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Charles C. Walker papers

Identifier: HCS-002-007

Scope and Contents

This collection consists of Charles Walker's papers on nonviolent direct action and the peace movement. The majority of the collection relates to his work on the Nonviolent Action Research Project, part of the Center for Nonviolent Conflict Resolution at Haverford College, from 1969 to 1974.

The collection begins with a large series of correspondence, most of which was written or received by Charles Walker. Walker's personal correspondence cannot be neatly separated from his correspondence on behalf of the Nonviolent Action Research Project. In many cases, Walker continued his correspondence with organizers of nonviolent direct action after he completed his work at Haverford. This series also contains sustained correspondence between Walker and A. Paul Hare, Hare's correspondence with others, and a small number of letters related to other Project members.

The next two series relate directly to the operations of the Center for Nonviolent Conflict Resolution and the Nonviolent Action Research Project and include proposals, reports, research, newsletters, and other organizational materials. Some of these materials may be duplicated in the Center for Nonviolent Conflict Resolution records (HCE.005.005).

These series are followed by a folder of materials related to the operations of Haverford College more generally, including memoranda, interdepartmental correspondence, and schedules of events.

The next series, Training for nonviolent action workshops and program evaluation, relates to Walker's work leading and evaluating workshops for trainers in nonviolent action. Many of these workshops were collaborations between the Nonviolent Action Research Project and outside organizations.

The subject files series contains research, notes, drafts, and sometimes final reports organized by topic. Most but not all of the materials pertain to Walker's work on the Nonviolent Action Research Project.

The next two series contain writings by Charles Walker and A. Paul Hare, respectively. The first series consists mostly of manuscript writings by Charles Walker, but also includes biographical information and comments on his colleagues' drafts. The second series consists of articles and other writings by A. Paul Hare as well as his work related to the Antillean Institute of Social Sciences (AISS) and the Gandhi Peace Institute. Hare's work with the AISS and the Gandhi Peace Institute was concurrent with his work at the Center for Nonviolent Conflict Resolution.

The following two series, Reports by others and Outside organizations, contain reports, newsletters, and organizational materials produced by individuals and organizations outside of the Center for Nonviolent Conflict Resolution. Highlights include work by Elise Boulding, Narayan Desai, Bradford Lyttle, Gene Sharp, and the War Resisters League.

The remaining series and files consist primarily of miscellaneous journal articles, partial reports, and newspaper clippings related to Walker's work and nonviolent direct action more broadly.


  • Creation: 1959-1989
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1969-1979


Language of Materials

The vast majority of materials in this collection are in English although there are a few items in Spanish.

Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research use.

Use Restrictions

Standard Federal Copyright Laws Apply (U.S. Title 17).

Biographical / Historical

Charles Coates Walker (1920-2004) was an American Quaker activist and trainer for nonviolent direct action in the civil rights and peace movements; he helped globalize peace efforts on the issues of war and nuclear and biological weapons, and was the originator and leader of several marches, vigils, protest demonstrations and campaigns in different parts of the world.

Walker was born in Gap, Pennsylvania on September 15, 1920, to Joseph and Mina Coates Walker. He graduated from Elizabethtown College in 1941 and married Marian Groff, a fellow Elizabethtown student, in 1942. The couple had six children.

Walker was a conscientious objector during World War II and was imprisoned for non-cooperation with the draft. He worked for the Ohio branch of the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) from 1946 to 1948 and served on the field staff of the Fellowship of Reconciliation in Philadelphia from 1948 to 1960. In 1949, as Middle Atlantic Regional Secretary for the Fellowship of Reconciliation in Philadelphia, Walker originated, facilitated and attended the meeting in which his boss, A. J. Muste, introduced Martin Luther King, Jr. to Gandhian nonviolence. In 1957, he collaborated with the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting Peace Committee to produce A Perspective on Nonviolence. While with the Fellowship on Reconciliation, Walker originated the Vigil at Fort Detrick, a twenty-two month appeal to end preparations for germ warfare and establish a world health center. Walker worked for the AFSC in Philadelphia from 1960 until November 1969. During this time, Walker helped recruit and train participants for sit-ins, Freedom Rides, the 1963 March on Washington, and the 1964 Mississippi Freedom Summer Project. Additionally, he wrote the first handbook of its type, Organizing for Nonviolent Direct Action (1961).

In 1969, Walker became the Director of Field Studies for the Nonviolent Action Research Project, part of the Center for Nonviolent Conflict Resolution at Haverford College. The Center for Nonviolent Conflict Resolution was established at Haverford in September 1968 and was the result of a three-year grant from the National Institute of Mental Health to develop a "social-psychological analysis of nonviolent direct actions." Following the conclusion of the NIMH grant, the center was sustained by a grant from the Ford Foundation. The Center was founded and spearheaded by A. Paul Hare of Haverford's Sociology and Anthropology Department. The project included analysis of campus violence and official responses, nonviolent lifestyles, and nonviolent revolutions. The Center incorporated Haverford’s pacifist Quaker heritage and strove to provide research for both academic and activist purposes. The Center sent members to conflict hot-spots around the country. Walker wrote two monographs while at Haverford: Training for Nonviolent Action: Some History, Analysis, Reports of Surveys and Culebra: Nonviolent Action and the U.S. Navy. He also wrote a section for the monograph Nonviolence in Social Change entitled "Lessons from the Civil Rights Movement." In the Center's final year (1973-1974), the College continued to grant Hare the title of Director of the Center for Nonviolent Conflict Resolution and Walker the title of Associate Director for the purpose of continuing to give a home to an ongoing project related to the Cyprus conflict. However, the College only acted as a disbursing agent for the Cyprus grant rather than committing additional funds to the Center. The Center formally closed its work as of May 30, 1974.

After his time at Haverford, Walker worked for the Friends Suburban Project and was a co-organizer for Peace Brigades International. He also worked for the Gandhi Institute. Walker was active in A Quaker Action Group, the Friends Peace Committee of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting, and The Peacemakers. In 1991 Walker received the Jamnalal Bajaj International Award for promoting the ideals of Mahatma Gandhi outside of India. He was the author of several books, including A World Peace Guard: Unarmed Agency for Peacekeeping (1981); he edited Quakers and the Draft (1968). Charles C. Walker died in Pennsylvania in 2004.

A. Paul Hare (1923-2009) was a prominent sociologist and one of the founders of the Center for Nonviolent Conflict Resolution. Hare graduated from Swarthmore College in 1947 and went on to earn his master's in sociology at the University of Pennsylvania in 1949 and his doctorate from the University of Chicago in 1951. He joined the Sociology and Anthropology Department at Haverford College in 1960. In 1973, he left Haverford to become the head of the Department of Sociology at the University of Cape Town in South Africa. In 1980, he joined the faculty of Ben-Gurion University. In his research, Hare focused on the functions of people in groups and the effects of social change.


4.62 linear ft. (11 boxes)


This collection consists of Charles Walker's papers on nonviolent direct action and the peace movement. The majority of the collection relates to his work on the Nonviolent Action Research Project, part of the Center for Nonviolent Conflict Resolution at Haverford College, from 1969 to 1974.


The correspondence series, reports by others series, and outside organizations series are arranged alphabetically.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Gloria Walker Burger, May 2023

Related Materials

Center for Nonviolent Conflict Resolution records (HCE.005.005) Quaker & Special Collections, Haverford College, Haverford, PA.

Charles C. Walker papers (SCPC-DG-296) Swarthmore College Peace Collection.

Center for Nonviolent Conflict Resolution Collected Records (SCPC-CDG-A-Center for Nonviolent Conflict Resolution) Swarthmore College Peace Collection.

Processing Information

Processed by Elizabeth Jones-Minsinger; completed January, 2024

Charles C. Walker papers
Elizabeth Jones-Minsinger
January, 2024
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