The Coalition for Peace Action (CFPA) is a grassroots citizens organization which brings together people of all ages, backgrounds, professions, and political persuasions in support of three goals: global abolition of nuclear weapons, a peace economy, and a halt to weapons trafficking at home and abroad.
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In September 1980, a group of religious congregations in the Princeton area joined together to sponsor a Teaching Conference and Interfaith Service on the theme "Can We Reverse the Nuclear Arms Race?" The response was overwhelming - nearly 2,000 attended.
At a follow-up meeting several weeks later, a decision was made to form an ongoing organization dedicated to nuclear disarmament - the Coalition to Reverse the Nuclear Arms Race. In 1981 the name was shortened to the Coalition for Nuclear Disarmament and the organization expanded beyond Princeton to cover central and southern New Jersey.
In 1982, the Coalition co-led a statewide Nuclear Weapons Freeze referendum that won the support of 66% of New Jersey Voters.
In 1988, to increase coordination and effectiveness, the Coalition's members voted to affiliate with Peace Action, the largest grassroots peace group in the US.
As the Cold War drew to an end in the late 1980's, the Coalition's goals expanded to include the related goals of reaping a major peace dividend - a peace economy - and halting weapons trafficking, both internationally and domestically.
In 1993, to reflect this broader agenda, the members voted to change the name of the organization to the Coalition for Peace Action.
Two closely related non-profit organizations carry out our mission:
Coalition for Peace Action
The Coalition for Peace Action (CFPA) oversees the advocacy work of the organization, including lobbying our elected representatives and voter education. Donations to the CFPA are therefore not tax deductible.
CFPA has a Political Action Committee that organizes lobbying, demonstrations, vigils, briefings, and similar activities; and has standing with the United Nations as a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO). There are also local CFPA regional chapters and student chapters at universities.
Peace Action Education Fund
The Peace Action Education Fund (PAEF) has been granted 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status by the IRS and conducts educational work. Tax-deductible contributions can be made to this entity.
PAEF has a Peace Education Committee that organizes the Annual Conference and Interfaith Service for Peace along with other community education events; as well as sending speakers, fact sheets, videos, and the like to schools, congregations, and community groups.
Programs for Peace
Annual Conference and Interfaith Service for Peace:
Each fall, the CFPA sponsors a major religious and educational gathering on current peace issues. Speakers have included General William Burns, Ben Cohen, Marion Wright Edelman, Daniel Ellsberg, George Kennan, George McGovern, Mary McGrory, Patricia Schroeder, Cyrus Vance, Bishop Leontine Kelly, and Andrew Young, among others.
Annual Membership Dinner and Gathering:
The CFPA holds an annual gathering and dinner open to all members to learn of and give input to our work. Speakers have included William Sloane Coffin, Admiral Stansfield Turner, Freeman Dyson, and John Kenneth Galbraith, among others.
Concerts for Peace:
Many years, the CFPA has sponsored a Concert for Peace to raise funds and provide cultural expressions for peace. Performers have included David Byrne, the Paul Winter Consort, Richie Havens, Holly Near, Emerson String Quartet, Pete Seeger, Peter Yarrow, Baba Olatunji, Suzanne Vega, Dar Williams, Janis Ian, and many others.
Click here to read about our Peace Voter Campaign, how we get engaged in elections.
Using petitions, letters, phone calls, and personal meetings, the Coalition lobbies Pennsylvania and New Jersey elected representatives to sponsor and support specific legislation to advance our goals. Over 4,000 households and key organizations are alerted when important legislation needs to be advocated to our representatives.
Gun Violence Prevention:
Through press conferences, press releases, radio and television programs, letters to the editor, and op-ed pieces, the Coalition conveys information and perspectives on our priorities.
The Coalition organizes vigils, rallies, and other public demonstrations to call attention of the community, the media, and our elected representatives to the urgent need for advancing our goals. At times the CFPA co-sponsors events with other organizations to increase our effectiveness and to lend solidarity to related causes.
Each year in August the Hiroshima and Nagasaki Commemoration is held. Speakers and other cultural elements come together in a program in remembrance of the victims of nuclear weapons.
- Irene Etkin Goldman, Chair
- Mark Tolo, Vice-Chair
- Mark Pepper, Treasurer
- Carol K. Allen, Secretary
- Robert Moore, Executive Director
- Niki VanAller, Assistant Director