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.