Bridging What Divides Us: National Conflict Resolution Center Announces Honorees for Annual Peacemaker Awards

SAN DIEGO (February 16, 2022)— The National Conflict Resolution Center (NCRC) will present its 34th Annual Peacemaker Awards on Saturday, April 23, starting at 5:00 p.m. The beloved gala, honoring individuals and organizations dedicated to peacemaking in their own neighborhoods and around the world, will return as an in-person, outdoor event after going virtual in 2021. The inspiring evening will spotlight the importance of civility, peacemaking, and social justice after several years of historic uncertainty and unrest. This year’s theme is Bridging What Divides Us. Long-time San Diego community leader Michael Brunker will serve as emcee.

The 2022 Peacemaker Honorees are:


Barbara F. Walter

The UC San Diego professor and New York Times best-selling author of “How Civil Wars Start: And How to Stop Them.” For sounding a clarion call for a new commitment to democracy and civility throughout the United States.


Voices of Our City Choir 

For building community through music and amplifying the voices of people experiencing homelessness in San Diego. The choir was recently semi-finalists on “America’s Got Talent.” 


Rolf and Mary Benirschke 

For a lifetime of charitable giving and collaboration to uplift and empower individuals and communities from all corners of society. 

"Our country has been on a path of increasing polarization for many years now, but the pandemic has accelerated and thrown new light onto those deepening divisions," said National Conflict Resolution Center’s President Steven P. Dinkin. "But now is the time to heal, and we all have a role to play in saving our nation's democracy. This year's Peacemakers’ honorees have made major contributions toward taking our nation on a path forward out of bitterness and bridging what divides us, and we are proud to elevate their unique and groundbreaking achievements." 

Funds raised will help NCRC’s transformative work, including its innovative A Path Forward initiative, which organizes community dialogues and other restorative practices that bring people of different backgrounds together to find common solutions to their community’s most pressing problems. 

Since the first Peacemaker Awards in 1989, NCRC has celebrated the accomplishments of many individuals and organizations for their ability to recognize a need for change, then craft a positive solution to the issue. The organization has given awards to deserving recipients ranging from well-known elected officials and public figures to reformed gang members and tattoo artists. Knowing that peacemaking happens in a variety of ways, NCRC celebrates both large and small acts of successful conflict management. At the 2021 Peacemaker Awards, the organization added Dr. Anthony Fauci, Nene and Ekene Okolo, and the heads of San Diego’s three community foundations, Beth Sirull, Mark Stuart, and Christy Wilson to the list of awardees who actively support collaborative problem-solving and work to bridge divides to strengthen communities. By publicly acknowledging and celebrating these outstanding individuals and organizations, NCRC hopes the annual Peacemaker Awards will broadcast far and wide that there is hope for change and we must always strive to find positive solutions to conflict and violence.


What: National Conflict Resolution Center’s 34th annual Peacemaker Awards

When: Saturday, April 23 

Where: Outdoors at the Hilton Bayfront - 1 Park Blvd., San Diego, Calif. 92101

Program: 5 - 6:30 p.m. – Cocktail Hour | 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. – Dinner 

Please note: The event will observe safety guidelines to protect the wellbeing of attendees, staff, and volunteers. 

For more information about the event, including sponsorships and to purchase tickets, please visit NCRC’s website.

Event sponsors as of Feb 9, 2022: 

Media is welcome to cover the event. Please email Arika Daniels at [email protected] to be added to the media list.

About National Conflict Resolution Center

National Conflict Resolution Center (NCRC) provides the resources, training, and expertise to help people, organizations, and communities around the world manage and solve conflicts, with civility. Built on the principle that every dispute has a solution, NCRC serves a variety of communities in both the public and private sectors – regionally, nationally, and internationally. The organization’s mission is to resolve issues with the highest possible degree of civility and equitability to all parties involved.

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