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About Our Staff


Kate Whitman, Assistant Director


Kate Whitman joined the Coalition for Peace Action as the Assistant Director in December of 2010.

Prior to her position at the Coalition, Kate served as Secretary and Treasurer of The College of New Jersey (TCNJ) student affiliate The Progressive Student Alliance as well as the founder of TCNJ for Universal Healthcare. During her time at TCNJ, Kate helped to organize and manage many on-campus events and demonstrations, trips to Washington, DC, and several educational panels and discussions. She graduated from TCNJ in December of 2009 with a major in English and two minors in Anthropology and Religious Studies.

Kate's  involvement in peace work goes back to her high school years, during which time she volunteered with the Langhorne Peace Center and A Woman's Place. Through A Woman's Place, she had the opportunity to lobby in Harrisburg with several other organization representatives for better gun violence prevention laws to protect survivors of domestic violence.

Since joining the Coalition, Kate has helped to coordinate and organize events, supported fundraising efforts, reactivated CFPA's involvement with The College of New Jersey, lobbied locally as well as in D.C., and helped to enhance CFPA's online presence.


Nicola Bocour, Ceasefire NJ Legislative Director


Nicola Bocour is a member of the Ceasefire NJ Project Committee and has been an active member of the gun violence prevention community for over 10 years.

Her involvement began when she co-founded Students For A Safer Tomorrow (SFAST), the Montclair High School student association designed to advocate for common sense gun legislation and spread awareness of the devastating effects of gun violence.  Upon graduating from Trinity College in Hartford, CT, in 2004, Nicola returned to SFAST as director and advisor, where she was able to triple membership and greatly increase the number of activities performed by the group.

In 2007, Nicola joined the staff of New Yorkers Against Gun Violence (NYAGV) and created the student association reACTiON at a high school in Crown Heights, Brooklyn.  While at NYAGV, she was also a member of a three-person team conducting research and working to reduce gun violence in New York City neighborhoods with the highest prevalence of shootings.

In 2010, Nicola received her J.D. from Seton Hall Law School.  In addition to her work in the gun violence community, Nicola has completed legal internships in public interest at the Urban Justice Center and Lawyers for Children, both in New York.

Jo Schlesinger, Western PA Coordinator


Jo Schlesinger, has been with CFPA since 2009. She began her work as the Western PA Coordinator to organize local support to pass the New START treaty. With the Remembering Hiroshima - Imagining Peace collaborative, she has helped to organize nuclear disarmament events that links activism and art. This past year it included art exhibits, a Town Hall on "Grappling with Nuclear Power", and speakers, such as a Navajo activist who works to ban uranium. With the Smart Security Campaign she helped to pass the Pittsburgh City Council 2011 ordinance to "bring the troops and war dollars home".  Currently she is working with the American Friend Service Committee on a Women and War project called Windows and Mirrors.  She works closely with the Religious Society of Friends and Friends Committee on National Legislation.