Martha Skretteberg

Overview

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Martha Rubiano Skretteberg born Colombia April 11, 1962. Norwegian criminal lawyer. Head of Caritas Norway, 2011. Promoted Norwegian mediation of peace in Colombia, Philippines, and Syria; advocated European welcome of refugees.

Quotations

I find humanitarian work very meaningful and important. Through development cooperation, human rights, peace and reconciliation work and emergency relief we can make a difference, and the world needs change.” (Aug. 5, 2011 Caritas Norway; photo dagsavisen.no)

Meryl Streep

Overview

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Mary Louise “Meryl” Streep born Summit, NJ June 22, 1946. American actress. Lauded for pacifist and feminist ideals; climate change advocate. Portrayed women peacemakers on stage and screen: Silkwood, 1983; “Mother Courage”, 2006; Rendition, 2007; Lions for Lambs, 2007; Suffragette, 2015.

Quotations

I have a belief, I guess, in the power of the aggregate human attempt—the best of ourselves. In love and hope and optimism—you know, the magic things that seem inexplicable. Why we are the way we are. I do have a sense of trying to make things better.” (Mick Brown, ”Meryl Streep, Mother Superior”, The Week, Dec. 4, 2008; photo Time Out London, Sept. 29, 2015)

Frida Stéenhoff

Overview

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Frida Stéenhoff (née Helga Frideborg Wadström) born Stockholm, Sweden December 11, 1865 (d. 1945). Swedish radical feminist and pacifist internationalist; artist and playwright; wrote first Swedish pacifist play, “Fighting Youth”, 1907, “The Men of War, the Gentlemen of the World”, 1915. Postwar contributor to pacifist magazine Epoch.

Quotations

War is the masculine state, driven to the end. It demanded for its sake designing, persuading the hearts of men, and despising the wisdom of the women . . . With the destruction of these states men began to love their fellow human beings like brothers, and the women began to think of the meaningless in massacre of children in a school of mass extinction.” (pseud. Harold Gote, “Sex Slavery, An Appeal”, 1913, in Claes Ahlund, “War and Culture”, Samlaren, 2005, p. 97; photo dramawebben)

Velma Šarić

Overview

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Velma Šarić born Vlasenica, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Yugoslavia April 8, 1979. Bosnian peacebuilder. Founding President, Post-Conflict Research Center, Sarajevo; founding editor, Balkan Diskurs, 2014.

Quotations

At the start of the genocide in Bosnia in 1992, I was 12 years old. I spent the next 3 years under siege and constant shelling until the end of the war in 1995. The experience of the war and its aftermath affected me so deeply that I decided to make it my mission to help my country recover from the legacies of war in any way that I could.” (Gareth Davies interview, May 27, 2015; photo Wikipedia)

Khairatul Saidu

Overview

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Khairatul Saidu born Abuja, Nigeria February 9, 1999. Advocate for rights of prisoners. World Peace Caravan ambassador, 2015. Received Global Public Peace Prize, 2017; Princess Diana Human Rights award, 2017.

Quotations

I would do anything that promotes love, peace, happiness, oneness and development.” (Feb. 21, 2017 Nicholas Alifa blog; photo gnvfundraising.org)

Natalia Silvina Sarapura

Overview

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Natalia Silvina Sarapura born Kolla Region, Argentina February 27, 1975. Argentinean indigenous rights leader. Received “Unknown Peacemaker” Award of Bremen Peace Award, 2015.

Quotations

With the support of the World Peace Service from Germany, which provides administrative and technical assistance, we help the indigenous communities to demand their rights to land and to sue them. The means are non-violent demonstrations, court cases, lobbying and petitions for the state and local authorities to fulfill their obligations. As a result, we now have Kolla's land ownership of nearly 60 communities recognized and 170 communities on the way to becoming a collective land title.” (Martin Ring interview, “It’s a Tough Fight”, Latein America Nachrichten, March 2015; photo Jujuy Al Mondo)

Josette Sheeran

Overview

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Josette Sheeran born Orange, NJ June 12, 1954. United Nations diplomat. US Assistant Secretary of State for Business, 2005-07; Executive Director, World Food Program, 2006-12; Vice Chair, World Economic Forum, 2012-13; President, Asia Society, 2013; Special UN Envoy to Haiti, 2017.

Quotations

A silent tsunami which knows no borders is sweeping the world.” (Graeme Taylor, Evolution's Edge: The Coming Collapse and Transformation of Our World, 2008, p. 46)

I believe we're living at a time in human history where it's just simply unacceptable that children wake up and don't know where to find a cup of food. . . I would like you to join with all of humanity to draw a line in the sand and say, ‘No more. No more are we going to accept this.’ ("Ending Hunger Now", TED Talk, July 2011; photo ted.com)

Maya Soetoro-Ng

Overview

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Maya Soetoro-Ng born Jakarta, Indonesia August 15, 1970. Professor of Education; half-sister of President Obama. Director, Matsunaga Institute for Peace & Conflict Resolution; co-founded Ceeds of Peace.

Quotations

[T]he best things that grownups do, we do for the children, and that they inspire great good in us. I also want them to remember that the world is intertwined and that we therefore have to be gentle in the way that we treat one another and the Earth, so that our impact on others is benevolent and good.” (Kam Williams interview, May 3, 2011; photo wikipedia)

Francesca Solleville

Overview

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Francesca Solleville born Périgueux, Dordogne, France March 2, 1932. French singer; pacifist opponent of wars in Algeria, Vietnam, Iraq. Sang songs against Chilean coup and nuclear power. Signed Open Letter of Women opposed to missiles, 1985.

Quotations

Refuse to populate the earth! 
Stop fertility! 
Declare the mothers' strike! 
The executioners shout your will! 
Defend your flesh, defend your blood! 
Down with the war and the tyrants!”

(“The Mothers Strike”; photo YouTube)

Elaine Scarry

Overview

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Elaine Scarry born April 30, 1946. Harvard professor; author of Thermonuclear Monarchy, 2014.

Quotations

Nuclear weapons are antithetical to the values of civil society because they wrestle power away from the people and place it in the hands of a few. If we have lost all say over what our military does, we have lost our civil stature.” (Amherst Student, Nov. 3, 2015)

With nuclear weapons, there is a clear solution. We need to get rid of nuclear weapons. We need to get rid of our own, which then gives us a moral basis for asking other countries to give them up, and to work hand-in-hand with all the countries that have been begging to have a world free of nuclear weapons.” (Sarah Gerard interview, The American Reader; photo Englishfasharvard)

Betsy Sawyer

Overview

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Betsy Sawyer (née Rosemary Elizabeth Guercio) born Fitchburg, MA June 14, 1956 (d. 2016). Middle school teacher. Led Fifth-grade students at Groton-Dunstable school to create thousand-page The Big Book: Pages for Peace, world’s largest peace book. Received Peace Abbey Award, 2002.

Quotations

World peace is about making sure people are comfortable and happy, and not living in a state of fear or poverty or violence.” (Boston Globe, May 9, 2016; photo Lowell Sun)

Anasuya Sarabhai

Overview

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Anasuya Sarabhai AKA Motaben born November 11, 1885 (d. 1972). Fabian Socialist; feminist; Gandhian labor organizer; daughter of textile manufacturer.  Used nonviolent resistance in textile strike, 1918; organized India's first labor union, 1920. Worked with Gandhi in Kheda Satyagraha, 1918. One of first signatories of Gandhi’s Satyagraha pledge opposing the Rowlatt Act, 1919.

Quotations

"Ask yourself what is right and what is wrong—and once you have decided, act fearlessly in the cause that you believe in." (paraphrase of advice to Ela Bhatt, Ela Bhatt, J. Sreenivasan, 2000, p. 41; photo wikimedia)

Florence Melian Stawell

Overview

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Florence Melian Stawell born Kew, Melbourne, Australia May 2, 1869 (d. 1936). Classical scholar. Barred from attending International Women's Peace Conference, The Hague, 1915. Opposed World War I; promoted League of Nations. Authored books on world order: The Price of Freedom, 1918; The Growth of International Thought, 1929.

Quotations

Let us remember that true Patriotism means love, and that true love is never narrow-minded.” (Patriotism and the Fellowship of Nations, p. 91, 1916; photo Wikipedia)

Metta Spencer

Overview

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Metta Spencer born Calera, Oklahoma August 29, 1931. Canadian sociology professor, peace researcher, and activist. President, Science for Peace; founding president of Canadian Disarmament Information Service (CANDIS), 1983. Editor, Peace Magazine, 1985. Received UN Global Citizen Award, 1995.

Quotations

To obtain sufficient funding to repair the world, we must reallocate much of the world’s military funding, which consumes about $1.7 trillion per year. Since nuclear weapons are both useless and dangerous, we can disarm those first.” (Dec. 27, 2013, Metta Spencer’s Weblog; photo mettaspencer.com)

Rivera Sun

Overview

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Rivera Sun born Maine August 2, 1981. Nonviolent novelist, poet, and playwright. Director, Pace e Bene Campaign for Nonviolence; co-host of Love and Revolution Radio. Founded Love-in-Action Network.

Quotations

“Nonviolent action succeeds twice as often as violent means, in a third of the amount of time, and with a fraction of the casualties.” (The Roots of Resistance; photo Bainbridge Island Review)

Yekaterina Samutsevich

Overview

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Yekaterina “Katya” Samutsevich born Moscow, Russia August 9, 1982. Computer engineer; member of Pussy Riot collective. One of three Pussy Riot protesters arrested for “hooliganism” in anti-Putin demonstration at Moscow cathedral, 2011; detained seven months.

Quotations

"It's a fight, it's an ongoing fight. . . Just because there was a court case doesn't mean that we're going to stop and shut our mouths. We have a lot of things to say. We're going to continue to work, continue to do what we do." (Leslie Stahl interview, Mar. 24, 2013; photo 99getsmart)

Edith Södergren

Overview

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Edith Södergren born St. Petersburg, Russia April 4, 1892 (d. 1923). Finnish-Swedish poet.

Quotations

On the end of World War I: “A magic spell came over us and left us with the feeling that anything was possible at any time. The future glowed within us and made us impatient; its seductive and terrifying crown would one day be ours. We were unknown and poor and lived in a remote corner of the world, and yet we felt like princes. Our treasure was wrapped in the hope that hovered over a devastated world like the hands of angels and pointed to a new humanity.” (to Hagar Olsson, in Birgitta Svanberg, With Responsibility For All of Humanity)

Opposed punitive treaty of Versailles: “Germany’s misfortune causes me such pain. Why does nobody in Finland protest against the peace terms? If I could write an appeal to help collect protest signatures I’d do it. . . That business with the Germans gives me no peace. I’ve written an article: Shall we look on in silence while a whole nation is hammered into chains?” (to Hagar Olsson, in Marlene Broemer, War and Revolution, p. 55; photo Wikipedia)

Camelia Sadat

Overview

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Camelia Sadat born Cairo, Egypt July 12, 1949. Daughter of Nobel Peace Prize laureate; founded Sadat Peace Institute Boston 1984. Undertook people-to-people peace mission to Palestine, 1988. Received Peace Abbey Courage of Conscience Award.

Quotations

I learned about hate, and I learned how to live in peace. . . I believe in the principle of turning the other cheek.” (Boston Globe, Aug. 21, 2002; photo global action on aging)

Barbara Sonneborn

Overview

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Barbara Sonneborn born Chicago, IL March 2, 1944. Film writer, director, producer of Regret to Inform about the death of her husband in Vietnam War, and her visit to Vietnam to witness the effects of war.

Quotations

"War is a monster. You let it out of its cage and you can't tell it how to behave." (WGBH True Lives, “The Making of Regret to Inform”)

"It has expanded my understanding of sorrow and suffering, of love and joy. I want people to see war differently than they've seen it before. I want them to look war in the face, to ask themselves, 'Am I going to allow this to happen ever again?' I want people to so deeply realize the humanity of other human beings that they won't be able to kill them." (quote and photo AMDOC Regret to Inform, 2006)