On Mercy: The Case of Mid-West Family Broadcasting

Mid-West Family Broadcasting, headed by Thomas Walker, has quietly stayed in the shadows, supporting the International Forgiveness Institute since 1990–for a generation. Readers, please note well that many philanthropists have a pattern of funding non-profit organizations for a few years and then moving on. This did not happen between Mid-West Family Mid-West 2and IFI. In 1990, I received a letter (email was not “on a roll” then as it is now) from William Walker, Thomas’ father. He told me that years ago he received a doctoral degree from my own department at the university. He said he now would like to give back to the social sciences and that he had the resources to put the psychology of forgiveness on the map.


William Walker

Up to that point, the science of forgiveness was in its infancy. The very first scientific article on person-to-person forgiving was published by our group in 1989. (There had been a handful of studies on apology up to that point, but no science published on the issue of forgiving between and among people). William had a plan to advance the thinking in this area. With his help, we developed the first psychological instrument to measure person-to-person forgiveness ever published. We devised strategies to map out the process of forgiveness and tested these. One example of the fruit of William Walker’s philanthropy is a study of helping people in residential drug rehabilitation to forgive and thus to become emotionally healthier.

Tom Walker

Thomas Walker

Under the care of Thomas Walker, the IFI has quietly built the most comprehensive set of curricular materials for teaching forgiveness in the world. The forgiveness curriculum guides have made their way to schools on every continent now. We at the IFI are personally shepherding the growth of forgiveness education in Madison, Wisconsin, Milwaukee’s central-city, Belfast, Northern Ireland and Liberia, Africa. We are making inroads in other war-torn and contentious regions of the world. We are doing so because of Mid-West Family Broadcasting.

Mid-West Family Broadcasting runs the following stations in Madison, Wisconsin: WJJO | WMGN | WJQM | WWQM | WMLV | WHIT | WOZN. They are in four other midwest markets as well.

We take the time here to acknowledge the mercy of Mid-West Family Broadcasting and the Walker family. You are making the world a more merciful place, a more forgiving place, because of your mercy. Thank you.


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Categories: New Ideas, Our Forgiveness Blog


  1. Jessica says:

    The Walkers sound like very amazing people. This story warmed my heart.

  2. Chris says:

    Hey, do you think the Walker family would adopt me? I like that way they operate! No, but seriously, this is wonderful to give this generous family the credit that they deserve.

  3. Samantha says:

    Thank you, Walker family, for bringing more light to the world.

  4. Marcy says:

    The end point of those who do the work and those who fund the work is love. So glad all of you found one another. I think the world is better off with this kind of approach.

  5. Penelope says:

    Such an uplifting story. There really is goodness left in this world.


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