“Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.”
- James Baldwin
In May 2021, we lost our dear friend and brilliant WRL national staff member, Linda Marie Thurston, who died at the age of 62. Linda spent a lifetime forging connections among people, organizations, and ideas in peace and justice movements.
In addition to her legacy as an abolitionist organizer and visionary, we at WRL remember Linda as a dedicated movement archivist. During her 15 years as WRL’s operations coordinator, Linda meticulously cataloged important moments in WRL’s history and endlessly brainstormed ideas for historical celebration, commemoration, and reckoning.
Linda was also deeply committed to WRL interns, as described in her obituary: “Linda was a transformative mentor. While sharing historical perspective, she listened to and validated the views of the young people she mentored…She derived tremendous joy and sustenance from these relationships.” Linda took each WRL intern under her wing, showing them the ropes, debriefing a meeting, event, or action with them, and listening to their hopes and fears.
War Resisters League is turning 100 in 2023, marking a century of antimilitarist organizing. Since 1923, WRL members have resisted militarism through principled nonparticipation and civil disobedience, fiery and sharp political analysis, steadfast solidarity across movements, and strategic revolutionary nonviolent action. Our current moment demands that we take stock of our shared movement history in order to contribute to a nonviolent antimilitarist response to injustice. WRL’s 100th anniversary is an important opportunity to connect past and present.
Linda’s intention had always been to make WRL’s archives more accessible to the public and to creatively share our history. In the tradition of our internship programs that, for decades, have trained emerging antimilitarist leaders, many of whom were mentored by Linda, we are establishing the Linda Thurston Archival Internship. This internship will enable WRL to preserve our history for future generations and draw out lessons from the past.
We hope that you will join us in honoring Linda’s legacy. All donations will go toward the Linda Thurston Internship Fund. The first Linda Thurston Archival Intern will begin in January 2023 and will be compensated fairly for their work.
Donations can be made online below, or by check. Checks payable to War Resisters League should have "LT Intern Fund" in the memo line. Send to WRL, 30 E 125th St #229, New York, NY 10035