RPEC Announces 2015 Peacemaker Honorees

Richmond Peace Education Center Announces Peacemaker of the Year Award Recipients: Dr. John Moeser and The Thrifty Quaker

The Richmond Peace Education Center is pleased to announce it has chosen to honor both a special individual and a unique group as its 2015 Peacemakers of the Year. This year’s Peacemaker award recipients are Dr. John Moeser and The Thrifty Quaker.

Dr. John Moeser is Senior Fellow at the University of Richmond’s Bonner Center for Civic Engagement and professor emeritus at Virginia Commonwealth University. For the past forty years, his research, teaching, and community engagements have deepened the community’s understanding of race, poverty and urban politics. His work has had a profound influence on the community conversation and the direction of public policy locally. His contributions to the public discourse in metro-Richmond are simply unparalleled.

Dr. Moeser has been a sharp observer of city governance and politics for more than a generation. Over the past decade he has served as senior fellow at the University of Richmond’s Bonner Center for Civic Engagement. He has written dozens of articles on alleviating poverty, regional cooperation, and racial inequality.

Dr. Moeser served on Mayor Dwight Jones’ Anti-Poverty Commission; and he spent hundreds of hours analyzing data from the 2010 census in order to shed light on the social patterns and divisions that mark our region. He has generously shared this analysis with countless groups working for community change.

In collaboration with the Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities and Hope in the Cities, his data analysis of our region was captured in Unpacking the Census.  The video allows educators and facilitators across the region to teach about the persistent, historically-based, structural inequality that continues to damage the social and economic health of metro Richmond.  Dr. Moeser’s research also inspired and informed the Richmond Peace Education Center’s own video series on Richmond, Race and Regionalism.

Recently Dr. Moeser been gathering, analyzing, and mapping data on the spread of poverty into Chesterfield and Henrico Counties. His research and presentations have spurred important conversations about economic inequality, the need for regional cooperation, and the impact of poverty on schools, housing, transportation, and economic opportunity.  We honor Dr. Moeser for his countless contributions to community knowledge and to building a more just Richmond region.


Since 1996, The Thrifty Quaker thrift store, created by local Quakers of the Midlothian Friends Meeting, has raised and donated more than $400,000 in monetary grants to peace groups and charities, and an estimated $2.5 million in goods to other thrift stores and individuals in need.

Each month, the Peace and Social Action Committee of Midlothian Friends Meeting designates a local nonprofit to receive the monetary grant. Nearly one hundred percent of the store’s net earnings that month go directly to the recipient group, with the remaining portion of the net earnings going to help individuals in crisis.

The Richmond Peace Education Center has been a frequent recipient, and The Thrifty Quaker gifts have directly and measurably strengthened the center’s capacity, and its work for peace. Countless other worthy peace initiatives and charitable causes have also received vital support from The Thrifty Quaker. Additionally, the store provides employment for a number of workers from the local area, as well as opportunities for volunteering to support a number of mostly local charities through the store’s mission.

Friend$hare, The Thrifty Quaker’s own “inside” charity, has the specific mission of providing emergency funds to individuals in urgent financial crisis that could result in their becoming homeless, jobless, or endangered due to lack of housing, utilities, medical treatment or equipment.  Friend$hare provides the resources directly to billing agencies upon the recommendation of Social Services agencies or other trusted sources, as they help individuals become stabilized and functioning in society.

The Thrifty Quaker builds peace and social justice by working through the store to advertise and promote the charities, collecting food to feed the hungry, as well as giving donations.  The Thrifty Quaker has provided funding to well over a hundred mostly local charities as well as providing education and support to organizations. The store is located at 13567 Midlothian Turnpike in the Midlothian Station Shopping Center in the heart of the village of Midlothian.  It’s website is www.thriftyquaker.com.

Dr. Moeser and The Thrifty Quaker will be recognized at the Peace Center’s Membership Appreciation dinner on June 4 and at its fundraising Auction and Dinner on November 7.