The Shalvi/Hyman Encyclopedia of Jewish Women

Features thousands of biographic and thematic essays on Jewish women around the world. Learn more

Lillian Mellen Genser

d. March 9, 2006

by JWA Staff
Our work to expand the Encyclopedia is ongoing. We are providing this brief biography for Lillian Mellen Genser until we are able to commission a full entry.

After the narrowly averted disaster of the Cuban Missile Crisis, Lillian Mellen Genser decided to train people to think differently about conflict from early childhood onward. Genser began as a teacher in the Detroit public school system. When Wayne State University created their Center for Peace and Conflict Studies in 1965 in response to the Cuban Missile Crisis, Genser joined immediately. From 1970–1990 she served as the Center’s director, creating programs to teach children about diversity and non-violent conflict resolution as well as encouraging the academic study of human rights and methods to achieve peace. She arranged conferences and symposia and travelled around the world to spread her message of peace. She was instrumental in passing Michigan Senate Bill 65, which urged schools to include lesson plans in conflict resolution. She also created a classroom poster of a peaceful World Pledge meant to be said alongside the Pledge of Allegiance, as well as a puppet show, The Moon Belongs to Everyone, about peaceful cooperation and problem-solving in space.

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Lillian Mellen Genser." (Viewed on June 9, 2023) <>.


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