Becoming better acquainted: Peace activists you want to know, Part 1

Civil Rights March on Washington, D.C. [Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Mathew Ahmann in a crowd.] This file is made available under the Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication. Author: Rowland Scherman; restored by Adam Cuerden

By Guest Authors Anita McKone and Robert J. Burrowes

Note from Kathie MM: Anita McKone and Robert J. Burrowes are life-long peace and justice advocates. They were  featured in Kathie MM and Tony Marcella’s recent series, dedicated to Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. , on peace activists. Today, Anita and Robert begin a guest series with inspiring stories of Nonviolence Charter  members.

Ella Polyakova is the key figure at Soldiers’ Mothers of Saint-Petersburg in Russia.  In Ella’s words: “When we were creating our organization, we understood that people knew little about their rights, enshrined in Russia’s Constitution, that the concept of ‘human dignity’ had almost disappeared, that no one had been working with the problems of common people, let alone those of conscripts. We clearly understood what a soldier in the Russian army was – a mere cog in the state machine, yet with an assault rifle. We felt how important hope, self-confidence and trust were for every person. At the beginning of our journey, we saw that people around us, as a rule, did not even know what it meant to feel free. It was obvious for us that the path towards freedom and the attainment of dignity was going through enlightenment. Therefore, our organization’s mission is to enlighten people around us. Social work is all about showing, explaining, proving things to people, it is about convincing them. Having equipped ourselves with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Russia’s Constitution, we started to demolish this dispossession belt between citizens and their rights. It was necessary to make sure that people clearly understood that, having a good knowledge of rights, laws, and situations at hand, they would be able to take responsibility and protect themselves from abuse.”

Lily Thapa is the inspirational founder president, in 1994, of Women for Human Rights, a single women group (WHR) in Nepal. WHR is an NGO ‘dedicated to creating an active network of single women on a regional, national, and international level. By working exclusively with and for them, WHR is dedicated to addressing the rights of single women and creating a just and equitable society where the lives of single women are strengthened and empowered. “Rejecting the label ‘widow’, WHR ‘issued a national declaration to use the term ‘single women’ instead of ‘widow.’ The word ‘widow’ (‘Bidhwa’ in Nepali) carries negativity and disdainful societal views, which leaves many single women feeling humiliated and distressed.” Working to empower women economically, politically, socially, and culturally in order to live dignified lives and enjoy the value of human rights, WHR works at the grassroots, district, regional, national, South Asian, and international levels. Lily has pointed out that there are “285 million single women in the world; among them 115 million fall below the poverty line and 38 million conflict-affected single women have no access to justice; these women are last.” Recently, Lily was awarded the South Asian ‘Dayawati Modi Stree Shakti Samman’, which is “presented annually to a woman who has dared to dream and has the capability to translate that dream into reality.”

Christophe Nyambatsi Mutaka is the key figure at the Groupe Martin Luther King,  which promotes active nonviolence, human rights, and peace. The group is based in Goma in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) in central Africa, and focuses particularly on reducing sexual and other violence against women.



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Speaking truth to power on IWRD

Women’s International League, 5/1/22. This image is available from the United States Library of Congress’s Prints and Photographs division under the digital ID npcc.06273. In the public domain in the USA

by Kathie MM

It’s International Women’s Rights Day, March 8, 2018—a day not just to celebrate women’s escape from bondage, or women’s courageous struggle to gain their inherent social, economic, and political rights, but also to press for progress / .  When gun rights outweigh not just women’s and children’s rights and the NRA agenda outranks human rights, it’s time to act.

In every nonviolent struggle for rights, role models can play a crucial role. Today, let a child lead you. Watch and take courage from the words and deeds of some very young women—the young women who are organizing the March 24, 2018, March for Our Lives on Washington, DC. particular, make your day by watching this video  in which Sarah Chadwick, one of the survivors of the recent Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting (which left 17 students and staff dead), takes on Dana Loesch, spokespropagandist for the NRA.

Read the whole story and transcript here.

Then decide how you can support the March 24 March for Life, for women’s rights, human rights, and peace.  To remind yourself that the activism of ordinary citizens can move mountains while Congresspeople sit on their hands and worry about their wallets, read this .

Women, for further inspiration regarding the particular differences women can make, also  read this and join the cause.


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100 Living Peace & Justice Leaders: List 2, Part 2

By Kathie Malley-Morrison & Anthony J. Marsella

David Reiff, in his classic paper, “The precarious triumph of human rights” (New York Times Magazine, August 8, 1999), described characteristics of a “new moral order” that we desperately need today:

  • Civil society;
  • Humanitarianism;
  • Human rights versus state sovereignty;
  • Emergence of human rights activists, development workers, aid experts committed to needs of an interdependent world;
  • Small is beautiful;
  • Democracy building;
  • Growth of NGOs;
  • Considering individual as well as state rights;
  • Plans for a permanent international criminal court.

Despite the many abuses permeating societies today, there is a new spirit of encounter (e.g., Black Lives Matter); a new spirit of protest evidenced by DC gatherings of women and minority groups; a new spirit of communication among media free of government or wealth controls; a new spirit of protest against war, militarism, and the spending of a nation’s wealth on weaponry and endless war; a new spirit of concern for life and land; a new spirit of determination to expose the abuses of privilege and position by those who have politicized and weaponized laws for personal use (e.g., FISA).

All these emerging changes signal and sustain “Hope!”  “Hope” is the life blood of progressive change. “Hope” can be suppressed and oppressed, but it cannot be defeated.  Regardless of life forms and species, “hope” is the evolutionary impulse pursuing survival. If you want to hope, just think of the high school students organizing to fight gun violence ; honor their courage in joining together to protest in front of the White House ; admire their plans for a march on Washington in March.

Our list-building efforts are just beginning. Each day, new people are rising to the call.  Please send us names and links of individuals and nonprofits you think should be recognized for their contributions to the cause.


  1. Kame’eleihiwaLilikalā K. Kame’eleihiwa
  2. Katz: Nancie L. Katz
  3. Kaye: Jeff Kaye
  4. Kelman: Herb & Rose Kelman
  5. Khan-Cullors: Patrisse Khan-Cullors
  6. Kimmel, Paul Kimmel
  7. Kivel, Paul Kivel
  8. Kis-Lev, Jonathan Kis-Lev
  9. Lapham: Lewis Lapham
  10. LeBlanc: Andrea LeBlanc
  11. LoCicero: Alice LoCicero
  12. Lopez-Lopez: Wilson Lopez-Lopez
  13. Lutz: Catherine Lutz
  14. Lykes: Brinton Lykes
  15. Lyubanski: Mikhail Lyubanski
  16. MacNair: Rachel MacNair
  17. Maleno: Helena Maleno
  18. Martin: Abby Martin
  19. McKee: Ann McKee 
  20. McKinney: Cynthia McKinney
  21. McKone: Anita McKone
  22. Moghaddam: Fathali Moghaddam
  23. Montiel: Christina Montiel
  24. Moore: Michael Moore
  25. Nelson: Linden Nelson
  26. Norsworthy: Kathryn Norsworthy
  27. Palast: Greg Palast
  28. Parenti: Michael Parenti
  29. Perlman: Diane Perlman
  30. Randa: Lewis Randa
  31. Rappoport: Jon Rappoport
  32. Robinson: Rashad Robinson
  33. Rosenberg: Carol Rosenberg
  34. Secker: Glyn Secker
  35. Shetterly:  Robert Shetterly
  36. Shiva: Vandana Shiva
  37. Sivaraksa: Sulak Sivaraksa
  38. Soldz: Stephen Soldz
  39. Solomon: Norman Solomon
  40. Spieler: Susan Spieler
  41. Stout: Christopher E. Stout
  42. Sveaass:  Nora Sveaass
  43. Valent: Roberto Valent
  44. Wadlow: Rene Wadlow
  45. Wasfi: Dahlia Wasfi
  46. Wessells: Michael Wessells
  47. Wise: Steven M.Wise
  48. Wollman: Neil Wollman
  49. Wright: Ann Wright
  50. Zeese: Kevin Zeese                                                                                                                          Join us in celebrating the individuals making the world a better place for all; individuals advancing the human and natural order. 
Posted in capitalism, Champions of peace, Democracy, Economy and war, Environmental impacts of war, environmental issues, Human rights, Media, militarization, Military-industrial complex, Nonviolence, politics, Protest, resistance, social justice, Stories of engagement, Understanding violence, Weaponry | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment