Talking With Our Grandmothers:  World War 1 and the women's peace movement centennial tour opens in San Diego

Vermont WILPF activists Robin Lloyd and Charlotte Dennett, creators of the performance piece Talking with our Grandmothers:  World War 1 and the women’s peace movement, will embark on a California Centennial tour, funded in part by a WILPF mini-grant.  After events in San Diego on Oct. 16 and 17, the pair will travel to San Jose, Santa Cruz and Berkeley.

Using dialogue, letters and images (and a bust of Robin’s grandmother Lola Maverick Lloyd) they recreate the heroic efforts of women on both sides of the conflict to meet together and propose initiatives to stop the war. In addition, a conversation with Charlotte’s grandmother Elizabeth Redfern, who worked in Turkey as a teacher missionary before the war, leads to an understanding that competition among male national leaders for access to resources was a major factor in keeping the war going.

The women’s meeting that took place at The Hague in 1915 was the founding meeting of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom. A Celebration of our 100th anniversary as the longest lasting international women’s peace organization will take place next year at The Hague on April 22-29, 2015.

Other organizations that were founded during or shortly after the cataclysm of World War 1, and that are still extant, are the Fellowship of Reconciliation (1914), the American Civil Liberties Union (1920), and the War Resister’s League  (1923). Please invite members of those organizations in your area, plus Veterans for Peace, World Without War, and Code Pink, to these performances.

Was WW1 “the war to end all war” or the war that started a century of war? Are we now entering a state of endless war? Following the exchange between grandmothers and granddaughters, we hope to engage the audience in a discussion of how war and militarism have affected our families, and the importance of women (and people) in understanding power in order to be effective in stopping war. 

Tour schedule

Wednesday, Oct. 15: Leave Vermont for San Diego

Thursday, Oct 16, 7:30 pm: The Women's Museum of California, 2730 Historic Decatur Road, 103, San Diego. (619) 233-7963. Co-sponsored by San Diego WILPF and the Women’s Museum.

Friday, Oct. 17,  4:10 – 5:30 pm: One of many workshops at the Peace and Justice Studies Association Annual Conference at the University of San Diego

Sunday, Oct. 19, 10:30 am: South Bay labor center, 2102 Almaden Road, San Jose. Hosted by Ethical Culture with San Jose WILPF and Silicon Valley United Nations Association. Contact: Joan Bazar

Tuesday, Oct 21, 7 - 9 pm: The Center for Spiritual Living – 1818 Felt St. , in the Live Oak area of Santa Cruz. Sponsored by the Santa Cruz WILPF Branch. Free. Contact: 831-464-8442; cell: 860-882-2533 or Marcia Heath

Wednesday, Oct 22, 1:30 pm: North Berkeley Senior Center. 1901 Hearst Ave (corner of MLK), Berkeley, CA . Sponsored by Berkeley WILPF and the Berkeley Gray Panthers. Contact: 510- 981-5190 or Margot Smith, 510-486-8010,

Wednesday, Oct. 22, PM: Red eye flight back to Vermont.

Photo: Charlotte Dennett and Robin Lloyd share the stage with their grandmothers.