Peace Coalition of Southern Illinois. | Southern Illinois University Special Collections Research Center
The Peace Coalition of Southern Illinois (Coalition) was formed and held its first official meeting on May 21, 1983. The Coalition was the brainchild of five area adults who saw a need to promote peace and justice in the Southern Illinois region. Members of the Coalition campaigned for peace at both the local and national levels. Some of their local peace efforts included: peaceful protests, peace vigils, Tax Day events and Potluck Picnic Celebrations to promote community relations and memberships. The Coalition also produced monthly newsletters, which at its pinnacle was distributed to approximately two hundred families. Nationally the Coalition was affiliated with numerous organizations, and merged with Fellowship Of Reconciliation, a national peace organization, in 1992. This merge was significant since it officially changed the name of the Coalition to Peace Coalition of Southern Illinois/Fellowship Of Reconciliation. At the national level the Coalition sponsored portions of: The Ribbon Campaign, peace essay contests, and the Great Peace March.
One of the Coalition's primary focuses was stopping the threat of nuclear weapons, by working towards a Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. The Coalition held organized protests and signed numerous petitions in conjunction with this issue. They also collected many national articles and periodicals which discussed the threat of nuclear weapons. This was an issue the Coalition spent time working on, until a treaty was finally signed by President Bill Clinton in 1996.
Since 1983, the Coalition has sponsored and been involved with various activities, and are still active today. The Coalition's membership has always included a diverse group of people in respect to both gender and age. Although membership has fluctuated through the years, certain members' work and ideas still remain influential. Some these key members include: Marjorie Parker, Sal Stacey, Jean Morril, Mary O'Hara, Jean and David Ray.