December 12

Women peacemakers born today

  • 1897 Lillian Smith born Jasper, FL (d. 1966). American writer and social critic. Author of best-selling anti-segregation novel Strange Fruit, 1944; essay collection Killers of the Dream, 1949. Wrote FOR pamphlet “The White Christian and His Conscience”, 1945. Bayard Rustin credited her for getting him to teach Martin Luther King Jr. nonviolence.

  • 1925 Betita Martínez born Washington, D.C. Radical Chicana leader and author. One of the first UN employees, working under Ralph Bunche on the UN's successful decolonization, 1946-50. Headed New York office of Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC); took part in SNCC's Freedom Summer, Mississippi, 1964. Peace and Freedom Party candidate for California governor, 1982; co-founded Institute for MultiRacial Justice, 1997.

  • 1950 Dionne Warwick born East Orange, NJ 1950. Pop singer. US envoy for Health, UN Global Ambassador for FAO, 2002; active in AIDS campaign.

  • 1970 Jesselyn Radack born Washington DC. American attorney and whistleblower. Took up the cause of American Taliban John Walker Lindh over concerns of illegal interrogation. Legal adviser to whistleblower Edward Snowden.

Women's peacemaking on this day

  • 1958 Shirley Graham Du Bois delivered W.E.B. DuBois speech to All-African Conference Accra. "We look forward to Peace and backward to War."

  • 1979 Nordic Women for Peace start organizing.

  • 1982 30,000 Greenham women "embrace the base," encircling nine miles "countering violence with love."

  • 2011 First Asia Pacific Feminist Forum held in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

  • 2012 Raging Grannies protested war toys at Toys-R-Us, Manhattan. “WAR is not a Game!”

  • 2014 In Washington DC, African-American activist and self-described abolitionist Erika Totten interrupted Al Sharpton at the #MarchOnWashington to allow protesters from Ferguson, MO to speak about their experiences.