A.J. Muste was a pacifist, anti-war activist and a leader of the labor and civil rights movements whose personal integrity won him a rare universal respect.
The Institute publishes pamphlets and books on nonviolence, provides grants and sponsorships to grassroots groups throughout the U.S. and the world, and provides office space to social justice organizations at our New York City Peace Pentagon.
A.J. Muste [1885 – 1967] was one of the leading nonviolent social activists of his time. Starting as a minister in the Dutch Reformed Church, he became a socialist and labor union activist, and was one of the founders and the first director of Brookwood Labor College. In 1936, he recommitted himself to pacifism and focused his energy on war resistance, civil rights, civil liberties and disarmament. Over his life he worked with a wide array of organizations, including the Fellowship of Reconciliation, Congress of Racial Equality [CORE] and War Resisters League, and served as editor of Liberation magazine. He continued his work for peace during the U.S. war in Vietnam; shortly before his death, he traveled to North Vietnam with a delegation of clergy and met with Communist leader Ho Chi Minh. A.J. Muste was widely respected and admired in the movement for social justice for his ability to relate to people of all ages and backgrounds, to listen to and reflect on all points of view, and to bridge distances among divergent political sectors. His life continues to be an inspiration to many.