Honoring Jean and Scott

Jean Stokan & Scott Wright were honored with the 2019 CRISPAZ Peace Award. This year’s award ceremony was held at the Caldwell Hall at  The Catholic University of America in Washington, DC on November 12, from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm.  

About the Honorees

Jean Stokan, Justice Coordinator, Sisters of Mercy
Jean Stokan has served on the Justice Team for the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas for ten years. She has focused on human rights in Latin America and immigration policies. Her work includes direct advocacy on Capitol Hill, public witness activities, coalition initiatives with immigrant-led organizations, and engaging grassroots faith constituencies on these issues.

For over 30 years, Jean has led faith-based delegations to Central America and, more recently, to the US-Mexico border. She also serves on the National Council for Pax Christi USA, the national Catholic peace movement, and the board of the SHARE Foundation.

From 2002-2009, Jean served as Policy Director for Pax Christi USA, promoting nonviolent alternatives to war. She served as liaison to religious coalitions, and prepared resources for grassroots engagement on justice and peace concerns, including non-violent civil disobedience witnesses.

From 1987-2002, Jean served as Policy Director and Delegations Coordinator for the SHARE Foundation, which promotes accompaniment and support for economically impoverished communities in El Salvador. She monitored US policies on military and economic engagement in El Salvador, and coordinated advocacy strategies to defend human rights and pursue nonviolent resolution to the conflict. She organized Hill briefings for Salvadorans visiting Washington DC, facilitated meetings of Salvadoran and US religious leaders with US policymakers, and organized dozens of delegations to El Salvador for religious leaders, including bishops, and grassroots congregations.

She is married to Scott Wright. Their daughter, Maura Stokan-Wright, is named for Maryknoll Sister Maura Clarke, martyred in El Salvador in 1980. They lived for several years in Assisi Community, a community of lay and religious committed to a simple lifestyle and social justice concerns.

Scott Wright, Director, Missionary Society of Saint Columban’s Center for Advocacy and Outreach
Scott Wright has served for six years as the director of the Columban Center for Advocacy and Outreach – the Justice, Peace, and Integrity of Creation office for the U.S. region of the Missionary Society of St. Columban in Washington DC. The center serves as a bridge between the pastoral work of Columbans in fifteen countries and along the US – Mexico border, and works for a more just, peaceful and environmentally sustainable world by engaging in the political process from a Gospel perspective. The Columbans advocate for policies and structures that address both “the cry of the earth” and “the cry of the poor” (Laudato Si’ 49), and advocate for systemic change, especially with regard to migration, environmental justice, the global economy, peace and nonviolence, and interreligious dialogue.

From 1981 – 1984 and 1987 – 1990, Scott worked as a lay missionary, with Caritas in the UN refugee camps along the Honduran – Salvadoran border; with the pastoral ministry of accompaniment in rural areas of conflict in Chalatenango and Morazán; and, through the Archdiocese of San Salvador, with Christian base communities in Mejicanos and Soyapango. In 1985 and 1986, he lived in San Antonio TX and did the English translation of Carta a las Iglesias, the biweekly newsletter of the Monseñor Romero Pastoral Center of the Jesuit university in San Salvador. These testimonies were later published in CRISPAZ’s newsletter, Salvanet, and then in a small book, El Salvador: A Spring whose Waters Never Run Dry (EPICA/RTFCA/CRISPAZ, 1990).

From 1991 – 2008 Scott served as Co-Coordinator of the Ecumenical Program on Central America and the Caribbean (EPICA), supporting social movements and Christian base communities in Central America, Mexico, Haiti and Cuba, and leading more than a dozen faith and solidarity delegations to the region. He co-edited The Globalization of Hope and We Make the Road by Walking (EPICA, 1998) to commemorate EPICA’s 35th anniversary. EPICA worked closely with faith partners in Washington DC, promoting fair trade and the cancellation of the foreign debt, as well as post-war reconciliation in the region.

From 2009 – 2012, Scott served as the advocacy coordinator for TASSC (Torture Abolition and Survivors Support Coalition) International, a survivor-led organization founded by Sister Dianna Ortiz to help create spaces where survivors of torture could tell their stories, and to advocate for human rights and the abolition of torture and enforced disappearances.

Scott is the co-author of Oscar Romero: Reflection on His Life and Writings (Orbis, 2000), and author of Oscar Romero and the Communion of Saints (Orbis, 2009 / 2018). He and Jean have been married for 30 years. Their daughter Maura is in her senior year at Loyola University of Chicago, studying social work. Scott lived at a Catholic Worker community and later at Tabor House in Washington DC in the 1970s, and again in San Antonio TX in the mid-1980s. He and Jean continue to make frequent trips to the US – Mexico Border, visiting the Columban Mission Center in El Paso TX, and Fr. Peter Hinde, OCarm and Sr. Betty Campbell, RSM of Tabor community in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico.

List of Articles

Center of Concern (June 2015); poems

Touching Wounds, Touching Hope

Sisters of Mercy publications (2019):

Part I A Tale of Two Borders: Root Causes

Part II: A Tale of Two Borders: Fevers and Concertina Wire The Children Are Asking

Sojourners Magazine (August 2018)

For I Was a Stranger

About the Award

Inspired in the testimony of the Martyrs of El Salvador, the CRISPAZ Peace Award was established in 2009 to recognize individuals or organizations that embody the preferential option for the poor in their work for the promotion of peace and social justice.

CRISPAZ, the awarding organization, has for more than three decades enabled thousands of individuals, many from North America, to accompany the Salvadoran people in their ongoing struggle for peace rooted in justice and compassion

2019 Event Sponsors

        Previous Award Recipients
        • 2018 Fr. Jon Sobrino S.J. renowned Liberation Theologian and Professor since 1964 at The University of Central American in San Salvador.
        • 2017 Fr. Paul Schindler Long-time missionary with Cleveland Mission Society in El Salvador
        • 2016 Fr. Tom Smolich S.J. International Director of Jesuit Refugee Services
        • 2015 Hospitalito The Carmelite sisters at the Divine Providence Chapel
        • 2014 Asociacion ProBusqueda. Organization that investigates cases of the forced disappearances of children during El Salvador’s civil war.
        • 2013 COFAMIDE The Salvadoran Committee of Relatives of Killed or Disappeared Migrants
        • 2012 CoMadres Committee of Mothers and Relatives of Prisoners, the Disappeared and the Politically Assassinated of El Salvador
        • 2011 The late Fr. Dean Brackley, S.J.theology professor at the UCA, and pastoral minister to the rural community of Jayaque, La Libertad
        • 2010 Sr. Peggy O’Neill director of the Art Center for Peace in Suchitoto
        • 2009 Centro Monseñor Romero at the University of Central America (UCA)




        🇺🇸USA Office:
        808 Brookhill Road
        Louisville, Kentucky 40223
        (502) 592-5295

        🇸🇻 El Salvador Office:
        Apdo. Postal 2944
        Centro de Gobierno
        San Salvador
        (503) 2225 9031

        CRISPAZ is a faith-based organization dedicated to building bridges of solidarity between the Church of the Poor and marginalized communities in El Salvador and communities in the US, Canada, Australia, and other countries through mutual accompaniment.

        CRISPAZ was founded in 1984 and is a lay-led 501(c)(3) organization.