History of the Wade Mackie Peacemaking Award

Prepared by Paul Y. Burns, a friend of Wade’s

Bienville House Center for Peace and Justice, in 1987, began making an annual peacemaking award to recognize Baton Rouge citizens who have helped to foster peace with justice.  The award was named for the late Wade Mackie, an outspoken opponent of racial segregation in Baton Rouge inn the late 1950’s.

            Wade came to Baton Rouge in 1957 as the local representative of the American Friends Service Committee(AFSC), an organization working internationally to remove the causes of injustice and war.  His mission was to work for better race relations.

            Wade set up a storefront office on Government Street, located, symbolically, close to what was then the borderline between white and black neighborhoods.  Blacks and whites met there at his invitation, even though local law officers strongly disapproved, to get to know each other better and plan for improved race relations.  Along with others, Wade helped to integrate Baton Rouge public schools and to break down racial barriers throughout the community.

            A gentle man of great integrity, Wade’s tactic was friendly persuasion, and he was never strident or bitter or resentful.  He was transferred out of Baton Rouge in 1969, and died in North Carolina in 1971, seven years before Bienville House’s predecessor organization was founded.  Selma Mackie, Wade’s widow, is a long-time member of Bienville House.  She resides in Greensboro, North Carolina.

Wade Mackie Peacemaking Award Winner for 2014

Father Roy Bourgeois

Previous Wade Mackie Peacemaking Award winners:

1987 Hoyt Oliver and Lilith Quinlan
1988 Hebert Rothschild, Jr.
1989 Margaret St. Amant
1990 Joel Selbin
1991 Paul Y. and Kathleen Burns
1992 The Sisters St. Joseph of Medaille Baton Rouge Region
1993 Hilda Arndt
1994 Richard Haymaker and Holley Galland Haymaker
1995 Helen Prejean, csj
1996 Trudi Meyers
1997 Bob and Diana Dorroh
1998 Tim Vining and Steve Donahue
1999 Senator J.D. DeBlieux
2000 Kathy and Tom Gess
2001 Roberta Madden
2004 Paula Henderson and Dr. Robert Reich
2005 Bill Quigley
2006 Malik Rahim, Common Ground
2007 Rev. Phil Woodland
2009 Rev. Randy Nichols
2011 Rev. Steve Crump
2014 Father Roy Bourgeois

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