not Militarization". Registration begins on Wednesday, August 9th and ends on August 13th with a benefit concert by Jackson Browne. The week will be filled with amazing workshops, discussions, community and music. 

NNOMY will be presenting a Mini Plenary workshop between 1:30 and 3:00pm in the Spire meeting room on Friday, August 11th 2017 with the theme, Education Not Militarization: The Nuts and Bolts of Pursuing Policy Changes to Counter Recruitment and Demilitarize Schools. 

In the Hancock room, at 3:15 to 4:45pm NNOMY will conduct the workshop, Education Not Militarization: Educating students and countering military recruitment inside the schools, with multiple presenters. Please be on time so we can cover all the materials and have time for questions.

Mini-plenary: Education Not Militarization: The Nuts and Bolts of Pursuing Policy Changes to Counter Recruitment and Demilitarize Schools



Are you troubled by frequent recruiter visits, ASVAB testing or JROTC in your schools? Are you having difficulty gaining equal school access to counter military recruiting? This workshop will cover ways that activists have successfully approached these problems at the policy level. It’s been done in some of the largest school districts in the country (e.g., NY City, L.A., Chicago, San Diego), and at the state level in some cases. This policy approach is another powerful tool that can be useful for having an impact beyond individual school visits. The presentation will review successful methods as well as some of the challenges organizers have encountered.


Kate Connell is the coordinator of Truth in Recruitment, a Santa Barbara, CA, student advocacy group. She is a parent, a member of the Santa Barbara Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) and associate member of Veterans for Peace.  From 1999 - 2003, she worked with Sustainable Options for Youth (then Non-Military Options for Youth) in Austin, Texas. In 2014, after a two-year campaign, the Santa Barbara Unified District School Board passed a policy regulating recruiter access to K-12 students, which applies equally to all recruiter categories - military, college and employers. The policy places strict limits on recruiting activities, including the number of recruiter visits and how they may engage with students.

Rick Jahnkow is the Program Coordinator for the Project on Youth and Non-Military Opportunities (Project YANO), a counter-recruitment organization based in San Diego County, CA. For over 30 years he has been a full-time researcher and organizer focusing on the issues of military recruiting and militarism in the K-12 school system. He co-authored policies in the San Diego Unified School District that regulate JROTC and recruiting activities, and drafted legislation to stop ASVAB testing for recruitment purposes in California high schools (adopted by the legislature but vetoed by governor). Rick sits on the steering committee of the National Network Opposing the Militarization of Youth (NNOMY).

Jesús A. Palafox Valdovinos currently serves as the Midwest Regional Administrative Associate with the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC). Prior becoming an Administrative Associate, Jesús was the Truth in Recruitment Program Associate with AFSC, where his work centered around youth and militarism. During tenure with AFSC, Jesús helped to pass a policy on recruitment access in Chicago Public Schools. He is currently working on a Master of Social Work at the University of Chicago.


Workshop: Education Not Militarization: Educating students and countering military recruitment inside the schools



This workshop will focus on what you can do to reach and educate students at the individual school level. Tactics that will be discussed include leafleting, career fairs, peace clubs, tabling, speakers’ bureaus, peace camps and the teen and other cemetery displays, along with new project ideas. Learn from others who have navigated and overcome barriers to becoming a part of the school culture and are now considered welcomed resources inside their local high schools. Troubleshooting with other experienced peace and justice advocates will be part of this workshop.

Each participant will receive a free Back-to-School Kit, a copy of How to Start a Peace Club booklet with ideas for classroom lessons and speakers, and other NNOMY resources.


Libby Frank is a volunteer and co-founder of Northwest Suburban Peace & Education Project; a counter recruitment organization based in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. Since 2004 NWSUBPEP has been tabling at all six high schools in District 214. She also was a volunteer for many years with the Truth in Recruitment project of the Chicago chapter of the American Friends Service Committee. She is also a steering committee of the National Network Opposing Militarization of Youth (NNOMY).

Pat Alviso is on the steering committee of the National Network Opposing Militarization of Youth (NNOMY) and currently leads three high school peace clubs in her local school district, while continuing to build and organize with other peace clubs. She is also the National Coordinator of Military Families Speak Out (MFSO). Alviso’s work and story have been covered on CNN, NPR, KPFK, BBC and other national and local media. She continues to speak widely about the true cost of war in classrooms and other venues across the country, while serving on several local peace group steering committees and is a regular leader and participant weekly vigils and memorial displays.

Michelle Cohen is an adult school teacher from Los Angeles. She joined CAMS, the Coalition for Alternatives to Militarism in Our Schools in 2004 to work with like-minded people to oppose military recruiting and related pro-military policies in schools and society. Michelle coordinates Project Great Futures was developed within CAMS as a way to work within the schools to promote alternatives to military service as well as a wide range of positive options for youth after high school. Today Project Great Futures is part of NNOMY, the National Network Opposing the Militarization of Youth.

And Remember to Visit the NNOMY Table at the Convention to pick up our brochure and visit with us to learn more about countering the militarization of our youth in their schools.



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The National Network Opposing

the Militarization of youth
San Diego Peace Campus

3850 Westgate Place
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