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Description: The Peace Coalition of Monterey County (PCMC) was founded in 1991 to  “promote non-violent resolutions in world conflicts and policies that will create a more peaceful world.” We recently held our 25th Anniversary Celebration on Feb. 12, 2016 at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies (MIIS) in the city of Monterey, California.

PCMC PRIORITY ISSUES
Each of the PCMC Member Organizations has its own mission and focus;
what is important for one organization may not be on the radar for another. In forming this coalition we have agreed to work together on specific areas where we find common purpose. The PCMC Issues Committee has identified specific issues that we can concentrate on as a coalition:
1) Protesting the Iraq War
2) Understanding Conflict in the Middle East
3) Revealing the Truth About American Empire
4) Protesting the Use of Torture
5) Promoting Alternatives to Military Service
The business of the PCMC is determined by consensus at PCMC Steering Committee meetings held every other month.

Lifelong peace activist Joyce Vandevere dies at age 94.

Marielle Argueza – March 2, 2021 – Monterey County Weekly

In a 2016 interview with the Weekly, Joyce Vandevere said “We have to think, step by step, how do we get to [peace]? It’s an incremental thing. It isn’t going to happen overnight.” Nic Coury

Many locals could recognized her face from the street, perhaps demonstrating against American military intervention. Others might recognize her name from the color-coded monthly newsletters she sent coalescing peace- and justice-related events for Monterey Peace and Justice Center. However people knew Joyce Vandevere, her name was synonymous with fighting (on all fronts) for a more peaceful and nonviolent world. 

Vandevere, a longtime Monterey resident, teacher, mother, wife and founder of the local chapter of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, died peacefully in her home on Feb. 17. It was her 94th birthday. 

Born in Alameda, California in 1927, Vandevere knew the history of United States during tumultuous social movements and wartime intimately. One of her earliest memories was wondering why her Japanese classmates suddenly didn’t show up to school because the U.S. response to the Japanese military’s bombing of Pearl Harbor. Her son (and former Monterey County planning commissioner) Keith Vandevere calls this her first memory of her “political awakening.” 

More experience came during her higher education while pursuing a bachelors degree at Pomona College and then a masters in psychology and child development at Stanford University. During this time, she toured Europe with her college friends, after World War II. She would go on to become a director of a preschool in San Francisco, bringing her into the circle of prominent labor leaders like Harry Bridges, who were among the parents of her students. 

She married her husband, biologist Jud Vandevere, in the 1950s. In 1956, the couple moved and bought a house in Monterey. That’s when the pair began to make a name for themselves as anti-war and environmental activists. It was during the first few years in the area that Joyce became active in her opposition to the Vietnam War, offering counseling to Fort Ord soldiers. She also supported the United Farm Workers Union and advocated for prison reform, working with families of incarcerated relatives through the organization Friends Outside. 

She helped co-found the local chapter of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom and also the Monterey Peace and Justice Center. She balanced her activism with her day job teaching pre-school and kindergarten, and in her career she eventually co-founded Learning Community, an alternative program at Del Rey Woods Elementary School. 

Vandevere was devoted to her family, but also helped where she could. She would take in and house numerous individuals for varying periods of time to keep them safe. “Many of those people became extended family,” Keith writes in an obituary. 

It was the sum of her experience—teaching, demonstrating and working closely with disenfranchised people—that informed her well-rounded approach to activism. She wasn’t one to just march in the streets (although she did that too), but she did the work where it had to be done.  In an interview with the Weekly in2016, she spoke of an evolution in anti-war activity: “Some people criticize us for not demonstrating as we have in the past. But we need to organize. That’s the real work.”

She is survived by her son and daughter, Keith Vandevere and Gwyn Vandevere, along with five grandchildren, three great-grandchildren, and several nieces and nephews. 

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