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Anne Murray has been an active advocate most of her adult life for numerous human rights and social justice issues. She has been a volunteer at the Peace House in Oklahoma City since 1985, working on its Peace Strategy Newspaper, helping to organize public events, speakers and films, and serving today as its volunteer financial accountant.
She first travelled to Guatemala in 1987 on a human rights mission to learn about challenges facing Guatemala’s people during the civil strife there. She became involved with the national organization “Women For Guatemala” which supported political work and contacts to Congress Members. With others in Oklahoma City, a group was formed to import from Guatemalan women the weaving and hand-crafts they produced which were sold in Oklahoma, with all proceeds returned to the women in Guatemala. In 1992, the 500th Memorial of Christopher Columbus arriving in the Americas, public events and demonstrations took place all over Guatemala, commemorating “500 Years of Survival” of the European incursion. In Guatemala that year, Murray became one of 20 international accompanists for Rigobertu Menchu, the heralded Guatemalan human rights activist, whose return and speaking tour that year in Guatemala was life-threatening, as the government and Army opposed her political activities and writing. During that speaking tour with the 20 accompanists, it was announced that Rigoberto Menchu was the Nobel Peace Prize recipient for 1992. Menchu was protected by being surrounded by the 20 international women.
Murray has served 15 years as Chair of the Social Justice Committee of the First Unitarian Church in Oklahoma City, a position that has called for active support for human rights and social justice events at the church. Organized by the Social Justice Committee, the church has raised over the years $55,000 to support the Micro-Credit Lending mission of “FINCA” in Guatemala, that lends tiny amounts of money to impoverished women to support their cottage industries and businesses – loans usually less than $100, 96% of which are paid back with interest.
A longtime opponent of capital punishment, Murray has been the Unitarian Church representative to OKCADP, the Oklahoma Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty. Following two years of church classes given by Murray and others, members of the Unitarian Church voted unanimously to designate it an “Abolition Church,” Murray has also been involved several years now with “Moms Demand Action on Gun Control.”
In the 1980s and early ‘90s, Murray was an active member with members of the Peace House in Nuke-Watch, which did fall and spring demonstrations at the Pantex Nuclear Weapons facility in Amarillo, TX. Activists including Murray watched the plant and followed unmarked convoys of nuclear weapons trucks delivering H-bombs to facilities as widespread as Knoxville, TN, Grand Forks, ND, Cheyenne, WYO, and San Diego Naval Base in California. These efforts did much to alert the American public to the many “H-bombs on our Highways.”