Another Mother for Peace, Inc., is a California non-profit corporation with several purposes:
To educate the public to take active roles in eliminating war as a means of solving disputes among nations, people, and ideologies, and to be dedicated to the principle that war is obsolete – that civilized methods must be creatively sought and implemented to resolve international differences
To strengthen American democracy by promoting dialogue between the people and elected representatives in promoting peace
To distribute educational material by mail, electronic mail, internet, and in-person, i.e. posters, bumper stickers, Peace Seals, Peace Notes, cards, medallions, etc. all of which include the trademark logo – the Sunflower with the statement: “War is Not Healthy for Children and Other Living Things”
To preserve the legacy of Another Mother for Peace and to preserve the artist’s intended use of the “War is not healthy for children and other living things” ™ ©
Another Mother for Peace does not take positions on issues other than Peace. The organization is non-partisan – it supports no political party, but urges members to support peace candidates of their own choice.
photo by Gilbert B. Weingourt © AMP
Another Mother for Peace was founded in 1967 by a group of women, headed by Barbara Avedon, strongly opposed to the war in Vietnam. Their mission was to create a non-partisan, non-profit organization “to educate women to take an active role in eliminating war as a means of solving disputes between nations, people and ideologies.” Dedicated to the principle that war is obsolete, AMP encouraged its members to do Peace Homework by writing to elected government officials to express their desire for peace.
The Another Mother for Peace Sunflower Logo
In 1965, Lorraine Art Schneider created a tiny etching called “Primer” for an exhibition of miniature etchings at the Pratt Institute of Art. At the time, she had no idea that her work, a childlike sunflower with the words “War is not healthy for children and other living things,” would become one of the most powerful and enduring pieces of protest art from the last century.
Lorraine donated all rights to her image to Another Mother for Peace, which used it on posters, medallions, and other items to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for the anti-war effort. This simple statement with its brilliant and childlike design appeared on posters, bumper stickers, note cards, letter seals, key rings, and of course, the distinctive gold medallions worn by supporters of Another Mother for Peace all over the world. A simple yet powerful statement of conscience, the sunflower logo helped make Another Mother for Peace one of the most eloquent and effective anti-war voices of its generation.
The sunflower’s, irrefutable message was taken to heart by congressmen, senators, dignitaries, celebrities and ordinary people all over the world. It was translated into seventy- seven languages, honored at the 1972 International Disarmament Conferencein Geneva, Switzerland, and at the Seneca Falls Centennial for Women’s Rights, exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art’s “Century of the Child” show, and at other venues worldwide, including the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam. It is now in the permanent collections of The Victoria and Albert Museum and MOMA, and remains a testament to the power of art to inspire and effect social change.
Trained as a printmaker and etcher, Lorraine created many other, award-winning works with themes of peace and social justice. She was a friend and colleague of artistic luminaries Sister Mary Corita Kent and Betye Saar. Although Lorraine only lived to be forty-seven, her passionate vision for a better world lives on.
Another Mother for Peace’s Unique Voice
Another Mother for Peace was unique in its appeal to a broad cross-section of Americans – cutting across all political, partisan and socio-economic lines. The Another Mother for Peace newsletter was addressed “Dear Mrs. Smith” (later changed to “Dear Ms. Smith”) and was aimed at communicating with all mothers who shared their outrage and opposition to the war in Vietnam. Another Mother for Peace’s message was a rallying cry for peace targeted at lawmakers from both parties. AMP issued a direct appeal to conscience to anyone who would stand for the principal that war must be eliminated as a means of solving disputes among nations, people and ideologies.
The Birth of Another Mother for Peace
Another Mother for Peace’s first action was to make a Mother’s Day card to send to members of Congress and the President.
The card read:
For my Mother’s Day gift this year,
I don’t want candy or flowers.
I want an end to killing.
We who have given life
must be dedicated to preserving it.
Please talk peace.
Initially they printed 1000 cards.
Two months later 200,000 cards had been sent.
From this beginning Another Mother for Peace evolved into a powerful voice for peace that ultimately helped move the national debate on the war in Vietnam toward a peaceful solution.
The Another Mother for Peace Newsletter
The overwhelming success of the Mother’s Day card led to the creation of the AMP newsletter, a direct mail publication filled with anti-war editorial and reports on the stances of lawmakers on issues related to war and peace. Each newsletter contained a number of action items called “Peace Homework” that encouraged readers to make their voices heard by organizing, educating and communicating with other citizens and their elected representatives.
Campaigns and Strategies
Another Mother for Peace’s main strategy was to encourage the active and informed participation of citizens in our democracy. Based upon the belief that speaking up for conscience is the patriotic duty of every citizen, AMP created numerous mail-in campaigns to lawmakers, encouraging them to support legislation aimed at dismantling the war machinery and war mentality so pervasive in Washington.
These campaigns had tremendous and demonstrable effects on members of congress whose offices were flooded with postcards, note cards, letters and telegrams all bearing Another Mother’s message of peace. With revenues from the sale of peace materials, AMP started an “Invest In Peace” fund to support legislators who voted against war appropriations. Another Mother then launched a campaign to establish a Department and Secretary of Peace as part of the executive branch whose purpose would be “to examine and evaluate the range of non-military alternatives” to war.
The Pax Materna
In May 1969, the first annual Mother’s Day Assembly was held in Los Angeles where the organization unveiled a Pax Materna, which stated, “No mother is enemy to another mother.” AMP’s Pax Materna is “a permanent, irrevocable condition of amnesty and understanding among mothers of the world.” Gerta Katz, Art Director of AMP, designed a mini-poster with the logo translated into twenty languages.
There were 370,000 peace-action newsletters mailed in 1969. That number increased to 405,000 in 1970 as AMP’s campaign against intercontinental ballistic missiles and chemical-biological warfare attracted more citizens to its membership. By 1971, AMP had a staff of 14 as well as dozens of volunteers. Co-chairs Dorothy B. Jones and Barbara Avedon testified against the military budget before the Department of Defense Appropriations Sub-Committee. Film and television celebrities, including Donna Reed, Debbie Reynolds, Paul Newman, Joanne Woodward, and Dick Van Dyke appeared on national television to promote AMP causes.
AMP in the Post Vietnam Era
When the war in Vietnam finally ended, AMP continued to speak out against the escalation of the nuclear arms race, the military budget and the dangers of nuclear pollution at home. AMP announced its intention to become inactive in January 1979, but continued to send out the newsletter and other peace literature. The last AMP newsletter was mailed in the spring of 1985. Although Another Mother for Peace’s offices closed in January 1986, members were encouraged to continue working for peace in their own communities.
Another Mother for Peace Returns
In early 2003, spurred by the threat of war between the United States and Iraq, Another Mother for Peace was reestablished as a non-profit corporation by a group including founding members and their children. The original purposes of AMP were incorporated into the articles of the new non-profit corporation.
Lorraine deivering a speech at the International Disarmament Convention in Geneva, Switzerland in 1972. The artist is shown here with
Professor Vassily Emilianow, past President of the World Peace Council.
In 2017 the 100th anniversary of women's right to vote
and the fiftieth anniversary of AMP were jointly honored
at the annual Seneca Falls conference.
From MOMA "Century of the Child" exhibit
One of the 200 original “Primer” Etchings, which measures only 2-1/4" high.
From our newsletter
Piece about our original 1967 "Mother's Day Cards", which were sent to Congress as an
appeal to end the war in Vietnam.
Lena Horne speaks eloquently about
her own sunflower medallion.
Her Excellency Angie Brooks
Joanne Woodward and Paul Newman
Peace rallies, 1967
Demonstration aganst Iraq war
Cake at Seneca Falls convention
Lorraine's daughter Elisa at the Jean Autry museum