Barbara Simmons, Executive Director
has been with The Peace Center since 1987. She is founding director of PeaceTalks radio, producing radio documentaries from Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Rwanda, South Africa, Northern Ireland, Canada and the United States. Ms. Simmons is also an adjunct professor for the International Peace and Conflict Resolution Masters Program at Arcadia University where she teaches Facilitation for Conflict Transformation and Advanced Mediation. Simmons is certified in Family & Divorce Mediation, Conflict Transformation, Compassionate Listening, Healing and Rebuilding our Communities, Crisis Management, Trauma Healing and Alternatives to Violence.
Debra has extensive non-profit experience with expertise in resource development, community organizing, and advocacy. She served as director of community engagement at the Boys & Girls Club of Mercer County, a non-profit organization based in Trenton that helps disadvantaged youth stay positively engaged in school, leading to increased graduation rates and entrance into post-high school career paths. While there, she worked on the development team for a $7.5 million capital campaign for a new youth community center in Lawrenceville, NJ and also managed recruitment efforts for mentors and tutors. Debra also served as director of public affairs for the NJ Charter Public Schools Association where she managed public affairs and led legislative and grassroots advocacy campaigns for over 80 schools. Following the tragedy at Columbine High School, she served as the NJ State Coordinator for the Million Mom March which drew over half million supporters to Washington, D.C. and to over 80 cities throughout the country to advocate for common sense gun violence prevention laws. In this role, she recruited, trained and managed local volunteer leaders around the state, built strong partnerships for effective advocacy, and served as media spokesperson. She was elected to the Pennsbury School Board in 2013 and chairs the policy, education, and wellness committees.
Debra has her B.A. degree in Political Science from Rutgers University and her M.A. degree in public policy from the Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers. She resides in Yardley with her husband Dan, three children, and a very sweet Cockapoo named Rosie!
holds a BS in communications from Northwestern University and a MA in Education from Harvard with a concentration on the media and its impact on children and adolescents. She has worked with young people for more than three decades in varied environments, first in the classroom, and later as the owner/director of The Kasdin School of Dramatic Arts, and as a founding director of The Friendship Circle of Bucks County, an organization that pairs teenage volunteers with children who have special needs. She is also a published author of five books on various subjects related to parenting and currently writes a blog for baby-boomers on The Huffington Post.
holds a BA in English with minors in Anthropology and Religious Studies from The College of New Jersey. She also holds a certification in Secondary Education from Delaware Valley College. Her involvement with peace work began more than 10 years ago when she started working with The Peace Center as a Peace Camp counselor, and later as a Peace Educator. Ms. Whitman coordinates The Peace Center’s Bullying Prevention Program [Respecting Me, Respecting You (RMRY) and Celebrating Me, Celebrating You (CMCY), Peer Mediation, Bullying Prevention Support Circles and School Interventions.
has an MA in Rehabilitation Counseling from The University of South Florida. Since 1982 John Anthony has been working throughout the country to empower men and women to take responsibility for their behavior. In 1994 he launched SAFE, a domestic violence program, at The Peace Center. John Anthony specializes in working with both offenders and victims in order to end the cycle of violence. To date, he has facilitated more than 3,000 groups for men and women.
has an MA in International Peace and Conflict Resolution from Arcadia University. Vera works with women’s groups and has often led the Ventures In Peace program.