2003-04-19 / Community

Memorial Held For Evelyn Mauss

Memorial Held For Evelyn Mauss

Mauss, left, speaks to members of The WLIPFMauss, left, speaks to members of The WLIPF

The life of Evelyn Abrams Mauss was celebrated at the UN Church Center on Sunday, March 30.

During her 87 years, Mauss participated in many social justice activities. Her suffrage grandmother and mother were members of Women’s International League of Peace and Freedom (WILPF), which was her earliest political center. As a 14-year old in 1929, she organized the Junior International League of Peace and Freedom. Over the years, she served in many capacities both nationally and locally in WILPF.

Since she wore many caps, she was remembered by her fellow humanists "for the significant roles she undertook to attain her goals of peace and justice."

Dr. Victor Sidel, co founder of Physicians for Social Responsibility, an organizations that four years ago honored Mauss for her 70 years as a peace activist, stressed her ability to focus clearly, using her organizational talents to eradicate lead poisoning in children, end above ground nuclear bomb testing, reduce air pollution, and other global concerns.

Actress Vinie Burroughs, with whom Mauss served on the UN NGO Committee on South Africa, expressed her tribute by dramatic readings of John Dunne’s "Death Be Not Proud," and a Langston Hughes poem, "Let America Be America Again."

Joan Flynn, of Rockaway WILPF, fabricated a Quaker style meeting which elicited many stories about Evelyn¹s extensive contributions to the health and well being of the people and environment of the world. Stories were shared about; one of Evelyn¹s many trips to Nicaragua, where her work was instrumental in closing a battery factory that was poisoning the people of a town, her trips to South Africa, as an observer of the 1994 elections, as a delegate to the UN Conference on Racism in 2001 and as a delegate to the UN Conference on Sustainable Development 2002.  

Mauss was also involved in local demonstrations, peace rallies and vigils including the protest at Police Plaza against the shooting of Amadou Diallo, which resulted in her arrest. Mostly, however, her friends and colleagues shared the love and admiration that they all felt for this Renaissance woman who always communicated hope of a better world for all.

Mauss and her organization recently presented the WILPF’s archive to the Rockaway Library, for safekeeping.

Her brother, Mason Adams, a well known actor, described her as having a sense of grace, dignity and balance.  One of her colleagues expressed cogently, "She was a mench."

"The world is definitely a better place for her having been here. She is sorely missed," she added.

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