Magazine article Herizons

[Muriel Duckworth: A Very Active Pacifist]

Magazine article Herizons

[Muriel Duckworth: A Very Active Pacifist]

Article excerpt

Long before it was a bumper sticker, Muriel Duckworth was thinking globally and acting locally. Marion Kerans' biography of Duckworth demonstrates her commitment to careful analysis and decisive action in every chapter. Women who have worked with Muriel in the Voice of Women, the NDP, the Canadian Research Institute for the Advancement of Women, or any of the other organizations she has founded or supported, will know her as a peacemaker and consensus builder. This book gives us the background. Kerans leads us from a compelling picture of a shy girl from the Eastern Townships of Quebec to an admiring portrayal of an outspoken and much respected advocate for women and for peace. Since her days at McGill University in the late 1920s, Duckworth's life has been a multi-faceted jewel. At university, she was active in the Student Christian Movement; in New York, while studying at Union Theological Seminary, she worked with teenage girls on the Lower West Side, "Hell's Kitchen." Back in Montreal, when she became a mother, Duckworth organized nursery school classes in her neighbourhood and art classes for young children. She also began classes for young mothers that would become an important part of her later career as a parent educator in Nova Scotia. During and after the war, Duckworth and her husband Jack Duckworth questioned their church and themselves rigorously about pacifism. After much struggle, they found they could not stay in the United Church, and they became members of the Society of Friends, or Quakers. …

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