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The theme for 2019 is “Visionary Women: Champions of Peace & Nonviolence.” This year we honor women who have led efforts to end war, violence, and injustice and pioneered the use of nonviolence to change society. These Honorees embraced the fact that the means determine the ends and so developed nonviolent methods to ensure just and peaceful results.

For generations, women have resolved conflicts in their homes, schools, and communities. They have rejected violence as counterproductive and stressed the need to restore respect, establish justice, and reduce the causes of conflict as the surest way to peace. From legal defense and public education to direct action and civil disobedience, women have expanded the American tradition of using inclusive, democratic and active means to reduce violence, achieve peace, and promote the common good.

From women’s rights and racial justice to disarmament and gun control, the drive for nonviolent change has been championed by visionary women. These women consciously built supportive, nonviolent alternatives and loving communities as well as advocating change. They have given voice to the unrepresented and hope to victims of violence and those who dream of a peaceful world.

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National Women’s History Alliance Honorees

kathy kelly

Kathy Kelly

Co-coordinator of Voices for Creative Nonviolence

Kathy Kelly is a peace activist, pacifist, and author, one of the founding members of Voices in the Wilderness, and currently a co-coordinator of Voices for Creative Nonviolence. As part of peace team work in several countries, she has traveled to Iraq twenty-six times, notably remaining in combat zones during the early days of both US–Iraq wars. Kelly’s recent work has focused on Afghanistan and Gaza and protesting US drone policy.

Zainab Salbi

Zainab Salbi

Founder and Former CEO of Women for Women International

At the age of twenty-three, Salbi founded Women for Women International, a grassroots humanitarian and development organization dedicated to serving women survivors of wars by offering support, tools, and access to life-changing skills to move from crisis and poverty to stability and economic self-sufficiency. Salbi is the author of several books including Freedom is an Inside Job and she is host of the #Me Too, Now What series on PBS.

Graciela Sanchez

Graciela Sanchez

Co-founder and Director of the Esperanza Peace & Justice Center

Graciela Sanchez is a dedicated neighborhood activist and cultural worker. She is co-founded and director of the Esperanza Peace and Justice Center (San Antonio TX). The Esperanza is a community-based arts and cultural organization, committed to serving marginalized communities. Sanchez has worked throughout her lifetime to eliminate racism, sexism, homophobia, and class elitism. Her activism facilitates conversations on issues of colonization, cultural genocide, violence, and intersectionality.

Deborah Tucker

Deborah Tucker

President of the Board of Directors of the National Center on Domestic and Sexual Violence

Deborah D. Tucker has dedicated over 40 years to ending violence. She founded and led several organizations while working with many to advocate for improvements to laws, polices, and practices at the local, state, national, and international levels. Most notably, she helped write and pass the Violence Against Women Act of 1994 and co-chaired the Defense Task Force on Domestic Violence. Tucker is currently President of the Board of Directors of the National Center on Domestic and Sexual Violence.

Dr. E. Faye Williams

Dr. E. Faye Williams

President/CEO of the National Congress of Black Women

Dr. E. Faye Williams, Esq. has made her biggest mark as an activist for peace and human rights, having traveled and worked on issues around the world. In her book, The Peace Terrorists, she details a 40-day peace mission she undertook with 200 women from around the world for the purpose of working to prevent the first Gulf War. As an active civil and human rights leader, she continues to fearlessly protest injustice and brutal world-wide occupations. She is currently the National Chair of the National Congress of Black Women

>Sister Alice Zachmann

Sister Alice Zachmann

Founder and former Director of the Guatemala Human Rights Commission USA

Sister Alice Zachman has dedicated her life to ending war and violence, from advocating an end to the Vietnam War to supporting the United Farm Workers. She founded the Guatemala Human Rights Commission USA in 1982 and served as director for 20 years, fearlessly supporting Guatemalan survivors of torture and abuse, as well as working to end U.S. military assistance to Guatemala. Zachmann is a member of the School Sisters of Notre Dame Central Pacific Province.

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