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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.
She is famed for speaking truth to power, for interrupting the speeches of the warmonger and defenders of tyrants.
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.
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.
2011. Rabbis Arik Ascherman, 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.
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]
Dennis J. Kucinich (08 Oct. 1946 – )Since being elected to Congress in 1996, Kucinich has been a tireless advocate for worker rights, and civil 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.
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).
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.
Howard died in June 1997. This is his New York Times obituary.
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–prizes. 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.
Edith Ballantyne is the second international president of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (wilpf) to win the Award (the first was Kay Camp [gpa ’84].)
“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
Ramsey Clark was the Deputy Attorney General from 1965 until 1967, when President Johnson appointed him the 66th U.S. Attorney General. Clark served as the Attorney General until the end of the Johnson Administration in January 1969, and played an important role in the administration’s civil rights agenda, including supervising the drafting of the 1968 Civil Rights Act. He filed the first lawsuit to force a school district — Dale County, Ala. — to desegregate or else lose its federal school aid.
He was Attorney General during the Vietnam War and its unclear if he was an opponent. In 1968 he began the prosecution of five antiwar activists, charging Yale chaplain William Sloane Coffin Jr., the famed pediatrician Dr. Benjamin Spock and three others of undermining the draft law. Coffin and Spock had won the Gandhi Peace Award respectively in 1967 and 1968.
Following his term as Attorney General, Clark worked as a law professor and became actively anti-war. He traveled to Vietnam during in 1972, criticizing Nixon war policies. Two years earlier in 1970 he was asked to testify in the trial of the Chicago 7, activists who were charged with conspiracy to incite a riot. He agreed, but judge Julius Hoffman wanted to hear what he had to say first. Clark told Hoffman that he had told President Johnson that the Justice Department thought it was the police who had started the riot. Hoffman refused to let him testify. In the 2020 Netflix movie "The Trial of the Chicago 7" Clark was played by Michael Keaton.
President Jimmy Carter turned to him to attempt to negotiate the release of the 53 American hostages held in Tehran in 1979.
In 1991, Clark became a leader in the Coalition to Stop US Intervention in the Middle East opposed the US-led war and sanctions against Iraq. He accused the administration of President George H. W. Bush, Dan Quayle, James Baker, Dick Cheney, William Webster, Colin Powell, Norman Schwarzkopf of "crimes against peace, war crimes" and "crimes against humanity" for its conduct of the Gulf War against Iraq and the ensuing sanctions. He traveled to Iraq seven times and saw first-hand the horrors of the war and the sanctions which killed hundreds of thousands. Clark was dedicated to providing legal representation to the peace movement, particularly efforts to free Leonard Peltier.
He received the Gandhi Peace Award in 1992.
He spoke out against the 2003 military invasion of Iraq and was one of the lawyers for the captured Saddam Hussein. He defended this action saying it was important for Iraq and the world that Hussein be given a completely fair trial.
He passed away April 9, 2021. This is his New York Times obituary article.
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”.
The Rev. Lucius Walker, Jr. (Aug. 3, 1930 – Dec 7, 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.
Dr. Bernard Lown was a renowned Harvard cardiologist who founded Physicians for Social Responsibility and co-founded International Physicians Against Nuclear War (I.P.P.N.W.). He was born in Lithuania in 1921, 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 Physicians for Social Responsibility 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 operated the Lown Cardiovascular Group in Brookline, Massachusetts and the Lown Institute.
Dr. Lown passed away in 1922.
Dr. Helen Caldicott (Aug 7,1938 -)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.
She received the Gandhi Peace Award 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.”