Champion of Change: Ray Acheson


Ray is the Director of Reaching Critical Will, the disarmament program of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF). As a young woman in Toronto, Canada, she was always interested in issues concerning peace and conflict. Even in high school, she was an advocate for social justice and wrote letters for Amnesty Int. She says it been a long struggle to increase the public’s awareness of the threat of nuclear weapons since the end of the Cold War. “Right now, we are facing new arms race. Every country armed with nuclear weapons is either expanding or upgrading their arsenal. But the new nuclear ban treaty offers hope.” Ray represented WILPF on the International Steering Committee of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), which won the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize for its work highlighting the humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons and working with governments to outlaw nuclear weapons through a new international treaty. She is an ardent feminist, always shining a gender and intersectional lens on weapons and war through her research, writing and lectures. She was awarded the Spirit of the UN Award in 2012 for her work as a civil rights activist and expertise on the issues of peace and disarmament.

Ray is one of the many inspiring people selected as part of our Champions of Change campaign, which honors individuals who have made a difference in the lives of women and girls in the Metro New York area and globally.

Mary Luke