Tuesday, November 12, 2019

My old friend Genie Receives Peace Award in Philadelphia

Genie Silver Receives Peace and Justice Dove Award

From left: Sylvia Metzler, Tina Shelton, Genie Silver, Michael Silver, and Dan Silver. Photo by Ana Santoyo, used with permission.
By Tina Shelton
Co-Chair, Greater Philadelphia Branch
The Greater Philadelphia Branch presented Genie Silver, a WILPF member since 1973, with its 2019 Peace and Justice Dove Award at a reception on June 9, 2019.
Genie is a member of WILPF’s National Middle East Committee and has also served on WILPF’s Board and as a Vice President of the US Section. An activist for 55 years, Genie chaired WILPF’s Eurostrategic Committee in the 1980s to stop US cruise and Pershing-2 missiles from being deployed across Europe. Genie and her WILPF colleagues in the US and Europe organized a demonstration of 10,000 women held in Brussels on March 8, 1983. Genie addressed the demonstration and was part of a WILPF delegation that met in Brussels with the US ambassador to NATO to discuss the dangers of deploying new nuclear medium range missiles in Europe. She also testified before Congress speaking against these missiles.
Genie was on the STAR Committee (Stop The Arms Race) that met its goal of gathering a million signatures, delivered to the UN Secretary-General on March 8, 1984. She gave papers on nuclear disarmament at local, national and international WILPF conferences as well as speaking to other organizations on behalf of WILPF. She was a member of a delegation of six WILPF women who traveled to the Soviet Union to meet with the Soviet Women’s Committee. Genie, with four WILPF colleagues, committed civil disobedience at the White House in May, 1983, to bring attention to the extreme dangers of new US nuclear weapons being deployed in Europe.
Dan Silver, Genie Silver, and Libby FrankPhoto. From left, Dan Silver, Genie Silver, and Libby Frank. Libby, a member of the Greater Philadelphia Branch, founded WILPF’s Middle East Committee and served as the US Section’s Executive Director in the 1980s. In 1983, Genie, Libby, and four WILPF colleagues traveled to the USSR to meet with members of the Soviet Women’s Committee to discuss and take action on detente and nuclear disarmament. Photo by Michael Silver.
In the last 20 years, Genie has turned her attention to the plight of the Palestinian people. For the Middle East Committee, Genie has written many articles about the need to protect Palestinian children from being detained and tortured at the hands of Israel’s security and defense forces, in violation of International Humanitarian Laws. She also wrote about Israel’s codification of apartheid laws in July 2018. She’s written letters calling for the protection of Palestinian prisoners of conscience.
Genie’s work goes beyond WILPF—she’s a member of Jewish Voice for Peace and was an elected commissioner of her local township, Lower Merion, where she also co-chaired the township’s Open Space Preservation Commission. Genie wrote her PhD dissertation on Jane Addams’ political and peace work. As a professor of women’s and peace and conflict studies, Genie taught classes at Bryn Mawr College and in the Honors Program at Villanova University.
Marta Guttenburg, from the Philadelphia Jewish Voice for Peace, spoke at the reception, noting how the work of WILPF and JVP share common goals.
Libby Frank, longtime WILPFer and also a recipient of the Peace & Justice Dove Award, attended the event. Genie was joined at the reception by her husband, Mike, and son, Dan.