“What does peace mean to you?”


“In a world that asks us to focus on the things that can separate us, A Peace of My Mind invites us to explore the common humanity that connects us.”   – John Noltner, founder, A Peace of My Mind

A Peace of My Mind is a multimedia arts project built around the simple question, “What does peace mean to you?” Founded in 2009 by award-winning Minnesota photographer John Noltner, the project began as his effort to rediscover humanity in an increasingly polarized world.

With portraits and personal stories, ordinary people reveal extraordinary insights into how we can work toward common good and create a world that is more just for all.

Holocaust survivors, refugees, artists, former prisoners, teachers, immigrants, veterans, and more share inspiring stories of compassion, forgiveness, and transformation in a series that celebrates our common experience and sense of community.

The stories have been shared here at apeaceofmymind.net, in two award-winning books, and in traveling exhibits that are installed across the country.

A Peace of My Mind serves as a powerful catalyst for community conversations about service to others, civic responsibility, and social change. A compelling storyteller, John Noltner draws on his journey of discovery and the stories he has encountered along the way to lead engaging workshops, seminars, and keynote presentations.

What others are saying:

“A Peace of My Mind will tug at your heart and your sense of humanity. It’s difficult to digest this work and remain indifferent.” Terri Lee Freeman, President, National Civil Rights Museum

“John Noltner takes us on a unique journey filled with revelations of courage and commitment, resilience and hope. It is a beautiful journey that speaks to our innermost being. It touches us in a way that allows us to see the world from a different perspective. Perhaps it will inspire us to become peacemakers.”Ela Gandhi, South African peace activist and granddaughter of Mahatma Gandhi

“A Peace of My Mind speaks the truth we are yearning to hear. In a country where fear of the “other” is epidemic, John Noltner’s collection offers ample common ground to bring us together as a human family.” –Marie Dennis, Co-president, Pax Christi International

“I would recommend this work to anyone who wants to experience the diversity of human beings and the universality of the human condition.” Jim Wallis, New York Times bestselling author of America’s Original Sin, Racism, White Privilege, and the Bridge to a New America, president of Sojourners, and editor-in-chief of Sojourners magazine

“These are stories of awakening the self, journeys of anguish, retribution and forgiveness, drive, accomplishment and purpose. Read slowly, cherish each story, listen deeply to shared words, and hold sacred the lessons offered.” –Marilyn Turkovich, Director, Charter for Compassion International

“A Peace of My Mind is one of the best examples of how stories can heal. Through these portraits and testimonies we can see through the eyes of others, and so reach across rifts of class, creed and race.”Marina Cantacuzino, Founder The Forgiveness Project

“Noltner has a gift for discovering and sharing stories that inspire people of all ages to become their best selves.”Jan Selby, Director, BEYOND THE DIVIDE, Quiet Island Films

“Noltner’s beautiful photographs surround us with such a great cloud of witnesses for peace, that we can see ourselves and our neighbors in them too, as real people building bridges together.” Rev. Nancy Victorin-Vangerud, Director of the Wesley Center for Spirituality, Service, and Social Justice at Hamline University



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