Emily Balch

January 09

Emily Greene Balch (1867-1961) grew up in a prosperous family, graduated from Bryn Mawr in 1889 and eventually worked as a professor of economics and sociology at Wellesley College. She worked with Jane Addams at Hull House in Chicago and cared deeply about people in poverty.


As a Quaker and committed pacifist, Emily was passionate about peace issues. She worked with Jane Addams organize the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom and served several terms as its secretary. In 1915 Balch attended the international Congress of Women at Den Hague and was part of a mediation delegation to Russia and Scandinavia. She proposed an "International Colonial Administration" similar to what later became the League of Nations.


Because of her active campaign against U.S. participation in World War I she lost her Wellesley professorship. She took on the editorship of The Nation. She also wrote several important books: Refugees as Assets in 1939, One Europe in 1947, and Toward Human Unity, or Beyond Nationalism (1952).


For her lifetime of peace work Balch received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1946; she gave the prize money to the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom. Emily Greene Balch died in 1961.


If Emily Balch had taken the Spiritual Types Test, she probably would have been a Sage. Emily Balch is remembered on January 9.

Image is © The Nobel Foundation.

Today's Reflection

Emily Balch