- Julia Alvarez
- Elise Boulding
- Vinie Burrows
- Sandra Cisneros
- Rep. John Conyer, Jr.
- Blanche Wiesen Cook
- Frances Farenthold
- Dolores Huerta
- Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson
- Rep. Barbara Lee
- Elizabeth McAlister
- Holly Near
- Suzanne Pharr
- Betty Rearden
- Sonia Sanchez
- Alice Walker
Julia Alvarez is an influential writer in many genres including novels, poetry, and young reader’s books. A native of the Dominican Republic, many of Alvarez’s works focus on the struggles of immigrants and the people of Latin America under dictatorships.
Some of her most famous novels are In the Time of the Butterflies and How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents. Her books for young readers include Before We Were Free and The Secret Footprints. Julia’s most recent work, The Woman I Kept to My Self is a collection of poems.
Julia Alvarez along with Bill Eichner has also started a farm-literacy center called “Alta Gracia” (www.cafealtagracia.com). Located in the Dominican Republic, this farm grows specialty coffees and support literacy schools. Alta Gracia is also a partner in the DREAM Project (The Dominican Republic Education & Mentoring Project). This grassroots movement helps improve educational opportunities for kids in the Dominican Republic.
Elise Boulding is an internationally known peace activist and researcher. Serving as a WILPF International President in 1968-1971 and as a life long member, Elise has made countless contributions to world peace. Her idea of focusing on prevention of war by finding ways to resolve conflicts without fighting has long been an inspiration for all.
Elise is a founder of the International Peace Research Association. She has also built the Peace Studies Program at Dartmouth College. Together with her husband, Kenneth Boulding, they are known as the “Grandparents of America’s Peace Movement”. Elise was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize in 1990 for her endless efforts in peace activism.
An author, a professor, and an activist for peace, Elise Boulding has an immeasurable list of accomplishments and achievements. She is currently retired but still keeps her passion going through public talks and workshops.
Vinie Burrows is a legendary actress, writer, producer, and activist. She started out as a child actress on radio and made her Broadway debut as a teenager. She has been featured in over 5,000 performances on and off Broadway, on television, in films and on stages around the world. Frustrated by the lack of roles for actors of color, Vinie has created and produced a repertoire of unique one woman shows that have been performed in many venues. She carries on a message of peace, justice, and reconciliation in her acting.
In addition to her theatrical career, Vinie Burrows has been a permanent NGO representative to the United Nations for the Women’s International Democratic Federation. Vinie’s endless work towards peace, women’s rights, and human development has been internationally recognized. She has also won many awards for her countless accomplishments. She graduated summa cum laude with a Master’s degree in Performance Studies from New York University’s Tische School of the Arts. Vinie received the Eugene McDermott Award from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for the “Highest Standard of Creative Achievement” in 2002. She was awarded the Jane Addams Peace Award for her activism.
Sandra Cisneros is the author of many works in different genres - poetry, short stories, novels, and younger reader books - as well as being a performance artist. Born to a Mexican father and Mexican-American mother in Chicago, her 2002 book, Caramelo was selected as notable book of the year by several journals including The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Chicago Tribune, and the Seattle Times. In addition to becoming a WILPF Sponsor, Sandra Cisneros joined as a Life Member.
Representative John Conyers Jr. is a Detroit Democrat serving his 19th term for the Michigan’s 14th Congressional District. He was elected by his congressional colleagues to lead the Democratic side of the House Committee on the Judiciary. He is also one of the founding members of the Congressional Black Caucus which was founded to strengthen African American law makers’ ability to address the legislative concerns of black and minority citizens.
Through his 35 years in Congress, John Conyers Jr. has had major accomplishments in introducing and endorsing legislation to advance civil liberties, protect voting rights, and combat violence against women. Some of his accomplishments include: Violence Against Women Act of 1994, Motor Voter Bill of 1993, Martin Luther King Holiday Act of 1983, and the Help America Vote Act of 2002.
Representative Conyers is also deeply committed to promoting peace. He has worked hard to state his opposition against the war in Iraq. He has spoken at many anti-war demonstrations and voiced his opinions to the Administration and to the UN about the many members of Congress opposing the war.
Blanche Wiesen Cook is a well-known historian, writer, and a teacher. She is currently teaching as a Professor of History and Women’s Studies at the John Jay College and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. She is also a very outspoken advocate of grassroots social politics.
As a feminist writer and a historian, Blanche exposes and gives light to history that has been covered in the dust for a long time. Her biography of Eleanor Roosevelt gives accounts of the First Lady that we have never seen or heard of. She has already published volume I and II and is currently working on the third volume.
Frances Farenthold is a Texas native who has been a leader of women’s peace movements and a strong feminist voice in the political arena. There are countless accomplishments to note about Frances. She has served 2 terms in the Texas legislature. Her name was placed in nomination for Vice Presidency in 1972 in the Democratic National Convention.
Frances served as the president of Wells College from 1976 to 1980. She has also taught at the Texas Southern University Law School and the University of Houston Law School. Frances is one of the founders of the National Women’s Political Caucus, a grassroots organization dedicated to increasing women’s participation in the political process. Frances now serves as President and Chair of Board at the Rothko Chapel.
Dolores Huerta is an active advocate for the American civil rights movement. She is the co-founder of the United Farm Workers of America (UFW). Raised in a farm workers community, she is a passionate advocate for farm workers’ rights. She helped establish the first health and benefit plans for farm workers. She directed a boycott which resulted in the enactment of the Agricultural Labor Relations Act, which grants farm workers the right to collectively organize and bargain for better wages and working conditions. Dolores also lobbied against federal guest worker programs and spearheaded legislation granting amnesty for farm workers who were unable to enjoy the privileges of citizenship, which resulted in the enactment of the Immigration Act of 1985.
Dolores currently serves as the Secretary-Treasurer of the United Farm Workers, Vice President of the Coalition for Labor Union Women, Vice President of the California AFL-CIO, and she serves on the board of the Fund For the Feminist Majority which advocates for the political and equal rights for women. She also runs her own foundation, the Dolores Huerta Foundation.
Representative Eddie Bernice Johnson is a democratic Congresswoman who represents the 30th District of Texas. She was the first woman and the first African American ever to represent Dallas, Texas in Congress. Eddie is a legislative leader in authoring and coauthoring many bills that were signed into law.
There are countless accomplishments that Eddie has made in her public position. One of them is the intoduction of three resolutions that seek to ensure economic rights and empowerment for women. Also in February 2003, she introduced the SMART Health Act which promotes the well-being and educational achievement of children through a school-based health initiative. Eddie has helped in drafting legislation for 2 billion dollars in extra funding for the Head Start Program. She has held many national and international peace discussion forums to promote the exchange of ideas and experiences among women all over the world.
Representative Barbara Lee, a former social worker, was first elected as Representative from California’s 9th Congressional District in 1998 to fill the seat of retiring Congressman Ronald V. Dellums. In Congress, Barbara Lee serves on the International Relations Committee and the Financial Services Committee. She is also the Co-Chair of the Progressive Caucus, Whip for the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), Assistant Democratic Whip, Chair of the CBC Task Force on Global HIV/AIDS, and Co-Chair of the CBC Haiti Task Force.
Before coming to Washington , she served in the California State Assembly from 1990-1996 and the California State Senate from 1996-1998. Representative Lee’s primary mission is to improve the lives of the people in the 9th Congressional District and to promote, for Americans and all citizens of the world, international security through peace. Representative Lee, on September 15, 2001 cast the lone dissenting vote against the US Congress resolution authorizing President Bush to use "all necessary and appropriate force" against anyone associated with the terrorist attacks of September 11. The measure passed 98-0 in the Senate and 420-1 in the House.
Elizabeth McAlister is a long time peace activist and a member of the Jonah House Community in Baltimore, Maryland. Liz and her late husband, Phil Berrigan, have dedicated their lives to nuclear disarmament. Elizabeth and Phil have shown resistance to nuclear arms through plowshares anti-nuclear activism. In 1983, Liz was part of a group that turned a cruise missile attached to a B-52 into a plowshare at the Griffiths Air Force Base in New York.
Elizabeth also voices her anti-nuclear stance in lectures. Sheis a speaker at numerous college campuses, conferences, and churches on topics of anti-nuclear movement and civil disobedience. She also co-authored with Phil “The Time Discipline: The Beatitudes and Nuclear Resistance”.
Holly Near is a very influential singer songwriter, performer, teacher, and activist. She has been performing since the age of seven and has appeared in many films, TV, and a Broadway production. She is the founder of Redwood Records and spreads her activism through her songs and public speaking.
Holly is active in social and political movements in feminism, lesbian and gay rights, safe energy and nuclear disarmament, international peace, and solidarity. She has also written an autobiography called “Fire in the Rain: Singer in the Storm”. Holly shares her insight through teaching master classes in performance craft and song writing. She continues to influence many audiences with her performances in college campuses, tours, and rallies.
Suzanne Pharr is a renowned writer and an activist. She is most famous for her books, “Homophobia – A Weapon of Sexism” and “In the Time of the Right: Reflections on Liberation”. Through her writing, Suzanne tries to educate people about discrimination against oppressed groups in our society.
She is the founder of the Women’s Project, a political education project in Arkansas to end racism and sexism. She has also recently served 5 years as executive director of The Highlander Center, an education center for assisting activists and communities that seek solutions to pressing social problems.
Betty Reardon is the founder and director of the International Institute on Peace & Education at the Teachers College in Columbia University. She has over 40 years of experience in international peace education. She has also worked for many years in the international movement for human rights of women.
Having served as a consultant to several United Nations agencies and education organizations, Betty is committed to spreading peace education globally. She has published great numbers of writings in the fields of peace and human rights education and women’s issues.
Sonia Sanchez is an inspiring author, activist, professor, and a lecturer on black culture and literature, women’s liberation, and peace and racial justice. From starting the first college-level course on black women in the country to writing numerous works of the pains black women experience, she is known as a pioneer in the field of black women’s studies.
She has received numerous awards in response to her books and activism. Some of her work includes, “Does Your House Have Lions”, “Like the Singing Coming off the Drums”, and “Shake Loose My Skin”. She was the first Presidential Fellow at Temple University, where she has taught English for many years. She is currently doing a lot of traveling and speaking about peace and the dangers of Bush Administration policies.
Alice Walker is a world-renowned author. She is best known for her novel, “The Color Purple”, which received the Pulitzer Prize Award. Alice writes in her works about the struggles of black people throughout history. She focuses on black women and their inner feelings, their environment, and their fight for freedom and recognition. She is also an activist in the areas of women’s movements, the anti-apartheid movement, anti-nuclear movements, and movements against female genital mutilation.
Since receiving her B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College, she has published countless works of poetry, short stories, essays, and novels. She has also established her own publishing company, the Wild Tress Press. Alice describes herself as a “womanist”, a black feminist. Alice is currently residing in California where she continues to write in her unique way which is so touching and influential to many.