Story & Mission
When Tragedy Meets Passion
September 11, 2001 was the major catalyst in Tom Etzel's commitment to peacebuilding. His 25 year-old niece, Katie McCloskey was on the 97th floor of the World Trade Center when American Airlines Flight 11 struck the North Tower. Tom’s high school friend, Ken Waldie, was aboard that jetliner. In the days following the tragedy, when many Americans were thinking of war and retribution, Etzel's thoughts were traveling on a different path. He began to wonder if there was someway peace could be achieved by improving relationships among people of different viewpoints.
Upon completing his Master of Arts degree in International Relations from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University, in July of 2010, Tom successfully established GPBF. Bearing special significance, the effective date of incorporation for GPBF was September 11, 2010.
GPBF operates under the premise that changing attitudes, perceptions and relationships are essential to peacebuilding, and doing this at the grassroots level will contribute to sustainable peace.
GPBF’s mission is to contribute to the building of global peace by supporting organizations and projects that restore, rebuild, and transform relationships that have been broken due to prejudices, stereotyping, hatreds, and fears that may have accumulated over generations.
We hope you join us.