Jane Addams was an outspoken woman with strong opinions. In 1915, this was uncommon, and unwelcome. When she spoke out against WWI, declaring all war to be a horrific waste of lives and money, she was called a socialist, a communist, even a traitor. Fifteen years later she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
Hull House in Chicago, which was her major passion, provided services for indigent and iminigrant women and children. Jane Addams helped to start Hull House in 1889, along with her long-time companion, Ellen Starr. She was also very influential in women’s suffrage and labor unions, and helped established special courts for juveniles. The NAACP, the ACLU, and WILPF were all co-founded by Jane, as she was always seeking justice for the oppressed and the poor she saw all around her.
The Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom brings together women and men from around the world to work for peace by non-violent means and to promote political racial and economic justice for all. WILPF is an international Non-Governmental Organization (NGO).
It has national sections covering all continents, an international secretariat based in Geneva, and a New York office focused on the work of the United Nations. Founded before the days of catchy, easily used acronyms, WILPF will be 100 years old in 2015.
A recent U.S. project was Corporations vs Democracy, wherein WILPF members studied sponsored forums, and engaged in other activities about how corporations abuse their powers to affect the lives of all of us for their own profits.
Another project was Save the Water, focusing on how water is being privatized, misused, and wasted all over the world, and working on some ways to create change for the better. Tucson WILPF is particularly interested in working on relationships between corporate power and a variety of social ills.
We are a large and lively branch; inquiries and new members are welcome.