Kate Donnelly has spent 30 years participating in movements for social change. The focus of her work is teaching about nonviolence, and includes teaching conflict resolution skills, training people to participate in nonviolent direct action, and campaigning against war toys. Her belief in the intelligence and compassion of young people and the efficacy of local, grassroots struggles for social change are the core of her life and work.
In 1979, Kate Donnelly participated in the groundbreaking conference, Women and Life on Earth, after the near meltdown of the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant. This gathering was a landmark in the development of ecofeminism in the USA. It generated a major women's protest–the first Women's Pentagon Action–and the Unity Statement that developed from that action has become a classic of its time. Kate participated in this action and made a film about the experience. In fact, it may be the only film resource in existence that captured the event. Kate has been active in the War Resisters League (WRL) for more than 20 years. Through WRL, she initiated a campaign against war toys, and edited The Handbook for Nonviolent Action. She is part of the New England Nonviolence Trainers Network and has organized youth peace camps for children and teenagers. Kate has taught nonviolent conflict resolution in local schools for many years. As a result, many students, including both of her sons, have become high school peer mediators, teaching nonviolent conflict resolution skills to other students. In 1975, Kate and her partner founded Donnelly/Colt, a family business to produce materials for consciousness raising and fundraising. The couple wanted to incorporate their progressive politics with their love of graphics. The business has supported them and their three children, and is one of the oldest suppliers of "peace merchandise" in the country. Most of their products are union made. The business is at the hub of many interlocking social movements: against war, racism, sexual harassment, corporate globalization, the war on students and the poor; and in favor of AIDS research, justice around the world, and talks not troops. In 2001, WRL recognized Kate Donnelly and her husband at its National Awards Dinner.
War Resisters League (WRL)