The Gandhi Peace Award nominees are distinguished by having made, over a period of years, a significant contribution to the promotion of an enduring international peace founded on justice, self-determination, diversity, compassion, and harmony, achieved through cooperative and non-violent means—in the spirit of Gandhi.
The Gandhi Peace Award is marked by a significant medallion and a certificate with an inscription summing up the work for peace of a distinguished citizen of the world. The medallion features the profile of Mohandas K. Gandhi, with his words “Love Ever Suffers/Never Revenges Itself” cast in bronze. The recipient’s name is added to a weighty carved statue of the Mahatma. The Award is presented at a ceremony held approximately once a year, at which a distinguished peacemaker is recognized and given the opportunity to present a message of challenge and hope. It is to be awarded “for contributions made in the promotion of international peace and good will.”
Like all of the perennial activities of Promoting Enduring Peace (PEP), the Gandhi Peace Award was conceived by the organization’s founder, Dr. Jerome Davis, in the early nineteen fifties. At the Board of Director’s meeting on March 13, 1959, he formally proposed that a yearly award be given to persons outstanding in their work for world peace.
A famous New York sculptor, Don Benaron/Katz, was commissioned to create a work of art to serve as the symbol of the Award. He researched Gandhi at the library of the India House in New York City and by 1960 had carved a striking portrait of the founder of the century’s international movement for nonviolent change. He wrote, “I carved the Gujarati word for peace on one side, and on the other a symbolic plowshare and pruning hook inspired by Isaiah 2:4″
They shall beat their swords into plowshares
and their spears into pruning hooks;
nation shall not lift up sword against nation,
neither shall they learn war any more.
Beginning in 2012 the Gandhi Peace Award medallion was created by “From War to Peace“, a California company that uses recycled copper from disarmed nuclear missile systems to create Peace Bronze, the most precious metal in our world. American materials that once sent launch signals to the most violent weapons ever created have been transformed to help launch peace in the 21st century. They believe that war is failure, and that peace is triumph. At From War to Peace, starting with one weapon at a time, they hope to see a demilitarized world in our lifetime. From War to Peace donates 20% of all profits to peace and social justice organizations committed to transforming our world, among them: Veterans for Peace, the National Peace Corps Association, and the International Peace Bureau. (http://www.fromwartopeace.com/info/Peace_Bronze)
Excerpted from Peace Heroes: The Gandhi Peace Awards copyright 2002-2010 by James Clement van Pelt.
The Rev. Dr. Edwin T. Dahlberg
Rabbi Maurice Eisendrath
The Rev. John Haynes Holmes
Dr. Linus C. Pauling
James Paul Warburg
Dr. E. Stanley Jones
Martin Luther King, Jr. *
The Rev. William Sloane Coffin, Jr.
Dr. Benjamin Spock
Senator Wayne Morse
Dr. Willard Uphaus
Dr. Daniel Ellsberg
Peter Benenson and
Prof. Roland Bainton
Dr. Helen Caldicott
Dr. Corliss Lamont
Randall Watson Forsberg
*Martin Luther King, Jr. was designated to receive the Award in 1964 and did formally accept it, but shortly thereafter was designated as the Nobel Peace Prize Laureate for that year and consequently was unable to attend a ceremony for the formal presentation of the Award
Gandhi Peace Award Recipients 1960-2004
Nominations for the Gandhi Peace Award are accepted from anyone. The Board of Promoting Enduring Peace determines the recipient each spring. The Award is usually presented in the fall of the same year. Nominees are distinguished by having made, over a period of years, a significant contribution to the promotion of an enduring international peace founded on justice, self-determination, diversity, compassion, and harmony, achieved through cooperative and non-violent means—in the spirit of Gandhi.
Like all of the perennial activities of Promoting Enduring Peace (PEP), the Gandhi Peace Award was conceived by the organization’s founder, Jerome Davis, in the late nineteen forties. At the Board of Directors meeting on March 13, 1959, he formally proposed that a yearly award be given to persons outstanding in their work for world peace. In his view, the recipient need not be a pacifist.
Dr. Davis ordered a stock of one hundred heavy bronze medallions to be presented to the recipients. He was known to be an unusually parsimonious person; the size of his medallion order expressed his faith in the continuity of his organization and the Award.
Eleanor Roosevelt (11 Oct 1884 – 07 Nov 1962) was one of the most prominent liberals of the century. Prior to becoming First Lady in 1932, she raised five children, saved her husband from political oblivion after he was stricken with polio in 1921, worked for social betterment through numerous organizations, became a major influence in New York democratic politics, and served as Franklin’s devoted partner during his terms as state assemblyman and Governor of New York. From civil rights for minorities (including women), to improvements in housing and employment and the promotion of consumer rights and social welfare programs, Mrs. Roosevelt never lost her interest in humanitarian concerns. As First Lady, she broke the mold of the woman behind the man: she was out in front and a national leader. She held the first press conference ever initiated by the wife of a President, wrote a nationally syndicated daily newspaper column, and had a regular radio program. http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/features/primary-resources/eleanor-my-day/ In addition, she traveled and spoke throughout the country.
The onset of WorldWar II found her giving morale-boosting and fact-finding visits to the South Pacific, Great Britain, and the Caribbean. She also served as the very active assistant director of the nation’s civil defense effort. After the death of her husband, during the Truman years, she focused her energies on promoting the United Nations, serving as a U.S. delegate to the U.N. During this period she also became chairperson of the Commission on Human Rights, part of the U.N.’s Economic and Social Council. http://www.udhr.org/history/Biographies/bioer.htm In the 1950s she became a leader of the liberal wing of the national Democratic Party and a key force in the defeat of New York’s Tammany organization and the subsequent reform of the city’s political system. Mrs. Roosevelt continued to write and travel until her death at the age of 78, two years after receiving the Gandhi Peace Award.
The Rev. Dr. Edwin T. Dahlberg (27 Dec 1892 – 06 Sept 1986) was head of the National Council of Churches (NCC), representing over 38 million Protestant and Eastern Orthodox church members. http://www.ncccusa.org/news/NCCPresDahlberg.htm He was both an evangelical Baptist minister and a leading advocate for liberal causes such as racial integration, economic justice, and the conversion of military expenditures to address the needs of the poor. He became president of the American Baptist Convention in 1946. His international interests led him to be a leader of the Baptist World Alliance and the International Society of Christian Endeavor. He traveled to Holland in 1948 to help found the World Council of Churches; he served on its central committee for six years, traveling as far as India. In 1950 he helped found the National Council of Churches and led its successful campaign to open the hotels of St. Louis to travelers of all races. Seven years later he became the organization’s president. He was elected president of the N.C.C. in December 1957 during the Cold War’s most hysterical period. In his inaugural address Dr. Dahlberg denounced the strategic military policy of the United States for its focus on massive retaliation against the Soviet Union and “mutually assured destruction”, branding it “a feverish philosophy of bomb for bomb, rocket for rocket, Sputnik for Sputnik. … It is far more important to send loaves of bread around the world [than satellites].” Rather than massive retaliation, “If we would be faithful to the express command of our Lord, the church’s task must be one of massive reconciliation.” He was 68 when he received the Award.
Rabbi Maurice Eisendrath (1902 – 11 Nov 1973) headed the Union of American Hebrew Congregations, comprising over 600 Reformed temples throughout the Americas, with over a million members, for eighteen years. http://urj.org/about/union/history/eisendrath/ In 1959 an interfaith committee chose him “Clergyman of the Year”. His special cause was a summit meeting of the world’s religious leaders from all faiths, “to mobilize their spiritual forces on behalf of peace.” (Such a meeting was eventually held in 1978.) He had recently enlisted Albert Schweitzer as the honorary chairman of the hoped-for convocation. Rabbi Eisendrath’s contributions to peace were often focused on bridging the terrible and often bloody gap between Christians and Jews. Beginning in Toronto, he had been a leading organizer of the National Council of Christians and Jews. He was active in the civil rights movement working with the late Dr. Martin Luther King and in the anti-war movement. The Maurice N. Eisendrath Bearer of Light Award was named in memory of Rabbi Maurice N. Eisendrath, the Executive Director and President of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations from 1943 – 1973, this award is the highest honor bestowed by the Reform Movement.
The Rev. John Haynes Holmes (29 Nov 1879 – 03 Apr 1964) after being graduated from Harvard and the Harvard Divinity School, started his career as the minister of New York City’s Church of the Messiah in 1907. Twelve years later he led its conversion from Unitarianism to the non-denominational Community Church of New York and he served as its minister until his retirement in 1949. He was a dynamic speaker for the abolition of intolerance and war, and a founder of both the American Civil Liberties Union and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. He wrote many books, including A Sensible Man’s View of Religion, The Affirmation of Immortality (a reply to The Illusion of Immortality by Corliss Lamont [gpa*’81]), and his well-received autobiography, which appeared two years before he received the Award. He had a special connection with the Award’s namesake, coming to know Gandhi as a friend while on an extended lecture tour in India from 1947 to 1948, during which time he also had numerous discussions with Jawaharlal Nehru, Gandhi’s successor as India’s leader. These contacts were the source of Dr. Holmes’s 1953 book, My Gandhi, which helped familiarize Westerners with the personal and spiritual qualities of Gandhi’s teachings about the uses of nonviolent action and the redemptive power of “unmerited suffering”. He later told how Gandhi came into his life: “At the moment I needed him most, I discovered that there was such a man. He was living in the faith that I had sought. He was making it work and proving it right. He was everything that I believed but hardly dared to hope. In my extremity in 1917, I turned to Gandhi, and he took me into his arms and never let me go. Away across the globe he cared for me and taught me and reassured me.”
“Had the Mahatma not come into my life, I must sooner or later have been lost. As it was, he saved me; he gave me a peace of mind and serenity of soul which will be with me to the last. Even when he died, I gave way only for a period of time, and then the tears flowed with a passion of grief which there was no controlling. But the Mahatma did not fail me. I called to him, and I am persuaded that he answered. My real life as a teacher began with Gandhi, and it ended with his end. I should have retired when he died, for all through these latter months I have been but an echo of my true self. If I have been content to stay on till now, it is because I could the longer bear witness to Gandhi.” (Picture to right Gandhi with John Hayes Holmes, New Delhi, October 12, 1947. (Photo by John Hayes Holmes son, Roger W. Holmes) http://members.fortunecity.com/hobeika/unitarians/holmes.html)
Dr. Linus C. Pauling (28 Feb 1901 – 19 Aug 1994) was a westerner by background. Born in Oregon in 1901, the focus of his scientific career was the California Institute of Technology, where he received his chemistry doctorate and became a professor in 1931; he subsequently taught at Stanford. His first achievements combined chemistry with the emerging insights of quantum physics; he went on to discoveries in microbiology, for which he won numerous prizes. Beginning in the 1930’s and growing into a consuming interest was his concern for world disarmament. In 1954 he won the Nobel Prize for Chemistry. He lent the authority of science and the mind of an authentic American genius to the cause of finding alternatives to World War III. In 1958 he published No More War, “a plea for international peace”. That same year he joined Bertrand Russell, Norman Thomas [gpa ’67], and others in filing suit to enjoin the United States from conducting more nuclear weapons tests. Four years later he again joined Thomas and 200 others in a petition to the Soviet government demanding an end to executions for “economic crimes”. He was an initiator of the Stockholm Peace Petition and was harassed by the Internal Security committee of the U.S. Senate for his peace activities and contacts with representatives from Socialist-bloc peace organizations. Shortly after PEP made its Award, the Nobel Prize Committee chose him for the 1962 Peace Prize; Dr. Pauling became one of three Gandhi Peace Award recipients also to receive the Prize, and the only person ever to have won unshared Nobel Prizes in two separate categories.
James Paul Warburg (18 Aug 1896 – 03 Jun 1969) was German by birth, coming to America as an infant. After earning a Harvard degree and serving a stint in World War I as a flyer in the Navy’s rudimentary air corps, he established a distinguished career in business and industry, rising during the ’20’s and ’30 to head several major New York banks and to serve on the boards of numerous companies, including the Polaroid Corporation. Along the way he chaired the board of the Julliard School of Music and led other service activities. He authored a long list of business publications, three volumes of poetry, and political pamphlets warning the world of the approaching danger from the land of his birth. When World War II broke out he devoted his writing and organizational abilities to the nation’s propaganda operation, becoming deputy director of the Overseas Branch of the U.S. Office of War Information and serving in London and Washington. Following the Allied victory he proved the irony of his surname, focusing his talents on promoting the policies of world peace and publishing such titles as Last Call for Common Sense, Victory Without War, How to Co-Exist, Turning Point Toward Peace, Agenda for Action—Peace Through Disengagement, and The West in Crisis. In 1962 he published The Liberal Papers, and two years later his autobiography, The Long Road Home. He continued his prolific witness for peace until his death in 1969.
Dr. E. Stanley Jones (03 Jan 1884 – 25 Jan 1973) was described as “Preacher, Author Worker for Peace.” Like John Haynes Holmes he had a vital connection to Gandhi the man. After receiving divinity degrees from Duke and Syracuse he responded in 1907 to a calling to become a missionary. He spent the rest of his life ministering to the people of India, particularly to those from the higher castes. When he was made a bishop in 1928, he found that his position got in the way of his missionary work, so he resigned to return to his original ministry. He founded Christian ashrams and a psychiatric center in northern India, and worked toward the founding of similar ashrams in the United States and in Europe. In 1948, after Gandhi’s assassination, Dr. Jones published The Way and Mahatma Gandhi: An Interpretation. Both books drew inspiration from Gandhi’s assertion of the unity of humankind under one God and his integration of Christian, Muslim, and Hindu ethics within nonviolence. These two works led to a series of inspirational books and articles through the ’50s and ’60s including The Way to Power and Poise, How to Become a Transformed Person, and Victory Through Surrender. During the last 14 months of his life, he wrote his 29th book, entitled, The Divine Yes. He died in January 1973 at the age of 89 years.
Martin Luther King Jr. (15 Jan 1929 – 04 Apr 1968) was a Baptist minister and social activist, who led the Civil Rights Movement in the United States from the mid-1950s until his death by assassination in 1968.Through his activism, he played a pivotal role in ending the legal segregation of African-American citizens in the South and other areas of the nation,as well as the creation of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. King received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964, among several other honors. He continues to be remembered as one of the most lauded African-American leaders in history, often referenced by his 1963 speech, “I Have a Dream.”
A.J. Muste (o8 Jan 1885 – 11 Feb 1967) was a leader of the U.S. branch of the international pacifist group Fellowship of Reconciliation (F.O.R.). He alternated between labor movement leadership and service as the minister of churches of Reformed, Presbyterian, Congregational, and Quaker denominations. He organized strikes and marches and unions around the country as a leader of the Conference for Progressive Labor Activities, whose principles called for “a definitely anti-imperialist, anti-militarist, and internationalist labor movement.” He struggled for adequate relief allotments for all through the Depression, opposed the eviction of the poor, and pressured state and local governments on behalf of workers. He was a unique example to both religious and political activists, simultaneously a believer in God and a Trotskyite. Leaving his church ministry, he became the executive secretary of F.O.R. in 1940. As part of his work he identified promising young leaders and brought them into positions of responsibility. As the National Observer put it in their account of the PEP ceremony, “The Rev. A.J. Muste, a tall, spindly, white-haired man of 81, has been arrested for climbing over a barbed-wire fence into a U.S. missile base, beaten for leading a picket line of striking textile workers, and—most recently—pelted with eggs and tomatoes by irate Saigon youths. Last week he returned to his New York City home after leading a six-man pacifist group to South Vietnam to protest American involvement in the Vietnam war. Always a man of prodigious enthusiasm and stamina, even now he speaks in a firm voice though his hands tremble with age. A believer in action, he was one of the first radicals to insist that ‘you do your revolutionary job, and if that lands you in jail, fine. You never compromise or “chicken out” in order to keep out of jail.’” In 1968 he achieved a pinnacle of influence when one of his sayings began appearing on posters around many colleges:
There Is No Way To Peace. Peace Is The Way.
Norman Thomas, (20 Nov 1884 – 19 Dec 1968) American Socialist party leader and social reformer, came to be called the “conscience of America”. Born in 1884, he entered Union Theological Seminary in 1911 and became a Presbyterian clergyman in New York City. By 1918 he had determined that charitable programs could not erase the inequality, waste, exploitation, and poverty that blighted the nation, because such problems were the necessary consequence of the capitalist system; as a result, he became an active socialist. Also a pacifist, he opposed the entrance of the United States into World War I. He resigned his ministry to devote himself to effecting radical political change, founded The World Tomorrow, the magazine of the F.O.R., and served as its editor until 1921, when he became associate editor of The Nation. In 1920—with Jane Addams, Roger Baldwin, John Haynes Holmes [gpa ’61], Scott Nearing, and others—he founded the American Civil Liberties Union. From 1922 to 1935 he was co-director of the League for Industrial Democracy, an offshoot of the American Socialist Party, which advocated industrial production planned for equitable and abundant consumption rather than profit for the elite. After the death of Eugene Debs in 1926, and for the next two generations, Thomas was regarded as the leading member of the America Socialist Party. He ran for numerous local and state offices, and for President of the U.S. six consecutive times from 1928 to 1948. His vote tally reached its peak of 881,951 in the 1932 election. Although he won no local, state or national offices, he helped make it politically necessary and possible for the ruling parties to enact the social programs he advocated. His tireless political career—during which he addressed hundreds of audiences each year and reached millions more via radio speeches, syndicated newspaper columns, and magazine articles—saw the enactment of measures he first popularized such as unemployment insurance, low-cost public housing, the five-day work week, minimum wage laws, and the abolition of child labor. Throughout his life he battled the influence of Soviet Communism at home and abroad. After World War II he founded the non-partisan Post-War World Council and guided it toward opposition to the militarism, nuclear brinkmanship, and imperialism that he felt characterized the foreign policies of both sides in the Cold War. He authored hundreds of pamphlets, uncounted letters to the editor, and more than 20 books. He died in 1968.
Jerome Davis, (02 Dec 1891 – 19 Oct 1979) the founder of Promoting Enduring Peace, was born in Kyoto, Japan in 1891. His father, a Congregational missionary, helped found a great university there. Jerome attended Oberlin College and was graduated in 1913. After a year at Union Theological Seminary, he joined Sir Wilfred Thomason Grenfell, a British missionary who ministered to Labrador and Newfoundland. In World War I he was sent to Russia by the Y.M.C.A. to aid prisoners of war. He rushed home in 1918 to speak against U.S. intervention against the Russian revolution. He was graduated from Union Theological Seminary in 1920, earned a Ph.D. in sociology from Columbia, and became an assistant professor at Dartmouth. While at the Yale Divinity School, he chaired the Connecticut Committee on Prison Conditions; earned both a doctorate of divinity from Oberlin and a doctorate of laws from Hillsdale College; wrote books and articles; founded the National Religion and Labor Foundation, and returned to Russia three times. He also participated in labor struggles and became a leader of the American Federation of Teachers, of which he served as president from 1936 to 1938. He left Yale in 1937. From 1940 to 1943 he administered the labor programs of prisoner of war camps in Canada on behalf of the Y.M.C.A. During his term and afterward he made three trips to Europe to investigate post-war conditions, the last in 1949, when he headed a peace mission to Europe. investigated cooperatives in Scandinavia in 1950, made a lecture tour of seminaries on behalf of the Thomas Paine Foundation in 1952, and authored books about the government persecution he endured for his beliefs and about various topic related to the struggle for world peace. In 1949 he organized his great peace education enterprise, Promoting Enduring Peace (incorporated in 1952). He was its primary benefactor and first executive director, initiating its huge peace literature distribution program, leading many peace tours, and establishing the Gandhi Peace Awards. He died in 1979 at the age of 88.
The Rev. William Sloane Coffin, Jr. (01 Jun 1924 – 12 Apr 2006) was 42 and the Chaplain of Yale University when he received the Award—the youngest recipient to date. The scion of an upper-class family with a tradition of providing clergymen to the Presbyterian church, he began as a music student headed toward a career as a concert pianist. His studies at the Yale School of Music were interrupted by Army service during World War II and for several years afterward. He studied at Union Theological Seminary and Yale, then spent two years in the hire of the C.I.A. He returned to Yale and earned his divinity degree in 1956, when he was ordained a Presbyterian minister. After brief terms as chaplain at Phillips Academy, one of his alma maters, and Williams College, in 1958 he became Yale’s chaplain. In the next nine years he developed his ability to analyze the moral failings of American culture and to present that analysis in compelling sermons that pointed the way toward peace and social justice. The year following his acceptance of the Award he gained national attention leading Yale through the upheavals that followed the assassinations of Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy, standing against American militarism, institutionalized racism, and economic exploitation. After Yale he became senior minister of Riverside Church in New York City.
Dr. Benjamin Spock (02 May 1903 – 15 Mar 1998) Helped two generations of Americans through the trials of parenthood with his reassuring advice. Born in New Haven in 1903, Dr. Spock earned his B.A. at Yale and his M.D. at Columbia. At age 43 his life as a private pediatrician changed forever with the publication of The Common Sense Book of Baby and Child Care. He was a tenured professor of child development at Western Reserve from the mid-’50s until 1967, when he resigned and to devote his full time to campaign for an end to U.S. intervention in Vietnam. He was among 260 demonstrators arrested at a December 1967 demonstration in New York. Others arrested included poet Allen Ginsberg and William Sloane Coffin, Jr. [gpa ’67]. Dr. Spock’s outspokenness against the War was met by official derision and a campaign to discredit him in the public mind, leading to federal prosecution for his arrest. In 1970 he published Decent and Indecent, and in 1972, having decided that the Democrats and Republicans were beyond hope of reform, he ran for President representing the People’s Party. He said later, “I was proud of the youths who opposed the war in Vietnam because they were my babies.”
Senator Wayne Morse (20 Oct 1900 – 22 Jul 1974) The resolution that provided the authorization for U.S. intervention in the Vietnam War was the Tonkin Gulf Resolution. One of the two votes against it was cast by Wayne Morse. Before he was elected Senator from Oregon, Morse had a distinguished law career. Born in 1900 in Madison, he was graduated from the University of Wisconsin and received law degrees from the University of Minnesota and Columbia. He became a law professor, a leading authority on labor arbitration, and from 1931 to 1944 dean of the University of Oregon Law School. He became a Republican Senator in 1945 and opposed anti-union legislation. He was re-elected as a Republican with labor support (a rare bird) in 1952. The following year he quit the G.O.P. and in 1954 joined the Democratic Party. He was re-elected, ran for the 1960 Presidential nomination, and was again re-elected in 1962. He was proud to be called a liberal, stating, “A major objective [of political liberalism] is the protection of the economic weak.” He opposed the Taft-Hartley Act of 1947, which he correctly saw would “hamstring” unions. He supported Federal aid for education and for family farmers, and was an early advocate of civil rights legislation. He opposed all appropriations bills related to the Vietnam War and became a leading critic of interventionist U.S. foreign policy. He suffered mounting opposition from those in power, and was finally defeated in the election of 1968—even as public opinion was shifting toward the anti-war positions he had advocated. By the following year he had achieved widespread recognition as a national force for peace. In 1970, amidst of the expansion of the War into Cambodia and just prior to his acceptance of the Award, Wayne Morse received full vindication when the Senate repealed the Tonkin Gulf Resolution, thus ending even the pretext of Congressional authorization for the War. He died in Oregon four years later.
Dr. Willard Uphaus (27 Nov 1890 – 08 Oct 1983) grew up in rural Indiana and developed a deep religious faith that expressed itself in a determination to reach out to the poor and the oppressed. He became a professor of religious education and the Lecturer on Christian Methods at Yale in 1931 and 1932, the head of World Fellowship of Faiths, and an activist in numerous labor and civil rights organizations. He was a student and friend of Jerome Davis [gpa ’67] in the 1920’s and ’30’s at Yale, and was selected in 1934 to be the first director of the National Religion and Labor Foundation, which Dr. Davis established to develop a progressive coalition of church and union forces. He was a founding member of the Board of Promoting Enduring Peace in 1952 and its vice-president for many years. During the McCarthy many years. During the McCarthy years Dr. Uphaus, as president of World Fellowship of Faiths, declined to provide a list of names of World Fellowship participants to the attorney general of New Hampshire. He was convicted on a contempt charge; his appeal went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. There he lost his appeal by a 5-4 decision and was sent to prison. His fight garnered praise in editorials in the New York Times, Life magazine, the Christian Century, the Providence Journal, and dozens of other national publications; one called him “a man whose efforts to keep open channels of communication among peoples of different faiths and creeds led him to prison.” After his release, he continued his work with World Fellowship and PEP He died in 1983.
U Thant, “( 22 Jan 1909 – 25 Nov 1974) Third Secretary General of the United Nations, from 1961 to 1972, was the first recipient of the Award who was not a US citizen. During his administration the Cold War reached its peak of hostilities, imperialism receded, Vietnam became the world’s crucible, and lesser wars raged in Africa and Latin America. The wall in Berlin divided the world; the Cuban Missile Crisis brought humanity to the brink; it gave way to the Vietnam War. A citizen of Burma, he defined the difference between him and his predecessors: “I was the first non-European to occupy that post. Not only do I have my own set of values, which are different from those of all my [European] predecessors, but I also had first-hand experience of colonialism at work. I know what hunger, poverty, disease, illiteracy, and human suffering really mean.” Sustaining an almost frantic workload, he yet held to an inner calm and stayed above the many sides clawing for his allegiance. More than a negotiator of compromises, he believed that “whoever occupies the office of Secretary General must be impartial, but in regard to moral issues cannot, and should not, remain neutral or passive.” And he had a sense of humor: when told that the French found him unsuitable because he was short and spoke no French, he replied mildly that he was taller than Napoleon, who spoke no English. Shortly before his death in 1974 he said, “The mark of the truly educated and imaginative person facing the twenty-first century is that he feels himself to be a planetary citizen. …I offer that concept as part of my own contribution to building the future World Community.”
Dorothy Day (08 Nov 1897 – 29 Nov 1980) was the second woman to receive the Award. Born in 1897, she began a journalism career as a teenager with socialist and communist newspapers. She was arrested at the White House with other feminists, and again in 1922 in an “anti-red” raid. She worked for newspapers in Chicago and New Orleans, sold an autobiographical novel to Hollywood, and became a single parent. While pregnant with her daughter she experienced a spiritual conversion. Seeking a vocation combining her political and religious convictions, she served on the staff of F.O.R. and in 1933 co-founded The Catholic Worker as a newspaper to promote pacifism and social justice, with the aim of uniting intellectuals and workers. She expanded it into a movement based on the literal interpretation of the Gospel, combining religious dedication and progressive action. She fed and clothed the hungry while educating the masses, attracting thousands of like-minded idealists to her operations in New York City. She preached simplicity, renunciation and service; she once said, “The best thing to do with the best things in life is to give them up.” She never joined any political party. Often imprisoned for her peace, civil rights, and labor activities, she was jailed in 1973 after she was arrested with farmworkers led by César Chávez [gpa ’89] struggling to win a union contract. She died in 1980.
Dr. Daniel Ellsberg (07 Apr 1931 – )was a former Harvard professor and a principal author of the top-secret study, History of U.S. Decision-Making in Vietnam, 1945-1968, later known as the Pentagon Papers. Completed in January 1969, the study examined the U.S. role in Southeast Asia and revealed repeated miscalculations, bureaucratic arrogance, and an insistence on imposing desirable scenarios over reality. It disclosed a widespread system of deception and conspiracy to conceal the extent of U.S. military involvement and the brutality of U.S. tactics. And it exposed the consistent lack of success in winning Vietnamese hearts, minds, and territory to the objective of “pacifying” Vietnam under a U.S.-controlled regime. Dr. Ellsberg found that he could no longer continue participating in that conspiracy. Working secretly, he photocopied the study in 1971 and gave copies to major newspapers throughout the country, which published significant segments despite threats and suits from the Nixon administration. He was indicted for espionage, theft, and conspiracy. After over two years of trial procedures, all charges were dismissed on the grounds of numerous violations of law committed by the executive branch of the U.S. government. Several crimes related to efforts to discredit Dr. Ellsberg were traced directly to President Nixon, forming an important part of the impeachment case that led to his resignation in 1974, and leading to the conviction of several of his major aides. Since the end of the trial, Ellsberg has testified before Congress on the risks to democracy of the secret national security system, cooperated with the Special Prosecutor’s office in the Watergate, impeachment, and C.I.A. investigations. In the fall of 1974 he delivered a series of lectures for the Indochina Peace Campaign. Since then he has lectured widely on campuses in support of peace and democracy issues. Just before the Award ceremony, he was a leader of the 1976 Continental Walk against nuclear weapons. He is a Senior Fellow of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation.
“There has never been a greater need for such civil courage in our citizenry and officials. Will it, can it be evoked in time? To have a basis for hope, we must speak and act as if it can. That is what my life and work are about.”
Peter Benenson (31 Jul 1921 – 25 Feb 2005) (L) and Martin Ennals (R) (27 Jul 1927 – 05 Oct 1991) were the founder and executive director, respectively, of Amnesty International (A.I.). Mr. Benenson, a British attorney, wrote in a letter to PEP: “The principal object of Amnesty, and the motive which caused me to found it in 1961, is the need to guarantee the freedom of unpopular opinions and religious beliefs. Although the work of Amnesty in the field of political imprisonment and torture attracts the news media, the truly important feature has always been that it has drawn together many thousands of people of differing opinions in numerous countries to work for the release of men and women whose opinions they find obnoxious. As the Chinese proverb goes, ‘So long as you do not forgive the next man for being different, you are far from the path of wisdom.’ I do believe that this practical expression of tolerance by Amnesty’s adoption groups is a contribution to long-term peace.” Amnesty International was awarded the 1977 Nobel Peace Prize for “its efforts on behalf of defending human dignity against violence and subjugation.” By the mid-1990s the number of active participants of A.I. had increased to over one million in 170 countries, with over 4,000 groups in 55 countries and over 300 paid staff and 90 volunteers from more than 50 countries. Using research collected in the field and compiled at the International Secretariat in London, they had intervened on behalf of nearly 50,000 prisoners in most of the world’s nations. A.I.’s activities in the U.S. increased markedly with the return of the death penalty, which A.I. recognizes as “cruel, inhuman, degrading” and inimical to the most basic human rights. Martin Ennals went on to help found the British human rights organisation ARTICLE 19, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ARTICLE_19 followed by International Alert http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Alert in 1985.
Prof. Roland Bainton (1894 – 1984) was the third president of Promoting Enduring Peace. Known affectionately as “Roly”, he spent his entire academic life (1914-1962) associated with the Yale Divinity School, knew Ben Spock [gpa ’68] as a student, and taught ecclesiastical history to Bill Coffin [gpa ’67]. English by birth, he moved to the United States at the age of eleven. He attended Whitman College in Washington state and was graduated in 1917 from the Yale Divinity School. He received his Ph.D. four years later, completed his dissertation, and taught religious history at Yale. He served with a Quaker unit for conscientious objectors in the World War I, and married Ruth Woodruff in 1921. In 1936 he became Yale Divinity’s professor of ecclesiastical history, specializing in Luther and the Reformation. His pacifist principles were reflected in his book Christian Attitudes Toward War and Peace (1966), which is used widely today as a college text. He did his best to exemplify the ideal of simplicity, preferring to traverse up to 20 miles each day using his bicycle instead of a car as “a witness to the simple life”. During World War II he again expressed his pacifist commitment by counseling conscientious objectors and assisting in the relief of refugees. A Lutheran, he helped lead a Quaker mission to postwar Germany, endured some calumny during the McCarthy years, and addressed religious troubles in Latin America. He participated in the Yale community’s efforts against the Vietnam War. His contacts for peace and justice were wide and numerous, and he was familiar in pacifist-oriented church groups everywhere.
Dr. Helen Caldicott (07 Aug 1938 -) was a physician on the staff of Boston’s Children’s Hospital and president of Physicians for Social Responsibility (P.S.R.) when she received the Award. Australian-born and educated, she organized opposition to French nuclear testing in the South Pacific. She believed that the threat of nuclear war was so great and so close that she gave up the practice of medicine at Harvard for two years to devote all of her energies to alerting the public to the dangers of nuclear war. She was in constant demand as a speaker on three continents. She appealed to especially women to transcend the lethal power systems men have created: “It’s women who have the babies, and an instinct to protect them; women can start to turn this madness around.” In 1976 the Caldicotts emigrated to the United States permanently. In 1978 she revived P.S.R. Amidst the Three Mile Island crisis and its aftermath, P.S.R. membership grew to 45,000 (including over 20,000 doctors), a paid staff of 30, and a budget well over a million dollars. She helped start the Medical Campaign Against Nuclear War (in England) and the Women’s Party for Survival. She helped found similar groups in northern Europe, did a speaking tour in her home country, and was a featured speaker at the 35th observance in Hiroshima of the first atomic massacre. A documentary film of her life and work, “Eight Minutes to Midnight”, nearly won the 1981 Academy Award; another documentary featuring her work, “If you Love This Planet”, did win the following year. In December 1982 she became the only peace activist ever to meet with President Reagan—a meeting of over one hour. She founded International Physicians to Save the Environment, garnered a tremendous ovation at the 1994 U.N. Earth Summit, and continues to inspire peace activism.
Dr. Corliss Lamont (28 Mar 1902 – 26 Apr 1995) was born into wealth in 1902, “the scion of the chairman of J.P. Morgan & Company. Dr. Lamont grew up with privilege, attended Phillips Exeter and Harvard like his father, and might have had the life of a patrician on Wall Street. Instead he cast his lot into the arena of radical causes.” [Time] After Harvard he studied at Oxford and then earned a Ph.D. at Columbia. His interest in humanism led to his first book, The Illusion of Immortality (1935). He became active in civil liberties struggles and at the age of 30 he was elected to the board of the A.C.L.U. In 1941 he became one of the first members of the newly founded American Humanist Association. He published The Philosophy of Humanism in 1949. He spoke and wrote on behalf of American-Soviet cooperation, describing his position toward Soviet society as “critical sympathy.” The State Department refused to renew his passport in 1951 on the basis that his travels “would not be in the best interests of the United States.” Except during World War II, Dr. Lamont opposed U.S. foreign policy, which he saw as the major threat to world peace in the post-war era. He was harassed continually by the U.S. government for his political views, and won numerous significant court victories in defending himself. He ran for the Senate on the American Labor Party ticket in 1952 and 1958. He joined the National Emergency Civil Liberties Committee, set up in 1951 when the A.C.L.U. began collaborating with McCarthyites. He made regular contributions of thousands of dollars to a long list of groups whose causes he believed in; PEP was one. He also gave millions to academic institutions such as Columbia and Phillips Exeter. He died in 1995 at the age of 93. President Clinton sent a personal tribute. In the year he accepted the Gandhi Peace Award, he summed up his vision in these simple words: the liberation of the human spirit in a world of beauty, and a world at peace.
Randall Watson Forsberg (23 Jul 1943 – 19 Oct 2007) was the fourth woman to receive the Award and the originator of the Nuclear Weapons Freeze Campaign, the most successful disarmament movement of the century. At the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute she became a world authority on armaments. She had a daughter, divorced, and returned to the U.S. to study defense policy at M.I.T. She joined the Boston Study Group and helped produce The Price of Defense, which urged dramatic reductions in U.S. weapons stockpiles. In 1979 she established the Institute for Defense and Disarmament Studies (I.D.D.S.) in Cambridge. At a peace symposium in December 1979 she proposed the idea of a nuclear weapons freeze, to be followed by a process of arms reduction and destruction. More than a thousand local and state campaigns were initiated at the grass roots. From 1980 to 1984 the Freeze resolution was passed by over 700 town governments, 20 state legislative bodies, 12 state referenda, most religious denominations, many labor unions, and countless civic groups. Supporting those resolutions were petition signatures that eventually numbered around four million. On June 12th a million people (nearly 3,000 from the New Haven area alone) marched in New York for the Freeze. Freeze resolutions nearly passed the House and Senate but were killed after intense lobbying by the Reagan Administration. Ms. Forsberg organized Freeze Voter (later Peace Voter) to elect legislators sympathetic to disarmament. The cover article of the November 1982 Scientific American was by Ms. Forsberg, “A Bilateral Nuclear-Weapon Freeze”. Among other national awards, she won the Mac Arthur Prize. She continues to direct I.D.D.S.
Robert Jay Lifton (16 May 1926 – ) invented terms such as “psychic numbing” and “nuclearism” that advanced the understanding of why nuclear weaponry exerts such power over the collective mind. A professor of psychiatry at Yale, he was the third physician to receive the Award. His book about survivors of the Hiroshima bombing, Death in Life, won the National Book Award in 1969. In his 1982 book Indefensible Weapons Dr. Lifton explored the long-term psychological effects of the nuclear threat. He did research in psychiatry from 1956 to 1961 at Harvard, focused on mind control techniques and “thought reform” in the Chinese Cultural Revolution. During the 1970s he pioneered in the study of the psychology of Vietnam veterans. He wrote Home From the War: Vietnam Veterans—Neither Victims Nor Executioner, nominated for the National Book Award in 1974. By the time he won the Gandhi Peace Award he had published 12 scholarly books. He became a leading spokesman for P.S.R. He saw the Freeze phenomenon and the grass-roots awakening of anti-nuclear spirit as evidence of incipient recovery from the mass psychosis: “The mind is rebelling against the distortions of numbing and denial. The task now is to transmute that fear [of doomsday] into constructive action.” He is currently the Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry and Psychology at City Univ. of New York and continues to speak and organize in a range of venues on behalf of peace, disarmament, and social justice. He has been conducting psychological research on the problem of apocalyptic violence since 1995, focusing on Aum Shinrikyo, the extremist Japanese cult which released poison gas in Tokyo subways. His book, Destroying the World to Save It: Aum Shinrikyo, Apocalyptic Violence, and the New Global Terrorism was published by Metropolitan Books in October, 1999.
Dr. Kay Camp ( 10 Jul 1918 – 09 Jul 2006) was president of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (wilpf), contributing the wilpf slogan “Listen To Women For A Change”. After a conservative Republican upbringing on a New Jersey farm, in 1958 she joined wilpf. By 1968 she had become the national president, and for the next three years she led the 15,000 U.S. members through the darkest period of the Vietnam War. She was arrested for blocking draft boards, sitting in at the White House and the Capitol, and FOR protesting nuclear power. “I’ve been harassed so many times, it’s hard to remember how often and when,” she said. During 1973 she and other wilpf members visited Chile after the C.I.A.-sponsored coup and testified before the U.N. about the horrible abuses there. In 1974 she was elected International President of wilpf. “Nowhere is the bond [of wilpf] stronger than with the Soviet women who have shared our twenty-three year series of seminars,” she wrote in 1984. She led wilpf missions to North and South Vietnam, Cuba, Chile, Iran, and Central America. In 1978 she was appointed a special adviser to the U.S. delegation to the U.N. Special Session on Disarmament. After her term ended in 1980 she served as wilpf’s Coordinator for Disarmament. Also in 1980 she was a founding member of Randall Forsberg’s I.D.D.S. and began six years of service on the U.S. National Commission for unesco. In 1984 she became vice-chair of the U.N.’s Non-Governmental Organizations (N.G.O.) Committee on Disarmament. In 1984 she reflected that, to her, “wilpf is, at root and heart, a priceless collection of women’s stories—far-reaching in distance and time, global in breadth, and wise in experience. It is a story born of continuity and connections between people and between issues. All of us together are the world!” Ultimately she continues to put her faith in “a sense of relationship to people around the world, a sense of relationship to the past and to the future.”
Dr. Bernard Lown, (07 Jun 1921-) a renowned Harvard cardiologist, founded P.S.R. and co-founded International Physicians Against Nuclear War (I.P.P.N.W.). He was born in Lithuania in 1922, the son and grandson of rabbis. His grandfather, uncle, aunt, and cousins died at the hands of the Nazis; his father, a shoemaker, brought the family to the U.S. in 1935. He received his medical degree from Johns Hopkins in 1945. He did his residency at Yale, served as an Army doctor in the Korean War, and became a professor at the Harvard School of Public Health. There he authored over 300 articles and two books. While at Yale he co-founded the national Association of Interns and Medical Students and organized medical aid for victims of the Vietnam War. He invented a superior defibrillator, developed ways to reduce heart attacks, helped invent new anti-clotting medicines, and began research into the mind-body link. His “students have populated the cardiology departments of the leading teaching institutions of the United States.” In 1961 he became the first president of P.S.R. and conducted a special 1962 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine on the medical effects of nuclear war. In 1979 and 1980 he and other doctors from the U.S., the U.S.S.R., and Japan organized I.P.P.N.W. “dedicated to research, education, and advocacy relevant to the prevention of nuclear war.” It rapidly grew to 140,000 members in 41 countries. In 1985, after PEP chose him for the Award, he accepted the Nobel Peace Prize on behalf of I.P.P.N.W. I.P.P.N.W. endorsed a mutual nuclear weapons freeze, a no-first-use pledge, a ban on space-based weapons, and an immediate fifty percent reduction in strategic nuclear arsenals as ways to begin eliminating “the number-one public health threat of our time.” The Soviets acceded to all of these; the U.S. rejected them all. In 1986, he started SatelLife, a satellite-based health communications system. He co-founded the World Court Project to bring the legality of nuclear weapons before the World Court, and Abolition 2000, the goal of which is a world free of nuclear weapons by the end of the century. Dr. Lown operates the Lown Cardiovascular Group in Brookline, Massachusetts.
Prof. John Somerville (13 Mar 1905 – 08 Jan 1994) coined the term “omnicide” to describe the transcendent holocaust of nuclear war, and founded International Philosophers for the Prevention of Nuclear Omnicide (I.P.P.N.O.). Born in 1905, he received all of his degrees from Columbia.. In 1946 he published Soviet Philosophy: A Study of Theory and Practice. In 1949 he published The Philosophy of Peace, which Albert Einstein called “a sign of remarkable independence and courage.” Nine years later he published Social and Political Philosophy: Readings from Plato to Gandhi, which he edited with PEP Board member Dr. Ronald Santoni. He published The Philosophy of Marxism in 1967. Four years later he edited Radical Currents In Contemporary Philosophy. He wrote The Peace Revolution: Ethos and Social Process in 1975, called “one of the most important books of our time”. His Soviet Marxism and Nuclear War (1981) examined Soviet nuclear warfare policy. In 1978 he co-founded the Union of American and Japanese Professionals Against Nuclear Omnicide (U.A.J.P.A.N.O.) and served as its first president. At the 1983 World Congress of Philosophy he became founding president of I.P.P.N.O. In 1980 he initiated the California Campaign for No-First-Use of Nuclear Weapons. He expanded the effort in the spring of 1984 into the National Campaign for a Policy of No-First-Use of Nuclear Weapons. The honorary chairperson was Dr. Linus Pauling [gpa ’62]. Dr. Somerville was a featured speaker on PEP’s 1986 Mississippi Peace Cruise. Paul Allen, a philosophy professor active in I.P.P.N.O., described Dr. Somerville as “an extremely sensitive and kind fellow—very human, very dear, with a wonderful sense of humor. He is what he believes. More than any man I know, he is a man of peace.”
César Chávez (31 Mar 1927 – 23 Apr 1993) When he was ten, his family lost their farm and became migrant farmworkers, forcing him to quit school to work in the fields. In 1952 he became an organizer doing social service work for migrant workers. After reading Gandhi’s autobiography, he became a vegetarian and was drawn toward ascetic ways. In 1962, he co-founded became the United Farm Workers (U.F.W.) to address the terrible working and living conditions imposed on farmworkers. Produce growers refused to recognize the U.F.W., which called a strike. After five union members were murdered on the picket line he initiated a nationwide produce boycott. At its height, 23% of consumers had stopped buying California grapes, lettuce, and wine. After five years of the strike, the union had nearly 200 contracts. In 1977 the California Agricultural Labor Relations Act was passed and U.F.W. membership peaked at over 100,000. When California Republicans returned to power in 1983, many of the gains were lost and membership dwindled. Mr. Chávez initiated another boycott in 1984, turning from picket lines to direct mail to garner support. In 1988 Mr. Chávez imposed a water-only fast on himself for 36 days to protest the indiscriminate uses of pesticides and to focus on the suffering of the poor; thousands nationwide fasted with him. In the ’80s, growers hit the U.F.W. with a series of lawsuits that sapped its resources. During grueling testimony for one trial in 1993, 35 miles from his birthplace in Arizona, he died in his sleep. President Clinton posthumously awarded him the Medal of Freedom. The suits against the U.F.W. were eventually resolved in its favor. He told thousands of audiences, “The work for social change and against social injustice is never ended.”
Marian Wright Edelman (06 Jun 1939 – ) is the founder of the Children’s Defense Fund (C.D.F.), “the single loudest voice on behalf of those too young to speak for themselves.” Her message to leaders is simple: every time they’re about to take a public action, ask, “How will this affect kids?” She was born Marian Wright, the youngest daughter of a Baptist preacher. She became the first African-American woman admitted to the Mississippi Bar and directed the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund in Jackson. When Mississippi refused to sign up for Head Start in 1965, she assembled a citizen’s group to secure the funds. In 1968 she moved to Washington, D.C., as counsel for the Poor People’s March. She started the Washington Research Project, a public interest law firm. For two years she served as Director of the Center for Law and Education at Harvard University. In June of 1973 she founded the C.D.F, the only American organization wholly devoted to the rights and welfare of children. In the 1970s the C.D.F. helped sideline proposals to replace direct Head Start funding with state bloc grants. In 1979 Time Magazine named her one of its 200 outstanding American leaders, and in 1984 she won the MacArthur Prize. She has authored several books, including Families in Peril: An Agenda for Social Change; The Measure of Our Success: A Letter to My Children and Yours; and her 1995 book, Guide My Feet: Meditations and Prayers on Loving and Working for Children. As a way to focus the national attention on this appalling situation, the C.D.F. organized the June 1, 1996 “Stand for Children” rally staged at the Lincoln Memorial, with Mrs. Edelman as the keynote speaker.
Senator George S. McGovern (19 Jul 1922 -) represented South Dakota and was the Democratic candidate for President of the United States in 1972, advocating the immediate end of U.S. intervention in Vietnam.
As Chairman of the Democratic Party’s Commission on Party Structure and Delegate Selection in 1969-1970, McGovern helped institute major changes in Democratic party rules that continue to this day and, to a large degree, were ultimately adopted by the Republican Party as well.
After serving on the board from 1986 McGovern became president of the Middle East Policy Council,a non-profit organization that seeks to educate American citizens and policy makers about the political, economic and security issues impacting U.S. national interests in the Middle East. He held this position until 1997.
In April 1998, McGovern began a three-year term as United States Ambassador to the United Nations Agencies for Food and Agriculture, serving in Rome, Italy, after having been named to the post by President Bill Clinton.
In October 2001, McGovern was appointed as the first UN Global Ambassador on World Hunger by the World Food Programme,the agency he had helped found forty years earlier. He remains in this Goodwill Ambassador position as of 2011.
Ramsey Clark (18 Dec 1927 – ) was United States Attorney General under President Lyndon Johnson. He has been a leading force for a more progressive U.S. foreign policy and has shown up on the front lines of every major progressive struggle for over two decades.
The Rev. Lucius Walker, Jr. (03 Aug 1930 – 07 Dec 2010) is the founder of Pastors for Peace, the leading religious organization working for peace and justice in Latin America and for a more humane policy toward Cuba.
Father Roy Bourgeois (1938 – ) is a member of the Maryknoll order and the leader of the campaign to abolish the U.S. Army School of the Americas, called by many in Latin America “The School for Dictators” and “School of Assassins”.
“It was the wisdom of our founding foremothers in 1915 that peace is not rooted only in treaties between great powers or a turning away of weapons alone, but can only flourish when it is also planted in the soil of justice, freedom, non-violence, opportunity and equality for all. They understood, and WILPF still organizes in the understanding, that all the problems that lead countries to domestic and international violence are all connected and all need to be solved in order to achieve sustainable peace.”
This remarkable vision still guides us today as we face the challenges of the twenty-first century. In today’s context this means
- the equality of all people in a world free of sexism, racism, classism, and homophobia,
- the guarantee of fundamental human rights including the right to sustainable development,
- an end to all forms of violence: rape, battering, exploitation, intervention and war,
- the transfer of world resources from military to human needs, leading to economic justice within and among nations, and
- world disarmament and peaceful resolution of international conflicts via the United Nations. (WILF http://wilpf.org/US_WILPF)
Alan Wright and Paula Kline, founders of The New Haven/León Sister City Project in 1984, were moved to support the Nicaraguan revolution for social justice and to challenge U.S. foreign policy. Since then hundreds of area citizens have joined in the Project’s delegations, cultural exchanges, humanitarian projects, and cooperative enter–prises. The Project has been hailed as Connecticut’s most successful progressive effort, internationally recognized as a model of grass-roots support for sustainable development throughout the world.
Howard & Alice Frazier were married in 1974, the same year Howard was selected by PEP founder Jerome Davis to become Executive Director. During their 23-year tenure conducting people-to-people diplomacy through the Cold War, PEP matured into an organization capable of projects with worldwide import far beyond its staff and resources. With Martin Cherniack they produced the first significant national conference on the true nature of the C.I.A. They organized and led many friendship tours to the Soviet Union, China, Cuba, Japan, and Costa Rica, including a dozen joint Soviet-American peace cruises on the Volga, Dnieper, and Mississippi rivers; the Mississippi cruises garnered intensive national attention at the climax of the Cold War. They distributed hundreds of thousands of reprinted articles on peace and progressive topics, and maintained the high standards of the annual Gandhi Peace Award while bringing it “home” to New Haven. In 1988 Howard became the only American ever to receive the Fighter for Peace award from the Soviet Peace Committee. Howard and Alice jointly received the Citizen Democracy Award from the Center for American-Soviet Dialogue in 1990. They qualified PEP as an official N.G.O. of the United Nations and actively participated in U.N. activities; in 1994 Alice represented PEP at the international conference of women in China. ? Howard Thomas Frazier was born in 1911 in rural Tennessee. During the New Deal years he worked for the TVA. As a youth he met Norman Thomas (gpa ’67) and was a leader of the Y.M.C.A. He found a mentor in civil rights leader Myles Horton, founder of the Highlander Folk Center. In World War II he was a major in the Army Air Forces, serving in the Pacific. He then worked in the U.S. Labor Dept. promoting fair wage standards; in the early ’50’s he met César Chávez (gpa ’89) as Chavez was beginning his U.F.W. organizing efforts. In 1965, after the death of his first wife, Howard was appointed to the President’s Commission on Consumer Interests; in 1968 he joined the White House staff as Administrative Assistant for Consumer Protection. He became head of the Consumer Federation of America and then the Consumers Education and Protection Association. He also led a campaign to help poor families avoid the loss of their homes. ? He was a vital participant in many local and national peace organizations, including WILPF, Fellowship of Reconciliation, and A.F.S.C.; a founder of the Connecticut Coalition on Cuba; and was instrumental in bringing the Peace Boat project of Japan to New York. He was hailed by many as a true world citizen. ? Alice Zeigler Frazier, a Connecticut native, grew up in the Greater New Haven area and was a teacher and high school counselor in Connecticut, California, and Germany, traveling widely throughout Europe and the world until retiring and joining the work of PEP Her interest in the practice of yoga brought her into contact with Howard at a yoga spiritual retreat in Canada, just before he was to move to Connecticut to begin his tenure as Executive Director. Over the years since their meeting she has been responsible for the sparkling and informative PEP newsletters and other written materials, has been a strong advocate within PEP for the women’s perspective, and her co-equal leadership of PEP was recognized when she was appointed co-director with Howard. In June 1997 Howard died unexpectedly from complications of heart surgery.
Michael True has been a leader of the American peace education movement for two decades and is currently President of the International Peace Research Association Foundation. He was named Peace Educator of the Year in 1996 and received the Peace Studies Association Lifetime Achievement Award in 1999. In light of his call for a peaceful response to the September 11 attacks, peace education advocate Colman McCarthy named him among “the great pacifists: Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., Dorothy Day, Jeanette Rankin, …Thomas Merton and Thich Nhat Hanh…” A native of Oklahoma now residing in Worcester, Massachusetts, and an active Quaker with a Catholic background, Dr. True and his wife, Mary Pat Delaney, were active in the Catholic opposition to the Vietnam War. He cofounded the Floating Parrish that established a pattern for interfaith cooperation in the struggle for peace and justice. He has taught at colleges in the U.S. and abroad including Duke, Columbia, and Nanjing University in China, and in 1997-98 was Fulbright Lecturer at universities in Jaipur and Bhubaneswar, India. He has spoken for peace on campuses and in communities throughout the U.S., Europe, and Asia, including Australia, New Zealand, and North Korea. His books include Daniel Berrigan: Poetry, Drama, Prose (1988), Ordinary People: Family Life and Global Values (1991), To Construct Peace: 30 More Justice Seekers, Peacemakers (1992), An Energy Field More Intense Than War: The Nonviolent Tradition and American Literature (1995), and Who Needs Religion (2000, co-author).
Dennis J. Kucinich (08 Oct. 1946 – )Since being elected to Congress in 1996, Kucinich has been a tireless advocate for worker rights, civil rights and human rights. In Congress, Kucinich has authored and co-sponsored legislation to create a national health care system, preserve Social Security, lower the costs of prescription drugs, provide economic development through infrastructure improvements, abolish the death penalty, provide universal prekindergarten to all 3, 4, and 5 year olds, create a Department of Peace, regulate genetically engineered foods, repeal the USA PATRIOT Act, and provide tax relief to working class families.
Kucinich has been honored by Public Citizen, the Sierra Club, Friends of the Earth and the League of Conservation Voters as a champion of clean air, clean water and an unspoiled earth. Kucinich has twice been an official United States delegate to the United Nations Convention on Climate Change (1998, 2004) and attend the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Through his various governmental positions and campaigns, Kucinich has attracted attention for consistently delivering “the strongest liberal” perspective. This perspective has been shown by his actions, such as bringing articles of impeachment against President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney, and being the only Democratic candidate in the 2008 election to have voted against invading Iraq.
Karen Jacob & David Cortright were the first married couple to jointly receive the recognition. They met on the PEP Mississippi Peace Cruise in 1986, comprising equal numbers of US and Soviet citizens–part of PEP’s massive Citizen Diplomacy program. They were married three years later. “My ability to be an effective peacemaker depends on my partnership with Karen”, said Cortright at the Award Ceremony. Jacob said, “This award recognizes his lifelong work and passion and mine as well.” At the time Cortright was a visiting fellow at the Joan B. Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies at Notre Dame and president of the Fourth Freedom Forum headquartered in Goshen, Indiana. He has been active in anti-war movements and affiliated with organizations such as the Win Without War campaign to stop the war in Iraq and the Washington-based National Committee for a SANE Nuclear Policy, a nationwide anti-nuclear weapons activist organization. Cortright has written and been involved in the production of several books and has worked to expose shortcomings of U.S. missile defense programs. Jacob has been an activist since 1979 when as a young adult she was secretary to Howard Frazier, PEP’s former executive director, and participated in three citizen diplomacy tours to the Soviet Union as co-leader. She was president of PEP from 2002 to 2005 and during that time was also chapter president of Women’s Action for New Directions (WAND) of Northern Indiana, serving on its national board of directors. Jacob is a registered nurse and volunteers in medical programs for the poor. She is also a painter. “This is very strongly a part of our identity,” Cortright said. “This is where we share and draw strengths from each other. … (the) Iraq war is so obviously wrong and unjust that we couldn’t be true to ourselves if we didn’t speak out against it.” [Source: South Bend Tribune]
Rabbis Acherman, General Secretary of Rabbis for Human Rights and Ehud Bandel, a co-founder of the organization are central figures in Rabbis for Human Rights, the only organization that brings forward the human rights voice in the Jewish tradition. Rabbis for Human Rights was founded in 1988 and more then 100 rabbis and rabbinical students from all of the denominations are members of the organization. Among other social issues, Rabbis for Human Rights deals with the Palestinian’s human rights in Israel and in the territories. Rabbis Ascherman and Bandel exemplify the struggle for nonviolent ways of resolving the persecution of Palestinians in Israel.
Amy Goodman of Democracy Now!
Amy Goodman is the host and executive producer of Democracy Now!, a national, daily, independent, award-winning news program airing on over 1,100 public television and radio stations worldwide. TimeMagazine named Democracy Now! its “Pick of the Podcasts,” along with NBC’s Meet the Press.
Goodman is the first journalist to receive the Right Livelihood Award, widely known as the ‘Alternative Nobel Prize’ for “developing an innovative model of truly independent grassroots political journalism that brings to millions of people the alternative voices that are often excluded by the mainstream media.” She is the first co-recipient of the Park Center for Independent Media’s Izzy Award, named for the great muckraking journalist I.F. Stone. The Independent of London called Amy Goodman and Democracy Now! “an inspiration”;PULSE named her one of the 20 Top Global Media Figures of 2009.
Goodman is the author of four New York Times bestsellers. Her latest book, Breaking the Sound Barrier, proves the power of independent journalism in the struggle for a better world. She co-authored the first three bestsellers with her brother, journalist David Goodman: Standing Up to the Madness: Ordinary Heroes in Extraordinary Times(2008), Static: Government Liars, Media Cheerleaders, and the People Who Fight Back (2006) and The Exception to the Rulers: Exposing Oily Politicians, War Profiteers, and the Media That Love Them (2004). She writes a weekly column (also produced as an audio podcast) syndicated by King Features, for which she was recognized in 2007 with the James Aronson Award for Social Justice Reporting.
Goodman has received the American Women in Radio and Television Gracie Award; the Paley Center for Media’s She’s Made It Award; and the Puffin/Nation Prize for Creative Citizenship. Her reporting on East Timor and Nigeria has won numerous awards, including the George Polk Award, Robert F. Kennedy Prize for International Reporting, and the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia Award. She has also received awards from the Associated Press, United Press International, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and Project Censored. Goodman received the first ever Communication for Peace Award from the World Association for Christian Communication. She was also honored by the National Council of Teachers of English with the George Orwell Award for Distinguished Contribution to Honesty and Clarity in Public Language.
Bill McKibben of 350.org
Bill McKibben is an author, environmentalist, activist and the founder of the grassroots climate campaign 350.org, which has coordinated 15,000 rallies in 189 countries since 2009. He is a frequent contributor to various magazines including The New York Times, The Atlantic Monthly, Harper’s, Orion Magazine, Mother Jones, The New York Review of Books, Granta, Rolling Stone, and Outside. He is also a board member and contributor to Grist Magazine. He has been awarded Guggenheim and Lyndhurst Fellowships, and won the Lannan Prize for nonfiction writing in 2000. He is currently a Scholar in Residence at Middlebury College.
Before receiving the GPA, 350.org completed a 20-city “Do the Math” tour to build grassroots support for combating climate change. McKibben and 350.org are also calling for universities, colleges, and governments to divest themselves of oil and coal company assets. In August of 2011 he made the Keystone XL pipeline a national issue by holding a two week protest that led to 1,253 arrests, which was the largest organized act of civil disobedience in decades. In February 2013 50,000 people showed up in Washington D.C. because of 350.org to protest the pipeline and to bring attention to climate change.
Medea Benjamin (10 Sept 1952 – )
Medea Benjamin is an American political activist, best known for co-founding Code Pink and, along with activist and author Kevin Danaher, the fair trade advocacy group Global Exchange. Benjamin was also the Green Party candidate in California in 2000 for the United States Senate.
In 2005, she was one of 1000 women from around the world nominated collectively for the Nobel Peace Prize. Her work for peace and human rights has taken her to many parts of the world, including China, Afghanistan and Iraq. In 2000, she was the Green Party USA candidate for United States Senate from California.
Excerpted from Peace Heroes: The Gandhi Peace Awards © 2002-2010 by James Clement van Pelt.