Ending nuclear war and fostering nonviolence were the starting focus of what was initially called the Traprock Peace Center located on Woolman Hill in Deerfield, Massachusetts. In 1978 two Boston-area leaders in nonviolence, Beverly Woodward and Harvey Cox, sought out Western Massachusetts peace activists to launch the first of what they hoped would be an international necklace of centers of nonviolence. Randy Kehler, the first Traprock director, focused on “thinking globally and acting locally” and within the first years hundreds of community volunteers became engaged in launching the Nuclear Weapons Freeze Campaign, hearing frequent speakers on a variety of facets of international peacebuilding, and creating resources to engage people in countering the nuclear war industry.
The mission has broadened over the past decade. Currently Traprock addresses and supports local struggles such as the successful campaign to close the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant; support for sustainable ecology; labor issues; challenges to our civil liberties; and counter recruitment. Under Board President Pat Hynes, Traprock sponsors the “Roots of Peace” series with informative programs that include speakers, book discussions, documentary films, and reports from peacemakers traveling and working internationally. Traprock provides leadership to illuminate, critique, and change the militarism of our culture and the military policies of the United States government.
It has an ongoing collaboration with Greenfield Community College (GCC). Long-time Traprock Board member Abbie Jenks founded and directed the former Peace, Justice, and Environmental Studies Department at the college. This department and Traprock formed a partnership called Traprock Center for Peace Education at Greenfield Community College. Following closure of this program in 2015 Traprock and GCC have continued with a supportive relationship in other areas of resources, video taping and space.