…in 1867, Emily Balch was born in Jamaica Plain. Her parents’ affluence and enlightened views allowed her to attend college at a time when few women did.
She entered Bryn Mawr in 1886 and graduated with honors three years later. After studying abroad and helping start a settlement house in Boston, she decided on an academic career.
She taught at Wellesley for 22 years until her growing political activism and her opposition to U.S. entry into World War I cost her her job. For the rest of her long life, she devoted her talent and energy to organizing women on behalf of world peace. In 1946 her accomplishments were recognized when she was awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace.
Emily Greene Balch grew up in a prosperous and well-established New England family in the years after the Civil War; she was strongly influenced by her parents’ liberal Unitarian values. When she was 10, a new minister came to her church. “He asked us,” she later recalled, “to enlist in the service of goodness whatever its cost.” Emily Balch accepted this pledge and her “desire to live up to it” determined her life’s work. For her commitment to promoting cooperation among individuals and peoples, she was awarded the 1946 Nobel Peace Prize. Her friend Jane Addams was the first American woman to receive the prize. She was the second.
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