Our work started in 2004 when representatives from Veterans for Peace, Catholic Peace Fellowship, Joy Mennonite Church and the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) came together to support conscientious objectors. We soon took on other antiwar projects and were known as the Oklahoma Center for Conscience until in 2013 we changed our name to the Center for Conscience in Action.
In 2011 we became the Oklahoma state affiliate for the War Resisters League. We have long-standing working relationships with national organizations, including the Military Law Task Force of the National Lawyers Guild, the GI Rights Network, the Private Manning Support Network, among others. In Central Oklahoma we frequently join with The Oklahoma City Peace House to plan actions and advocacy campaigns. In 2012, we helped establish the central Oklahoma coalition group Americans Against the Next War, which organizes demonstrations, letter-writing campaigns and publishes op-eds in local and national outlets to educated the public about the need for diplomacy and mutual cooperation rather than war.
We must end war because war is an abrogation of the inviolable bonds of connection between all people, all living things and the planet. To participate in it is a denial of the trust in continuity deeded to us by our forebears and expected of us by future generations. Every act of war and aggression diminishes the humanity of the individuals involved, destabilizes communities and nations; and scars the entire human family. We are committed not to ending wars but to ending war itself, and to addressing the fear, greed, misunderstanding and drive for power that lead to violent conflict and war.
Today, CCA works not only to oppose war and support resisters, but to advance a wider understanding of the nature of violence and the development of conscience and community as tools to resist violence and build healthy cooperative relationships within communities and across nations.
We have two part time staff, an executive director and a legal director. Our legal program assists servicemembers seeking conscientious objector discharge with low-cost or free legal services from an experienced attorney. CCA’s legal director also publishes self-help guides for servicemembers needing information about other types of discharges or issues experienced during their service in the military, including AWOL returnees.