Our Founder

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The Rev. Dr. Harry J. Bury 

Priest, Professor, Political Activist, Warrior for Peace 

Harry J. Bury is a retired Roman Catholic priest of the Saint Paul-Minneapolis Archdiocese and Professor Emeritus of Organizational Behavior and Administration with Case Western Reserve University. He taught at Baldwin Wallace University from 1980 to 2010, and consulted not only in the U.S. but also in numerous other countries. 

Bury’s activism started as a new priest serving at the University of Minnesota’s Newman Center in the 1960s when young Catholic men asked him to write letters for them as Conscientious Objectors for the Vietnam War. In 1971, at the request of some Vietnamese, he and three others chained themselves to the U.S. Embassy gate in Saigon to protest the Vietnam War. In 2005, he was abducted in Gaza while serving as a human shield between Israeli soldiers and Palestinian citizens. 

Fr. Bury is also one of the coordinators of the nationwide Nonviolent Cities Project coordinated by Pace e Bene’s Campaign Nonviolence. And Fr. Bury founded Twin Cities Nonviolent and heads up that organization’s work in Saint Paul-Minneapolis and surrounding areas. Twin Cites Nonviolent develops the 12 Days Free From Violence program every September and partners throughout the year to reduce violence in its many forms.

Fr. Bury, in collaboration with Will Wallace of Nonviolent Peaceforce, together worked with former gang members of North Minneapolis (The Brothers) on a groundbreaking project referred to as “Cop-Free Schools” whereby members of The Brothers, well-trained in nonviolence methodologies, created and implemented nonviolent security at Ascension Catholic School in North Minneapolis—a model that will be implemented in other North Minneapolis schools by Twin Cities Nonviolent. 

Fr. Bury believes in dialogue and compromise between people in the community and around the world. In his 93 years, he’s never hesitated to “risk the worst in order to achieve the best.” 

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