US Peace Memorial Foundation
US Peace Registry
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The US Peace Registry, developed and maintained by Michael D. Knox with the editing assistance of Beverly Lowenstein and Tracy Blalock, honors Americans who work for peace. It recognizes and documents the activities of hundreds of U.S. citizens, permanent residents, and organizations that have publicly opposed militarization and military solutions to international problems. It is hoped that honoring these courageous role models and leaders will inspire new generations of Americans to speak out for peace and to work to end the hatred, ignorance, greed, and intolerance that lead to war.
The specific examples of actions/behaviors listed under each individual or organization are intended to provide ideas and guidance to others so that peace/antiwar behaviors can be replicated nationwide. It should stimulate new discussions, help people feel more comfortable speaking out, and lead to greater citizen involvement in antiwar activities. This compilation of strategies will be a valuable resource for all activists; students and scholars who study peace, protest, and civil disobedience; and practitioners engaged in research, teaching, action, and organization building.
Individual citizens who have written an antiwar letter to their representatives in Congress or published a letter to the editor are included, along with Americans who have devoted their adult lives to peace and opposing war, often through civil disobedience. Groups such as the Quakers who have opposed war for centuries, as well as the hundreds of new organizations with peace-related websites, are included. What is most striking about the individuals and organizations listed is the broad range of activities that they engage in. We have identified well over nine hundred discrete antiwar actions.
The current edition of the US Peace Registry is published here and a previous edition is contained in Chapters 6, 7, and 8 of the book, ENDING U.S. WARS by Honoring Americans Who Work for Peace. Eventually it will be displayed for public viewing at the electronic recognition kiosks located at the US Peace Memorial, a national monument we will build in Washington, DC. The US Peace Registry is a developing national database that is revised weekly as new registrants are added and previous entries are updated. To be included, registrants have provided antiwar and peace activism-related biographical information, with supporting documentation, which was reviewed by US Peace Registry editors. Applications that are vetted, verified, and edited are then approved by the Foundation’s Board of Directors for inclusion in the US Peace Registry.
To be considered for the US Peace Registry, please submit an Individual Application.
To have your organization considered, please submit an Organization Application.
Registrants and Founding Members are invited to nominate others for inclusion in the US Peace Registry. The Foundation also directly approaches individuals and organizations with well-known antiwar reputations to ask their permission to be included and to submit biographical information. We do not judge the entire life of those listed in the US Peace Registry, or the consistency of their behavior. We accept and applaud significant antiwar/peace contributions that they have had the courage to make.
For example, many registrants have participated in or supported U.S. invasions, but at some point decided to publicly oppose a particular war. Many citizens are reluctant to speak out against a U.S. war because those who do so are often labeled “un-American,” “anti-military,” and “unpatriotic,” and can suffer reprisals. Our goal is to demonstrate that advocating for peaceful solutions to international problems, or taking action against one or more wars, is an honorable and socially acceptable activity. If we can change the culture in this small way, more people will feel comfortable speaking out and the government will be challenged more frequently when it threatens, invades, or occupies other countries.
Although we are anxious to honor consistent and significant peace leadership, the US Peace Registry will help achieve the desired cultural change by honoring the thousands of thoughtful and committed Americans who have taken a public antiwar stand at some point in their lives. We are identifying a broad range of peace and antiwar activities in a continuum from participating in a single action to devoting one’s entire adult life to peace and opposing war. We recognize a person who, for example, simply held a sign at a small local protest opposing the invasion of Panama, even if they didn’t speak out against the other 29 U.S. invasions since the end of World War II.
The Foundation’s work provides positive reinforcement to those with the courage to stand for peace. Any public antiwar act is important enough to recognize, because it demonstrates some level of courage and establishes that citizens are capable of attempting to stop the bloodshed. We will be successful if we increase the number of citizens willing to engage in such behavior and increase the frequency of actions for those already engaged in antiwar work.
The intent of the US Peace Registry is to write a living history, document human behavior, and identify role models and behavioral examples for U.S. peace activities and leadership. The US Peace Registry will help Americans understand some options for action against war. We try to be nonjudgmental about who belongs in the US Peace Registry, as long as the person or organization has engaged in significant antiwar activities that are nonviolent. Even if they break laws, the Foundation will document their actions. We know that many Americans who actively oppose war have multiple detractors. Certainly, each of the US Peace Prize winners have been condemned by others. We do not evaluate the effectiveness, legality, political correctness, motivation, or appropriateness of nonviolent antiwar actions.
Role models are listed to inspire other Americans to work for peace. We are documenting specific actions that Americans have used to oppose war. We suspect that in the final analysis we will have identified more than one thousand antiwar behaviors. The people and organizations included in the US Peace Registry are not braggarts or self-promoters, but role models for other Americans. Their activities are behaviors that others can use as models for action, now and in the future.
The US Peace Memorial will make it clear to Americans that opposing war is praiseworthy, and that our nation has a long history of courageous citizens who have opposed wars. A national monument to peacemakers can change our cultural attitude so that it will no longer be common or even tolerable to label those who speak out against war as un-American, anti-military, traitorous, or unpatriotic. We hope the memorial will decrease the barriers that citizens must overcome before they speak out against a war.
The military honors its heroes and reinforces warrior behavior with medals, promotions, ceremonies, and monuments. This has resulted in a country that recognizes contributions to war and the sacrifices of the military. People who make valiant efforts to maintain global peace should also be honored. The US Peace Memorial Foundation is attempting to balance the picture so that more Americans will know that peacemaking is an honorable undertaking.
Because the wars we are waging right now will not be our last, future generations need to know how thoughtful individuals have promoted peace. If those in the peace movement are concerned that speaking about their actions to promote peace will be seen as bragging, they may be missing an opportunity to document their contributions. We at the Foundation think it is important to catalogue these activities in order to educate people, stimulate conversations, and lead to positive interventions for peace. Please help us to get that message across.
At its core, the US Peace Memorial Foundation is all about giving people the encouragement and opportunity to share their activities for peace and against war. We post examples of what you and your organizations are doing in order to educate, instruct, and inspire other Americans to demand an end to war. Antiwar talk among friends is cheap; actually working for peace is something that we recognize and celebrate. Your work will motivate others and more Americans will feel comfortable confronting our government, just like they did to help end the wars against the people of Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia, and more recently, to call attention to the culture of racism in police departments.
It is hoped that being listed in the US Peace Registry will reinforce antiwar behavior and that honorees will want to do more to expand the number and variety of actions catalogued under their names. Perhaps they will look at what others have done and try new behaviors themselves. The organizations honored will also learn from each other and may increase the activities that they engage in or refer their members to other organizations doing dissimilar, but complementary, work.
We are looking for Americans whose antiwar behavior, example, or success can be emulated by others. If you have taken public actions to oppose U.S. war, please submit your own application. To see ideas of what is possible, click on the hyperlinks at the bottom of this page. Activities listed for each individual and organization are examples and should not be considered a comprehensive listing of their peace and antiwar actions. You can find a specific registrant and behaviors by searching the online document (Command F for Mac users and Ctrl F for Windows users).
The US Peace Registry has been developed over the last fifteen years. Some of the honorees have kept in touch with the Foundation and updated their entries periodically. Over the course of these many years we have had many volunteer editors who bring their own skills and perspective to preparing an entry. Our standards manual, formatting, and how we list antiwar actions have evolved over time. We have tried to edit for general consistency but know that you will find some areas that seem less detailed or specific. Please understand the enormity of this project and forgive us for any inconsistencies or oversights that may have occurred.
Because ENDING U.S. WARS by Honoring Americans Who Work for Peace will be published periodically, new Americans and organizations will be honored with each edition. Those listed will have an opportunity to correct any errors they find and to add new antiwar actions they have engaged in. If there are revisions, go to your entry in the US Peace Registry and copy the current version. Paste it into a new Word document and use track changes or otherwise highlight the words or URLs that have been added or deleted. Because of the verification and Board approval process, we don’t have the volunteer resources to compare a current online version with a revised version to determine what exactly has been amended. We welcome additions and corrections and ask that they be sent to Registry@USPeaceMemorial.org. A volunteer assistant editor will make it consistent with our style. We’ll let you know when the revised listing is ready for your review online.
For the most up-to-date listings, and the ability to drill down on actions by clicking on the hundreds of URLs, please consult the US Peace Registry online. Succeeding book editions will use the most current text from this site.
As seen by clicking on the below hyperlinks, a brief description of each registrant is followed by specific antiwar/peace activities listed in chronological order from oldest to most recent. A broad range of modern peace and antiwar actions are documented and shown in bold the first time they are included in a listing. This helps highlight the wide variety of activities that have occurred throughout the years. These specific actions/activities are part of our content analysis in Chapter 9 of ENDING U.S. WARS by Honoring Americans Who Work for Peace, which offers models and ideas for future peace actions by others.
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