Skip to main content

Promoting Enduring Peace Records

 Collection
Identifier: SCPC-DG-141

Scope and Contents

This collection consists of records donated by Promoting Enduring Peace over five decades. It consists of internal records, promotional materials, correspondence, writings of officers and leading members, and documents concerning PEP programs and mission.

Dates

  • 1949-

Creator

Language of Materials

Materials are in English.

Limitations on Accessing the Collection

Part of this collection is stored off-site. Please contact the Curator at least two weeks in advance of a visit to the Peace Collection to discuss retrieval of off-site materials.

Copyright and Rights Information

None.

Historical

[by Wikipedia] Promoting Enduring Peace (PEP or PEPeace) is a peace advocacy organization and United Nations non-governmental organization (NGO) based at 39 Goodrich Street on the New Haven-Hamden line in Connecticut. PEP was founded in 1952 by Dr. Jerome Davis to resist the ideology of ceaseless aggression and nuclear terror that characterized the Cold War, and was incorporated as a tax-exempt educational organization in 1958 and reincorporated as a 501(c)(3) charitable-educational organization in 2008. Its principal programs have been peace education, citizen diplomacy, and the awarding of the Gandhi Peace Award to recipients such as Eleanor Roosevelt, Cesar Chavez, Daniel Ellsberg, and more recently Amy Goodman (2012), Bill McKibben (2013), and Medea Benjamin (2014). Its primary website is PEPeace.org.

PEP's peace education activities include publishing the daily and weekly peace news updates PeaceNews.org, emphasizing the connection between peace and environmental harmony, and co-sponsoring the daily environmental news update EnvironmentalHeadlines.

Though PEP is a secular organization, its roots are in the Christian Left and it continues to cooperate with members of the progressive religious community. In its early years PEP was led by Davis and Dr. Roland Bainton, both Yale professors (Religion and Divinity School, respectively), and its executive directors were retired Christian ministers. Howard T. Frazier, the first president of the Consumer Federation of America, served as PEP's longest-serving Executive Director. He developed and conducted the programs and activities from 1978 until his death in 1997, with the assistance of his wife and, later, co-director Alice Zeigler Frazier.

PEP is a membership organization, with "activist" (voting) and "supporting" (non-voting) members. Because assets have accumulated from decades of member donations sufficient to cover modest administrative costs, donations to PEP from individuals can be allocated entirely to programming.

PEP's activities were interrupted from 2005 through 2007 when a few members affiliated with other groups, led by an attorney affiliated with a group whose professed goal is the destruction of progressive and public organizations, attempted to have PEP dissolved so that its assets could be distributed to those groups. The attempt was blocked by the Office of the Attorney General of Connecticut and a court order providing for the continuance of PEP and the establishment of the Peace and Social Justice Fund at the Community Foundation for Greater New Haven, endowed by a portion of PEP's assets, to award grants for projects substantially similar to PEP's traditional activities (peace education, citizen diplomacy, and work toward a sustainable world peace). Groups seeking funds from PEP are referred to that Fund.

PEP's mission, reformulated in 2007 to fit the post-Cold War circumstances of the 21st Century, is to contribute to transforming the reigning social paradigm from one of competition to cooperation, from a culture of violence and war to a global commonwealth devoted to the wellbeing of all who share it. The updated mission statement anticipates a convergence of dangers previously considered as separate and discrete, in which each danger compounds the others, paralleling the convergence of systems that characterizes globalization. It states that a rapid and peaceful transition is required from an unsustainable civilization steeped in institutionalized violence, exploitation, and profligate consumption to a commonwealth based on universal harmony, mutual respect, and a love of the Earth and all beings who call it home. The mission statement also states that PEP intends to devote significant effort and resources to achieving a fusion of peace, environmental, and social movements, in the belief that these causes are interdependent and none can succeed unless all succeed.

Currently PEP publishes the daily peace news update and feed PeaceNews.org and makes available articles and other peace resources online. Prior to the Internet PEP mailed out packets of articles to all who requested them; during the Vietnam War period alone PEP mailed over 10 million articles encouraging peace to educators and organizers in numerous countries. In 1975 PEP presented "Uncloaking the CIA" at Yale University, the first national conference exposing the dangers posed by unregulated CIA activities in 1976, from which a book of the same name was developed and published in 1978 (ed. Howard Frazier). A principal conference organizer was Dr. Martin Cherniack, then a student at the Yale School of Medicine, who later served as president of the organization for 18 years. A conference is in planning for Fall 2013 on the integration of the peace and environmental movements toward the transition to a sustainable, peaceful civilization.

By organizing groups of Americans to visit the USSR, Cuba, Costa Rica, China, and Mongolia during and after the Cold War, PEP has given ordinary citizens a chance to get to know "the Other," leaving them with positive, lifelong memories, new friendships and hope for a peaceful world. As an example, in 2002 a PEP citizen diplomacy delegation journeyed to Vietnam to contribute to healing the deep scars left by the 1960-74 U.S. invasion. Its largest and most well-publicized event was the reciprocal tours of the Volga River in Russia and the Mississippi River in 1978 by citizen delegations from the Soviet Union, the United States, and other nations.

The Gandhi Peace Award has always been accepted in person by the recipient during a ceremony held for that purpose in Connecticut or New York City, usually once each year. Since 2011 the Award has come with a cash prize. Nominations are accepted from PEP members; nominees are distinguished by having made, over a period of years, a significant contribution to the promotion of an enduring international peace founded on social justice, self-determination, diversity, compassion, and environmental harmony, achieved through cooperative and nonviolent means in the spirit of Gandhi. On March 13, 1959, PEP founder Jerome Davis formally proposed that a yearly award be given “for contributions made in the promotion of international peace and good will.” Brief bios of every Award recipient: PEPeace.org/gandhi-peace-award.

PEP co-sponsors numerous events conducted by other peace, environmental, and social justice organizations, such as the conference on human rights held at Quinnipiac University in 2008. The stated strategy is to take the "long view" rather than only respond to each new crisis as it occurs, as when Dr. Jerome Davis anticipated the dangers Cold War in the late 1940s and founded PEP in response. In 2003 PEP coordinated with other Connecticut peace groups to provide trains conveying thousands of people to the demonstrations in New York City opposing the Bush Administration plan to invade Iraq. PEP is developing a long-term "think tank" activity intended to create cogent source documents encouraging the productive interaction and mutual support of the peace, environmental, and social justice movements.

Extent

49 Linear Feet (49 linear ft.)

Overview

Promoting Enduring Peace was founded in 1952, with headquarters in Woodmont, Connecticut. Principles of the organization included: peace with freedom and justice for all, support for the United Nations, and belief in religion as the fundamental force for righteousness. Today PEP's mission is to conduct peace education promoting the advent of a harmonious planetary commonwealth through the convergence of the worldwide movements for disarmament, social justice, and environmental stewardship as the foundation of sustainable peace; through education and citizen diplomacy. The PEP established the Gandhi Peace Award.

Arrangement

This collection is unprocessed and remains in the order in which it was donated, except for the first 15 boxes, which were processed in January 2015.

Custodial History

The Swarthmore College Peace Collection is the official repository for these records.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Promoting Enduring Peace, 1977 [Acc. 77A-012], 1983 [Acc. 83A-102], 1984 [84A-020], 2002 [02A-037], 2005 [Acc. 05A-069]

Related Materials

For related materials, search the library's online catalog

Separated Materials

  1. Photographs and slides were moved to the Photograph Collection.
  2. Computer discs, videos and audiocassettes were moved to the Audiovisual Collection.
  3. Plaques were moved to the Memorabilia Collection.
  4. Oversized documents and scrapbooks were moved to the Oversized Items Collection.

Legal Status

Copyright may have been transferred to the Swarthmore College Peace Collection or may have been retained by the creators/authors (or their descendants), in this collection, as stipulated by United States copyright law. Please contact the SCPC Curator for further information.

Processing Information

This finding aid was created by Katy Santa Maria and Wendy Chmielewski in August, 2014, and updated by Anne Yoder in January, 2015.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin

Find It at the Library

Most of the materials in this catalog are not digitized and can only be accessed in person. Please see our website for more information about visiting Swarthmore College Peace Collection Library

Contact:
500 College Avenue
Swarthmore 19081-1399 USA US
610-328-8557
610-328-8544 (Fax)