“My Life is the World.”
At 94 years old, Lois Clark can still be found on the corner of Main and Jefferson in front of the federal building silently protesting for peace every Monday evening. As a young girl in 1933, Lois’s father took her and her sisters to see President Franklin Delano Roosevelt on his train trip across the country. Lois knew without being told that this was an important experience and ultimately one that continues to influence her presence in the world over 80 years later. Lois says, “My life is the world,” and her place in the world is to work tirelessly to remove war, poverty, and other evils from our existence.
A representative example of how Lois lives this commitment can be found by returning to the Vietnam War era. At this time, Lois and several others held a weekly silent protest for peace on one side of Main Street, while on the other side of Main another group of individuals protested in favor of military action. More than simply wanting to protest, though, it was important for Lois to actively engage in dialogue with others. One day she crossed the street to speak with the other protestors and POWs who called her scum of the earth and a traitor before turning their backs on her and ignoring her requests for open conversation. Despite this treatment, Lois said, “I was out in the street trying to bring you home because I did not want you to be killed.” The following week Lois returned to the protest with white roses as a gesture of peace. This is just one of many ways that Lois has “planted seeds of hope” within the community.
- Peace activist who has often met with Congressional leaders in Washington, D.C.
- Participates in protests
- Supporter of the Peace Fund Tax Bill
- Worked with Father Hesburgh to establish the first Notre Dame Peace Conference
- Founding Member of the United Religious Community
- Youth Counselor at Pine Creek Church of the Brethren
- Member of Prince of Peace Church
- International Relations Chair, PTA
- Founding member Michiana Peace and Justice Coalition and CEASE
- Volunteer coordinator, Headstart
- Volunteer for Christian Rural Overseas Program
- Assisted in bringing International Day of Prayer to South Bend
- Founding member LaSalle Park Board
- Participant in Roofsit
- Participant in Occupy South Bend
- Creator of Citizens of Hope television program
Information compiled from oral history collected by The Michiana Women Leaders Project