Balch, Emily Green

Balch, Emily Green

(1867–1961) pacifist, social reformer, economist; born in Jamaica Plain (now in Boston), Mass. Educated at Bryn Mawr College, she taught sociology and economics at Wellesley College (1896–1918). Never one to remain in an ivory tower, she took an active role in labor disputes and other social issues. In 1910 she published Our Slavic Fellow Citizens, a pioneering work in its sympathetic view of immigrants. As the impact of World War I spread, she joined others in trying to mediate an end, and she was fired from Wellesley because of her support for dissidents. She turned, somewhat, from advocating economic and socialist solutions, to embracing Quakerism. A founder of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (1919), she devoted the remainder of her life to its cause. She shared the Nobel Peace Prize in 1946.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.