Cora Weiss has spent her life as a human rights and peace activist. From 1959 to 1963, she was the executive director of the African-American Students Foundation, which brought students from East Africa to the United States for higher education to prepare them to be nation builders following colonialism. She presented a paper about that historic experience at the Africa Studies Association meeting last November, and Tom Shachtman has published a book about the initiative, entitled Airlift to America: How Barack Obama, Sr., John F. Kennedy, Tom Mboya, and 800 East African Students Changed Their World and Ours.
Weiss was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for her leadership of the 1999 Hague Appeal for Peace, and participated in the drafting of Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security. She directed the disarmament program at The Riverside Church in New York City from 1978 to 1988, when William Sloane Coffin was senior pastor there. Weiss also founded the Committee of Liaison With Families of Servicemen Detained in North Vietnam, and was a national leader of Women Strike for Peace, which led the campaign against atmospheric nuclear testing from 1961 to 1963.
Weiss is a popular speaker on peace education and was president of the International Peace Bureau from 2000 to 2006. She speaks on disarmament and the need to abolish war, on gender and violence, and on the need for the full and equal participation of women in decision making.