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Archives & Manuscripts

PRO-Peace Records

 Collection
Identifier: SCPC-DG-152
The PRO-Peace records include a set of by-laws, adopted 6 March, 1986, an official statement of purpose (22 January 1986), other policy statements, scattered minutes (February 1985-January 1986), a newsletter (July 1985-January 1986), as well as promotional literature and newsclippings (April 1985- April 1986). There are interdepartmental policies, memoranda, correspondence, lists of organizations which endorsed PRO-Peace, several budgets and other financial documents, reports from the six field regions, and a considerable number of marcher applications. There is little documentation of PRO-Peace's financial problems and very few formal minutes of executive meetings.

The records of The Great Peace March for Global Nuclear Disarmament (DG 147), PRO-Peace's successor organization, are also in the Swarthmore College Peace Collection.

Correspondents found in PRO-Peace include Allan Affeldt, Cass Ben-Levi, Kate Burns, Tim Carpenter, Daniel Chavez, Susan Gifford, Laura Golden, Andrew Goldencranz, Karen Litfin, David Mixner, Stephen Perry, Ida Unger, and Barbara Zheutlin.

Dates

  • 1984-1986

Creator

Language of Materials

Materials are in English.

Limitations on Accessing the Collection

Most 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.

Extent

5.75 Linear Feet (5.75 linear ft.)

Overview

PRO-Peace (People Reaching Out for Peace) was a non-profit organization begun in April 1985 by David Mixner. He served as Executive Director of PRO-Peace until its collapse in March 1986. In its statement of purpose, PRO-Peace members called themselves "abolitionists" who supported efforts toward complete global nuclear disarmament. Pro-Peace staff undertook to plan a march pf 5,000 participats who would walk across the United States. On March 14, 1986 Mixner announced that PRO-Peace no longer existed. With new leadership and greatly reduced numbers, the marchers reorganized as the Great Peace March for Global Nuclear Disarmament, a grassroots, marcher-run, volunteer organization. The transcontinental trek to Washington D.C. was completed in November 1986.

Historical

PRO-Peace (People Reaching Out for Peace) was a non-profit, non- partisan organization begun in April 1985 by David Mixner, a partner in a Los Angeles public relations firm who was a key organizer for the Vietnam War Moratorium and a national co-chairman of Senator Gary Hart's1984 presidential campaign. He served as Executive Director of PRO-Peace until its collapse in March 1986. In its statement of purpose, PRO-Peace members called themselves "abolitionists" who supported efforts toward complete global nuclear disarmament. Rather than working through political means, they sought to "capture the imagination of the world.., inspire and revitalize the American people.., and send a message to the Russian people." PRO-Peace did not wish to form any coalitions with other peace organizations but did ask for their endorsement of its Great Peace March effort.

Headquartered at 8150 Beverly Boulevard in Los Angeles, its staff of approximately 80 paid "professionals" undertook to plan a march across the United States from Los Angeles to Washington D.C. The hope was that 5000 marchers would walk 15 miles a day for 255 days, departing on March 1, 1986. PRO-Peace staff recruited marchers, organized fund-raising events, procured permits, organized six field regions, prepared routes and sites across the country, and attempted to anticipate and solve the logistics of a mobile "Peace City".

As the departure date drew near, PRO-Peace announced that it had raised only 3.4 of the 18 million dollars it needed. Confirmed marchers numbered around 1200 including 75 children. Lacking proper liability insurance and some equipment, they nevertheless departed from Los Angeles on March 1, 1986. On March 14, as the marchers camped outside Barstow, California, David Mixner made an appearance and informed them that PRO-Peace no longer existed. Allan Affeldt, the first president of the Great Peace March, later wrote that PRO-Peace staff had not been paid since January 1, and that numerous proposals to reorganize, including the declaration of bankruptcy, had been made to and refused by Mixner. With mostly new leadership and greatly reduced numbers, the marchers reorganized as the Great Peace March for Global Nuclear Disarmament, a grassroots, marcher-run, volunteer organization. The transcontinental trek to Washington D.C. was completed in November 1986.

Arrangement

There was very little inherent order in the PRO-Peace records when they arrived. A series was created for each department following a PRO-Peace organizational chart and documents that appeared to have originated in or pertained to that department were placed in those series. Similar kinds of documents were placed together, i.e. correspondence, memoranda, etc. The first folder in most series, titled "departmental policies" contains various printed documents of importance, such as policy statements, reports, fact sheets, etc.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of 1987 The Great Peace March for Global Nuclear Disarmament [Acc. 87A-46], Homer Jack [Acc. 87A-029], Dan Weinshenker [Acc. 87A-051]; 1988 Franklin Folsom [Acc. 88A-101]; 2001 [Acc. 01A-051], [Acc. 01A-066], S.M. McFadden, [Acc. 01A-047], Roberta Wilson, [Acc. 01A-062]; 2002, S. Michelle McGadde, [Acc. 02A-019]

Related Materials

Great Peace March Records (DG 147)
Related Materials For related materials, search the library's online catalog

Legal Status

Copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendents, as stipulated by United States copyright law.

Processing Information

This checklist was prepared by Martha P. Shane in January, 1989; finding aid was prepared by Chloe Lucchesi- Malone in August, 2009. Finding aid updated by Katy Santa Maria in August, 2013.

Creator

Description rules
dacs

Revision Statements

  • 2018: The file list was standardized in Summer 2017 by Min Cheng in preparation for importing into ArchivesSpace. Elisabeth Miller added the notes in Fall 2017.

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:
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Swarthmore 19081-1399 USA US
610-328-8557
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