As World War I began in Europe in 1914, Crystal Eastman helped lead two major peace organizations. She facilitated the founding of the Woman’s Peace Party, today the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF), initiating the recruitment of a reluctant Jane Addams to head the national organization while she formed and led the more audacious New York branch. And she served as executive secretary of the American Union Against Militarism, the only American antiwar organization ever to demonstrate that citizen diplomacy could avert war. She joined an impressive group of Progressive reformers—Addams; Lillian Wald, founder of the Henry Street Settlement and the Visiting Nurse Service; Oswald Garrison Villard, National Association for the Advancement of Color People financier and publisher of the Nation; and Rabbi Stephen Wise, leader of the American Jewish Congress. With others, they created the “new peace movement,” which allied world peacekeeping with global democracy, human rights, and economic justice.
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