The exhibit was created to coincide with and commemorate the inaugural presentation of the Berrigan-McAlister award in 2021. Named after Daniel Berrigan, Philip Berrigan, and Elizabeth McAlister, this award honors achievements in Christian nonviolence by an individual or group in contemporary times.
The Berrigan-McAlister Award Committee was formed in 2019 and chaired by Michael Budde, DePaul professor of Catholic Studies and Political Science, with faculty and staff representing various departments throughout DePaul University. The inaugural presentation of the award was sponsored by the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, the Office of Mission and Ministry, the Department of Catholic Studies, the Program in Peace, Justice, and Conflict Studies, the Center for World Catholicism and Intercultural Theology, and the University Library.
To celebrate the presentation of the award, DePaul University planned two nights of activities. In accordance with health and safety measures due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all events were held online.
On May 4, 2021, the University hosted a screening of the documentary The Berrigans: Devout and Dangerous, directed by Susan Hagedorn. The screening was followed by a discussion between the director and Frida Berrigan, Phil Berrigan and Liz McAlister's eldest daughter.
The inaugural Berrigan-McAlister Award was presented to the Kings Bay Plowshares 7 on May 5. A representative from the group presented a public lecture, followed by a discussion. The presentation of the award occurred during the week of the centenary of Daniel Berrigan's birth (May 9, 1921).