In September 1980, a group of religious congregations in the Princeton area joined together to sponsor a Teaching Conference and Interfaith Service on the theme “Can We Reverse the Nuclear Arms Race?” The response was overwhelming – nearly 2,000 attended.

At a follow-up meeting several weeks later, a decision was made to form an ongoing organization dedicated to nuclear disarmament – the Coalition to Reverse the Nuclear Arms Race. In 1981 the name was shortened to the Coalition for Nuclear Disarmament and the organization expanded beyond Princeton to cover central and southern New Jersey.

In 1982, the Coalition co-led a statewide Nuclear Weapons Freeze referendum that won the support of 66% of New Jersey Voters.

In 1988, to increase coordination and effectiveness, the Coalition’s members voted to affiliate with Peace Action, the largest grassroots peace group in the US.

As the Cold War drew to an end in the late 1980’s, the Coalition’s goals expanded to include the related goals of reaping a major peace dividend – a peace economy – and halting weapons trafficking, both internationally and domestically.

In 1993, to reflect this broader agenda, the members voted to change the name of the organization to the Coalition for Peace Action.

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