“I learned that you can change the world in small doses,
one at a time.” Sixth grade girl

Activists: Nobel Peace Prize Winners & Nonviolent Peacebuilders

42 Explore
Read biographies of Nobel Prize winners and other peacemakers on this deeply linked site.  Other links lead to peace organizations and activities for peace action and understanding.

A Force More Powerful
A Force More Powerful is a book, a movie, and a video game! These resources teach about nonviolent strategies for social change. The powerful movie shows images of anti-segregation lunch counter sit-ins in Nashville, Gandhi's march to the sea to obtain independence for India, and other non-violent movements in Poland, South Africa, Denmark, and Chile.  Here is a link to my video interview about using  A Force More Powerful.

Better World Links
Countless links provide resources for global activism, including information on Nobel Peace Prize winners, biographies, news items, etc.

The Class of Nonviolence:   
“The Class of Nonviolence is an eight session class developed by Colman McCarthy, founder of the Center for Teaching Peace in Washington, D.C. It uses classics in peace and justice literature to teach peacemaking….” Readings from Day, Gandhi, King, McCarthy, Schweitzer, Sharp, Thoreau, and others are posted as pdfs on this site.

Civic Worldwide
Marla Ruzicka was the founder of a humanitarian organization called Campaign for Innocent Victims in Conflict [CIVIC], which is devoted to helping families of Afghan and Iraqi civilians who have been killed or suffered other losses as a result of U.S. military operations. There are good pictures on site, and she is a wonderful example of a peacemaker.

Giraffe Project 
According to the site, “This nonprofit honors the risk-takers, people who are largely unknown, people who have the courage to stick their necks out for the common good, in the US and around the world....  Broadly speaking, working for the common good means alleviating suffering, rectifying injustice or advancing goals such as peace or a healthy environment.”  Students can search for heroes, nominate heroes, watch videos, and submit projects to the deeply linked site.

Global Nonviolent Action Database:  
For practical evidence that nonviolence actually works, read about creative, dynamic, powerful, and NONVIOLENT movements for peace and justice across the United States and world.  At 560 cases and growing, the Global Nonviolent Action Database was started by activist, researcher, and peace educator George Lakey, assisted by Peace and Conflict Studies students at Swarthmore College.  Advance searching helps you find historical cases dating back to the year 300 when Catholics nonviolently defended a basilica in Italy.   Or select 1619 when Polish artisans nonviolently protested for the right to vote in Jamestown, VA.  Search by types of nonviolent campaigns for civil rights or democracy.  Or, search by case or geography for historical and recent nonviolent actions recently in the headlines.  

International Center on Nonviolent Conflict 
How can students understand the power of nonviolent conflict if we don’t teach them its success stories?  This site provides case studies, links to news, and definitions, such as the following: “Nonviolent conflict is a way for people to fight for rights, freedom, justice, self-determination, and accountable government, through the use of civil resistance - including tactics such as strikes, boycotts, protests, and civil disobedience....”

Irwin Abrams
Nobel Peace Prize historian Irwin Abrams’s website has links to Nobel Peace Prize books and bios, as well as articles explaining Prize committee rationales for various awards.

  • Related Links: Helpful links from Irwin’s website connect to other Nobel resources on individuals and organizations as well as to peace action resources around the world.

Kingian Nonviolence Network (at University of Rhode Island): 
The website offers the following definition: “Kingian Nonviolence is a philosophy and methodology that provides the knowledge, skills, and motivation necessary for people to pursue peaceful strategies for solving personal and community problems. This approach is critical if the epidemic of violence is to be eradicated. Often mistaken for being simply the absence of, or opposite of violence, Nonviolence is, rather, a systematic framework of both conceptual principles and pragmatic strategies to reduce violence and promote positive peace at the personal, community, national, and global levels.”  Introductory materials on the website are helpful teaching tools.  Trainings are available.

Metta Center for Nonviolence 
The Metta Center believes that nonviolence is a positive and deeply humanizing force.” The site provides answers to FAQs about nonviolence in daily life and history, videos, music, and written materials to help visitors understand the past and present power of nonviolent action.  The Metta Center asserts: “If violence is the failure to recognize our interconnectedness, or the unity of life, nonviolence is the awakening and empowering of that recognition.”

The extraordinary Nobel Prize official site has introductory information on the life of Alfred Nobel, history of the Nobel Prizes in general, and links to various categories of prizes, as well as games, speeches and connections to peace programs.  It is a deeply linked and excellent resource.

  • All Nobel Peace Prizes
    This link leads to a listing of each Nobel Peace Prize winner since 1901.  Each link leads to a photo and reason for the award, with other links to video of acceptance speech (when available), text of speech, biographic information, and more.  For prize winners since 2004, there are short video biographies suitable for classroom viewing.  This is a MUST SEE site for researching Peace Prize Laureates!

Nobel Peace Center
Nobel Peace Center in Oslo features changing exhibits on prize winners.  Quotations and photos of prize winners appear on opening page in Flash format. 

Nobelity Project 
Trailers of several feature and short films are available on this site.  They feature Nobel Peace Prize winners and other activists working creatively and nonviolently to solve the world’s pressing problems.

Jeremy Gilley founded Peace One Day to promote an international day of cease fire and bring life to the United Nations designated day of peace, September 21.  His film about the process of working to achieve that goal is compelling for young people and is available free.  After registration, the website also offers a free, detailed, and rich peace education curriculum with opportunities for action.  The mission states, “Peace One Day Education aims to advance active learning in the areas of conflict resolution, global citizenship, human rights and the link between sustainability and peace, using Peace Day 21 September as a focus.”  Great resources!

PeaceJam is an organization that brings young people and Nobel Peace Prize Laureates together to work on peace projects. Their excellent website provides biographies, speeches, videos, and background information on the 12 Laureates who work with PeaceJam. These include Oscar Arias, the Dalai Lama, Mairead Corrigan Maguire, Rigoberta Menchu Tum. Archbishop Desmond Tutu, and Betty Williams.  Curricular materials available after registration are based on the stories of the laureates and their work with youth to build stronger communities and solve local and global problems.  Social action project information abounds.

Peace Women Across the Globe 
“All around the world there are courageous and creative Peace Women working for peace, social justice and a secure future, applying a wide range of approaches and methods.” Short biographies of 1000 women nominated for the 2005 Nobel Peace Prize can be found on this site.  Search by name, keyword, or country to find women who work for peace.

Stanford University Martin Luther King Center
Curriculum units include short, clear, and meaningful lesson plans using primary sources, debates, and role plays mixed with discussions and analysis of the speeches and actions of this Nobel Peace Prize winner during the Civil Rights’ movement of the United States, and the anti-Vietnam War movement of the 1960s.

Biographies of numerous Peace Heroes (from diverse backgrounds and with diverse methods of working for peace) are linked to this page from

Zinn Education Project 
The project is designed to supplement the work of historian Howard Zinn and to inspire teachers to teach about the unsung heroes of history, especially of the Americas.  Materials “emphasize the role of working people, women, people of color, and organized social movements in shaping history. Students learn that history is made not by a few heroic individuals, but instead by people’s choices and actions, thereby also learning that their own choices and actions matter.”

Share this