Biographies

Anderson, Marian

Marian Anderson was an American contralto and one of the most celebrated singers of the twentieth century. Most of her singing career was...
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Arrupe SJ, Pedro

Pedro Arrupe SJ was a Spanish Jesuit priest who served as the twenty-eighth Superior General of the Society of Jesus. The defining...
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Baker, Raymond

Raymond W. Baker is an American businessman, scholar, author, and “authority on financial crime.” He is the founder and president of Global...
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Bernardin, Joseph Cardinal

Joseph Cardinal Bernardin was an American Cardinal of the Catholic Church. He served as Archbishop of Cincinnati from 1972 until 1982, and...
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Berrigan SJ, Dan

Dan Berrigan, SJ, was an American Jesuit priest, anti-war activist, and poet. He had a unique form of militancy and radical spirituality...
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Berrigan, Phil

Phil Berrigan was an American peace activist and former Roman Catholic priest. As a young man, he joined the Society of St....
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Berry CP, Thomas

Thomas Berry, CP was a Catholic priest of the Passionist order, cultural historian and an “eco-theologian” (although cosmologist and geologian – or...
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Biko, Stephen

Stephen Biko was an anti-apartheid activist in South Africa in the 1960s and 1970s. He was a student leader and founded the...
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Bonhoeffer, Dietrich

Dietrich Bonhoeffer was a German Lutheran pastor, theologian, anti-Nazi dissident, and key founding member of the Confessing Church. His writings on Christianity’s...
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Boyle SJ, Greg

Greg Boyle SJ is an American Jesuit priest and the founder and Director of Homeboy Industries. In1988, in an effort to address...
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Caceres, Berta

Berta Cáceres was a Honduran environmental activist and indigenous leader of her people. She was a co-founder and coordinator of the Council...
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Camara, Helder Pessoa

Hélder Pessoa Câmara was a Brazilian Roman Catholic Archbishop. He was the Archbishop of Olinda and Recife, serving from 1964 to 1985,...
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Campbell SSS, Simone

Simone Campbell SSS, is an American Roman Catholic Sister of Social Service, a lawyer, lobbyist and executive director of NETWORK. In 1978...
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Carter, Majora

Majora Carter is an American urban revitalization strategist and public radio host, from the South Bronx area of New York City. In...
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Chavez, Cesar

Cesar Chavez was an American labor leader and civil rights activist who co-founded the National Farm Workers Association (later the United Farm...
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Chittister OSB, Joan

Joan Chittister, OSB is a Benedictine nun, an author and international speaker on subjects of spirituality, peace, religious life and justice for...
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Clarke MM, Maura

Maura Clarke, MM, was a Catholic Maryknoll Sister, who served as a missionary in Nicaragua and El Salvador. She worked with the...
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Dear, John

John Dear is an American Roman Catholic priest, Christian pacifist, author and lecturer, and a former member of the Society of Jesus....
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Day, Dorothy

Dorothy Day, was an American journalist and social activist. She was a convert to Catholicism and became famous for her social activism...
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Currie SJ, Charles

Charles Currie SJ has spent his entire professional life in higher education, as faculty member, administrator, president, and as president of the...
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Dennis, Marie

Marie Dennis has been co-president of Pax Christi International since 2007. From 1989-2012, 15 years as director, Marie worked with the Maryknoll...
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Donovan, Jean

Jean Donovan was an American lay missionary who was beaten, raped, and murdered along with three fellow missionaries—Ita Ford, Maura Clarke and...
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Douglass, Frederick

Frederick Douglass was an African-American social reformer, abolitionist, orator, writer, and statesman. After escaping from slavery in Maryland, he became a national...
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Drinan SJ, Robert

Robert Frederick Drinan, SJ was a Catholic Jesuit priest, lawyer, human rights activist, and Democratic U.S. Representative from Massachusetts. He was also...
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Du Bois, W.E.B.

W. E. B. Du Bois was an African American sociologist, historian, civil rights activist, Pan-Africanist, author, and editor. After completing graduate work at...
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Egan, John

John Egan was an American Catholic priest and social activist.  He promoted racial integration and was one of the clergymen who marched...
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Ellacuria SJ, Ignacio

Ignacio Ellacuría, SJ was a priest, philosopher, and theologian who worked as a professor and rector at the Universidad Centroamericana  (UCA), a...
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Espada, Rafael

Rafael Espada is a former Vice President of Guatemala and a former cardiothoracic surgeon. While he was employed at a hopital in...
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Evers, Medgar

Medgar Evers was an African American civil rights activist from Mississippi who worked to overturn segregation at the University of Mississippi and...
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Ford, Ita

Ita Ford, MM was an American Catholic Sister who served as a missionary in Bolivia, Chile and El Salvador. She worked with...
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Francis of Assisi

Francis of Assisi  was an Italian Roman Catholic friar and preacher. He founded the men’s Order of Friars Minor, the women’s Order...
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Frank, Anne

Anne Frank was a German-born Jewish diarist and writer. She is one of the most discussed victims of the Holocaust. Her diary,...
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Gandhi, Mohandas

Mohandas Gandhi was the preeminent leader of the Indian nationalism in British-ruled India. Employing nonviolent civil disobedience, Gandhi led India to independence...
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Grande SJ, Rutilio

Rutilio Grande SJ was a priest in El Salvador who was assassinated, along with two other Salvadorans, by government forces for speaking...
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Gumbleton, Thomas

Thomas Gumbleton is a retired Roman Catholic auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Detroit. He founded the Michigan Coalition for Human Rights...
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Gutierrez OP, Gustavo

Gustavo Gutiérrez OP is a Peruvian theologian and regarded as one of the founders of liberation theology. He holds the John Cardinal...
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Hahn, Thich Nhat

Thích Nhất Hạnh is a Vietnamese Buddhist monk and peace activist. He lives in France, travelling internationally to give retreats and talks....
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Hehir, J. Bryan

Bryan Hehir is an American priest and a well known speaker on social issues. He serves as the Secretary for Social Services...
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Henriot SJ, Peter

Peter Henriot, S.J. is an internationally respected Jesuit researcher, speaker and writer on social justice, globalization and Africa, He has worked in...
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Hollenbach SJ, David

David Hollenbach, SJ is the current University Chair in Human Rights and International Justice and Director of the Center for Human Rights...
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Holmes, Odetta

Odetta Holmes, was an American singer, actress, guitarist, songwriter, and a civil and human rights activist, often referred to as The Voice...
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Hug SJ, Jim

James Hug, SJ, served as the President of the Center of Concern, a Washington, DC based social justice institute rooted in Catholic...
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Jagerstatter OFS, Franz

Franz Jägerstätter OFS, was an Austrian conscientious objector during World War II. He maintained his position against fighting for the Third Reich...
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Jezreel, Jack

Jack Jezreel holds an undergraduate degree in Philosophy and Religion from Furman University and a Master of Divinity degree from the University...
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Johnson, James Weldon

James Weldon Johnson was an American author, educator, lawyer, diplomat, songwriter, and civil rights activist. Johnson is best remembered for his leadership...
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Karski, Jan

Jan Karski was a Polish World War II resistance movement fighter and later professor at Georgetown University. In 1942 and 1943 Karski...
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Kazel OSU, Dorothy

Sister Dorothy Kazel, O.S.U. was an American Ursuline Religious Sister and missionary to El Salvador. On December 2, 1980, she was beaten,...
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Kelly, Kathy

Kathy Kelly is an American peace activist, pacifist and author, one of the founding members of Voices in the Wilderness, and currently...
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King, Coretta Scott

Coretta Scott King was an American author, activist, and civil rights leader, and the wife of Martin Luther King, Jr. from 1953...
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King Jr., Martin Luther

Martin Luther King, Jr. was an American Baptist minister and activist who was a leader in the African-American Civil Rights Movement. He...
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LaDuke, Winona

Winona LaDuke is an American activist, environmentalist, economist, and writer, known for her work on tribal land claims and preservation, as well...
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Langan SJ, John

John Langan SJ is a professor whose research interests include: ethics and international affairs, especially applications of just war theory; business ethics;...
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Mandela, Nelson

Nelson Mandela was a South African anti-apartheid revolutionary, politician, and philanthropist, who served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999....
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Marshall, Thurgood

Thurgood Marshall was an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, as its first African-American justice. Before becoming a...
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Maurin, Peter

Peter Maurin was a social activist who co-founded the Catholic Worker Movement with Dorothy Day. He traveled extensively, lecturing at parishes, colleges,...
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McCarthy, Colman

Colman McCarthy is a journalist, teacher, lecturer, pacifist, progressive, long-time peace activist and Director of the Center for Teaching Peace in Washington,...
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McCrackin, Maurice

Maurice McCrackin was an American civil rights and peace activist, tax resister and Presbyterian minister. He was removed from his church in...
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McSorley SJ, Richard

Richard McSorley SJ was an activist committed to pacifism and part of public protest against what he saw as rampant U.S. militarism....
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Mendes, Chico

Chico Mendes was a Brazilian rubber tapper, trade union leader and environmentalist who fought to preserve the Amazon rainforest, and advocated for...
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Merton OCSO, Thomas

Thomas Merton, OCSO was an American Catholic writer and mystic. A Trappist monk of the Abbey of Gethsemani, Kentucky, he was a...
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Mother Teresa

Mother Teresa also known as Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, was a Catholic nun and missionary. She lived for most of her life...
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Muir, John

John Muir also known as “John of the Mountains”, was a Scottish-American naturalist, author, environmental philosopher and early advocate of preservation of...
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Murray SJ, John Courtney

John Courtney Murray SJ was an American Jesuit priest and theologian, who was especially known for his efforts to reconcile Catholicism and...
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Muste, A.J.

Abraham Johannes “A.J.” Muste was a Dutch-born American clergyman and political activist. Muste is best remembered for his work in the labor...
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Nangle OFM, Joe

Fr. Joseph Nangle, OFM served twelve years as the Co-Director of Franciscan Mission Service. He spent fifteen years as a missioner in...
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Niemoller, Martin

Martin Niemöller was a German anti-Nazi theologian and Lutheran pastor. He is best known for his statement, First they came for the...
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Norman, Mildred

Mildred Norman, was an American non-denominational spiritual teacher, mystic, pacifist, vegetarian and peace activist. She was the first woman to walk the...
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Nouwen, Herni

Henri Nouwen was a Dutch Catholic priest, professor, writer and theologian. His interests were rooted primarily in psychology, pastoral ministry, spirituality, social...
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Ochoa, Digna

Digna Ochoa was a human rights lawyer in Mexico. Her career involved representation of various dissidents and in some cases raised allegations...
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Parks, Rosa

Rosa Parks was an African American civil rights activist, who is best known for an incident that occurred in 1955, in Montgomery,...
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Pogge, Thomas

Thomas Pogge is a German philosopher and the Director of the Global Justice Program and Leitner Professor of Philosophy and International Affairs...
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Pope Francis

Pope Francis is noted for his humility, emphasis on God’s mercy, concern for the poor, and commitment to interfaith dialogue. He is...
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Pope John Paul II

Pope John Paul II is the author of The Hundredth Year (Centesimus annus), an encyclical written on the hundredth anniversary of Rerum...
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Pope John XXIII

Pope John XXIII is renowned for calling the historic Second Vatican Council (1962–65), his views on equality and his final encyclical, Peace...
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Pope Leo XIII

Pope Leo XIII is well known for the development of social teachings with his famous papal encyclical Rights and Duties of Capital...
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Pope Paul VI

Pope Paul VI succeeded Pope John XXIII and continued the Second Vatican Council which he closed in 1965, implementing its numerous reforms,...
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Pope Pius XI

Pope Pius XI issued numerous encyclicals, including In the 40th Year (Quadragesimo anno) on the 40th anniversary of Pope Leo XIII’s groundbreaking social...
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Prejean CSJ, Helen

Helen Prejean, C.S.J. has been a leading American advocate for the abolition of the death penalty since 1981. She is also the...
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Puleo, Mev

Mev Puleo was an American photojournalist who through her art became an activist and spokesperson for the poor and disenfranchised. She was concerned...
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Rahner SJ, Karl

Karl Rahner, S.J. was a German Jesuit priest and theologian who, alongside Henri de Lubac, Hans Urs von Balthasar, and Yves Congar,...
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Romero, Oscar

Óscar Romero was a Catholic Archbishop of San Salvador who spoke out against poverty, social injustice, assassinations and torture in El Salvador....
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Saro-Wiwa, Kenule

Kenule “Ken” Beeson Saro Wiwa was a Nigerian writer, television producer, environmental activist, and winner of the Right Livelihood Award and the...
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Sasaki, Sadako

Sadako Sasaki was a Japanese girl who was two years old when an American atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima on August...
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Scholl, Hans

Hans Scholl was a founding member of the White Rose resistance movement in Nazi Germany. Along with his sister Sophie, he was...
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Scholl, Sophie

Sophia Magdalena Scholl was a German student and anti-Nazi political activist, active within the White Rose non-violent resistance group in Nazi Germany....
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Schweitzer, Albert

Albert Schweitzer was a French-German theologian, philosopher, and physician. He received the 1952 Nobel Peace Prize for his philosophy of “Reverence for...
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Shriver, Sargent

Sargent Shriver was an American politician and activist. As the husband of Eunice Kennedy Shriver, he was part of the Kennedy family,...
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Snyder, Mitch

Mitch Snyder was an American advocate for the homeless. He joined the Community for Creative Non Violence (CCNV) in Washington, D.C. CCNV...
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Sobrino, Jon

Jon Sobrino, S.J. is a Jesuit Catholic priest and theologian, known mostly for his contributions to liberation theology. On November 16, 1989...
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Stang SND, Dorothy

Dorothy Stang, SND was an American-born, Brazilian member of the Congregation of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur. In 2005 she...
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Sullivan, Walter

Walter Francis Sullivan was the Catholic bishop from Richmond, Virginia from 1974 to  2003. He served on the boards of the Churches’...
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Theas, Pierre-Marie

Pierre-Marie Théas was a French Roman Catholic Bishop of Montauban and Bishop of Tarbes and Lourdes. A significant figure in Catholic resistance...
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Till, Emmett

Emmett Till was an African-American teenager who in 1955 was lynched in Mississippi at the age of 14 after reportedly flirting with...
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Timerman, Jacobo

Jacobo Timerman was a Soviet-born Argentine publisher, journalist, and author of Lithuanian Jewish descent, who is most noted for his confronting and...
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Tum, Rigoberta

Rigoberta Menchú Tum is a political activist from Guatemala. Menchú has dedicated her life to publicizing the rights of Guatemala’s indigenous feminists during...
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Tutu, Desmond

Desmond Mpilo Tutu is a South African social rights activist and retired Anglican bishop who rose to worldwide fame during the 1980s...
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Urmston SJ, Benjamin

Benjamin J. Urmston, SJ, is the director emeritus of Peace and Justice Programs at Xavier University. Father Urmston has been a guiding...
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Vanier, Jean

Jean Vanier is a Canadian Catholic philosopher, theologian and humanitarian. He founded L’Arche in 1964, an international federation of communities spread over...
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Vitale OFM, Louis

Louis Vitale, OFM, is a Franciscan priest, activist, and a co-founder of Nevada Desert Experience. He has engaged in civil disobedience for...
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Wallis, Jim

Jim Wallis is a Christian writer and political activist. He is best known as the founder and editor of Sojourners magazine and...
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Williams, Jody

Jody Williams is an American political activist known around the world for her work in banning anti-personnel landmines, her defense of human...
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Willson, Brian

S. Brian Willson is an American Vietnam veteran, peace activist, and attorney-at-law. Willson served in the US Air Force from 1966 to...
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Younan, Ogarit

Ogarit Younan is a Lebanese activist, sociologist and author. She is the founder and head of the Lebanese Association for Civil Rights,...
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Yousafzai, Malala

Malala Yousafzai is a Pakistani activist for female education and the youngest-ever Nobel Prize laureate. She is known mainly for human rights...
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Yunus, Mohammad

Muhammad Yunus is a Bangladeshi social entrepreneur, banker, economist, and civil society leader who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for founding...
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