March 12

Women peacemakers born today

  • 1879 Grace DeGraff born Thomson, IL (d. 1951). School principal. Traveled to Europe as founding member of WILPF, 1915; embarked on Henry Ford Peace Expedition, 1916.

  • 1923 Clara Fraser born East Los Angeles, CA (d. 1998). Radical feminist, socialist, internationalist and opponent of all wars. Founded Radical Women (RW), 1967; opposed Israeli settlements and occupation of West Bank.

  • 1929 Lupe Anguiano born La Junta, CO. Mexican-American civil rights activist; environmentalist; former nun. Performed nonviolent work with Cesar Chavez; opposed Iraq War as "senseless."

  • 1929 Mary N. Brownell born Maryland County, Liberia. Liberian educator; crusader for peace, women’s rights, and democracy. Founded Liberian Women’s Initiative (LWI), 1994. Honored as Ambassador for Peace by the Interreligious and International Foundation for World Peace, 2006.

  • 1947 Charmaine White Face (Zumila Wobaga) born Pine Ridge Reservation, SD. Oglala Sioux leader; biologist and journalist. Active participant in UN International Indigenous Rights Declaration, 2002. Fasted at Geneva Conference on Indigenous Rights, 2004. Joined 50-day Walk for a New Spring, 2015. Received 2007 Nuclear Free Future award for founding Defenders of the Black Hills, 2002; Giraffe Award for “sticking out her neck,” 2016.

  • 1953 Naomi Shihab Nye born St. Louis, MO. Palestinian-American poet; songwriter; novelist.

  • 1953 Glenda Wildschut born District Six, Cape Town, South Africa. Psychiatric nurse. Experienced in trauma of Apartheid; worked with WHO on trauma in war zones. Founded Cape Town's first trauma center, 1993. Commissioner of Truth & Reconciliation Commission, 1995.

Women's peacemaking on this day

  • 1912 In Lawrence, MA, female textile workers led and won the Bread and Roses strike. James Oppenheim celebrated the event in verse:
    "As we come marching in the beauty of the day,
    A million darkened kitchens, a thousand mill lofts gray,
    Are touched with all the radiance that a sudden sun discloses,
    For the people hear us singing "Bread and roses, bread and roses."

  • 1933 Ruth Bryan Owen became America's first female ambassador, appointed US Minister to Denmark.

  • 1959 One day after Tibet's National Uprising Day, thousands of Tibetan women held a nonviolent protest at Potala Palace, Lhasa to mark Women's Uprising Day.

  • 1983 Women in Milan and Rome protest the Comiso base.

  • 2003 Catholic Workers Catherine Morris and Martha Lewis protested the Iraq War at the Los Angeles Federal Building.

  • 2011 International Women for Peace and Democracy created the Victoire Umuhoza Peace Prize, Montreal.

  • 2012 In a continuing campaign of violence against women in politics, Bolivian councilor Juana Quispe was murdered in La Paz.

  • 2017 UN human rights worker Zaida Catalán kidnapped and beheaded, DR Congo.