Archive | July, 2010

Remembering Dr. Elise Boulding: Great Mother of the Peace Movement

18 Jul

Dr. Elise Boulding, mother, peacemaker, educator, visionary, writer passed away on June 24, 2010 in Needham, Massachusetts at age 89.

Dr. Boulding, Professor Emeritus of Sociology at Dartmouth College and Former Secretary General of the International Peace Research Association, dedicated her life to her family and students and to raising the next generation of peacemakers.  She also helped establish the National Peace Academy and served as the Honorary Chair of its Advisory Council.

Elise Boulding on a National Peace Academy: May 9, 2008

Elise Boulding: A Life in the Cause of Peace by Mary Lee Morrison

Her biographer, Mary Lee Morrison, founder of Pax Educare, Inc. wrote a profile on the webpage of the National Peace Academy that states:

Early perceptions of peace education were that it was education toward the abolition of war and that it was an “arm” of the peace research movement. In the years following the Second World War, and particularly in the last thirty years, new ideas have expanded the concept of peace education. Boulding’s writings and those of other feminists in the 1970s laid the groundwork for the work of later educators who embraced ideas of connectedness, caring and imaging and the importance of thinking globally and acting locally. Many of Boulding’s ideas predated contemporary thinking on the importance of ecological sustainability and the dangers inherent in “cultures of war.”

In 1979 President Jimmy Carter appointed Elise to the Congressional Commission on Proposals for a National Academy of Peace and Conflict Resolution, now known as the United States Institute of Peace. She was the sole woman appointed to the Matsunaga Commission. A look at Boulding’s role in the process leading up to the final Commission report and the subsequent founding of the United States Institute of Peace provides a fascinating look at the Commission process itself and the events leading up to it as well as a view of some of the inherent conflicts.


According to an article in the Boston Globe, she gave an interview with Alan AtKisson in 1990 called “Concentrating on Essence: From family to community to nation and biosphere, peace on our planet depends on the power of love” where she said:

“We can’t simplify the world.  There’s no wand we can wave to remove the complexities around us…So, in a profound sense, we have to take responsibility for living on the planet.”

Life of an International Woman Peacemaker:

In a 2003 interview with Julian Portilla of Beyond Intractability.org, Dr. Boulding said:

“I would say my 18 years as a full-time homemaker; peace building in the family, and raising kids to be peacemakers was a very important part of my life. I’ve always learned a lot from kids. I’ve done a lot of research on NGO’s and the role they have played on civil society; locally, nationally and internationally. I’ve studied a lot different fields, including women, fields of development, and especially the development of peace culture through history.”

Writings of Elise Boulding

Into Full Flower: Making Peace Cultures Happen by Elise Boulding and Daisaku Ikeda

  • The Underside of History: A View of Women through Time (New York: Halsted, 1976)
  • Building a Global Civic Culture: Education for an Interdependent World (New York, New York: Teachers College Press, 1988)
  • One Small Plot of Heaven: Reflections on Family Life by a Quaker Sociologist. (Philadelphia, Pendle Hill Press, 1989)
  • Cultures of Peace: The Hidden Side of History (Syracuse, Syracuse University Press, 2000)
  • Into Full Flower: Making Peace Cultures Happen, Elise Boulding and Daisaku Ikeda (Dialogue Path Press, 2010)

Elise Boulding and the Ikeda Center for Peace, Learning, and Dialogue

Elise Boulding & Winston Langley, Ikeda Center for Peace, Learning, & Dialogue, 9/20/08

Elise Boulding’s Message to Present and Future Generations

  • We have to learn citizenship in the United Nations and help develop it.
  • Go into any situation as an apprentice.
  • Remember women and children in any situation you are working for.
  • Include people of all ages in the conflict resolution process, but especially include young people.
  • Include art, music, dance, poetry and theatre in peacemaking. The human spirit needs that.
  • History books frequently emphasize “conflicts.” There are other stories that include cooperation and peacebuilding.
  • Have fun! If we get totally serious, it gets too heavy.  We have to lift our spirits.
  • Create a 200-year present envisioning process as a way to think about change.  Fred Polak believed that societies that have a positive image of the future are empowered by their own images to act creatively in the present.
  • I would advise people to spend some time doing some imagining about what kind of world they are working for. (Write it down and revisit it from time to time.)
  • There needs to be a second United Nations Assembly, a People’s Assembly made up of the 10,000 ethnic peoples that live across state boundaries.
  • Learn about the great role of the Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) in peacemaking and creating treaties at the United Nations.

(See audio interview of Elise Boulding by Julian Portilla for detailed quotes.)


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65th Anniversary of Trinity Nuclear Test: Time to Retire Nukes

16 Jul

Time to Retire Nuclear Weapons on 65th Anniversary of Trinity Test

Today, July 16, 2010 marks the 65th anniversary of the first explosion of a nuclear bomb code-named “Trinity”  in Alamogordo, New Mexico. As the Women’s Action for New Directions (WAND) claims in their letter to the public:

Today- July 16, 2010 marks the 65th anniversary of  the first nuclear weapon explosion – named “Trinity”. Some have noted that, as age 65 is the traditional “retirement” date, now is the time for us to seriously work towards retirement for nuclear weapons.


Trinity Nuclear Test, Alamogordo, New Mexico, July 16, 1945

Our Common Humanity

In an interconnected world, there is no need to have nuclear weapons. These weapons make us less secure.

David Krieger, President of the The Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, sent a message urging all people around the world to come to their senses and abolish these horrible weapons that threaten all life on this planet:

On this 65th anniversary of embarking on the Journey of Death, we must change course and move back from the nuclear precipice. The weapons are illegal, immoral, undemocratic and militarily unnecessary. The surest way to bring them under control is by negotiating a new treaty, a Nuclear Weapons Convention, for the phased, verifiable, irreversible and transparent elimination of nuclear weapons.

The United States led the world into the Nuclear Age. President Obama has pointed out that the country also has a moral responsibility to lead the way out. This can be done, but not with a citizenry that is ignorant, apathetic and in denial. Sixty-five years on the Journey of Death is long enough. It is past time for citizens to awaken and become engaged in this issue as if their future depended upon it, as it does.

Resources on the Nuclear Threat and Reasons for Abolition

WAND

Nuclear Age Peace Foundation

MaximsNewsNetwork: “COUNTDOWN to ZERO” MICHAEL DOUGLAS, BAN KI-MOON

Countdown to Zero – Official Trailer

Citizen Responsibility

Human security is a right.

In an interconnected world, each person has a voice. We each can educate ourselves, our families, our friends, our communities and our representatives to the truth about the fact that nuclear weapons make us all less safe.

Your Ideas on Nuclear Disarmament…