|Editor, Peace and Environment News|
I spent time today in the office of the Peace and Environment Resource Centre (PERC), a magazine-, computer-, and book-lined room on the third floor of a church auxiliary building built in the late 1920s. Over the past year and a half, I've climbed the echoing marble staircase dozens of times to join the staff and other volunteers who run this long-standing non-profit organization.
One of the PERC's original founders, the Centre's newspaper editor, Margaret Jensen, was there this afternoon, quietly adding final editorial marks to the next issue's articles about homelessness.
Margaret, in my experience, is possibly the calmest, most unassuming person I've ever met. I can't picture her in a tizzy or raising her quiet voice to anyone.
Yet since the early 1980s, this kind woman has regularly broadcast the fervent voices of advocates and activists to the citizens of Canada's National Capital Region. The Peace and Environment News is her brainchild, and she, the volunteer authors, and the PERC team have produced dozens of issues -- hundreds of thousands of copies -- of passionate papers, reminding people to stay awake.
The values that Margaret embodies -- her concern for the planet and for social justice -- seem to radiate from her peaceful nature. As gentle as she is, the issues she cares about so deeply reveal the intensity of her ardor, and command a fully-earned respect.