Resistance Studies Fellow
Joanne Sheehan has been an organizer, nonviolence trainer and educator for over 48 years. She has been on the staff of War Resisters League's New England Office in Norwich, CT since co-founding it in 1985. Active with War Resister's International (WRI) since 1983, she served as WRI Chair from 1998 to 2006. Joanne has been the Chair of the Voluntown Peace Trust (formerly the Community for Nonviolent Action) since 2012.
Joanne has been involved in many nonviolent campaigns – against war and war profiteers, nuclear power and nuclear weapons, and war toys to name a few. As an organizer, Joanne has also been active countering military recruitment of youth and works with youth providing opportunities for them to develop as activists,organizers, and trainers.
Joanne became a nonviolence trainer in the early seventies. She has been a nonviolence trainer for actions such as the Occupation of the Seabrook Nuclear Power Plan in 1977 to the 2018 Poor People's Campaign. Joanne's training skills include strategic planning and preparation for nonviolent action, facilitation skills in non-hierarchical group processes, oppression awareness, and training of trainers. She is also a trainer for Listening Project Community Surveys.
Joanne convened WRI's Nonviolence Trainers Working Group 1986 – 1998, and continues to work with the WRI Nonviolence Committee, focusing on constructive programs. She has worked with nonviolence trainers around the world, organizing and attending international gatherings of trainers and working with local trainers. She was an editor and contributor to the Handbook for Nonviolent Campaigns (2009 and 2014). Joanne has served on the AJ Muste Memorial Institute's International Nonviolence Training Fund Advisory Committee since 1994.
Joanne has worked on nonviolent economics for many years. She organized for economic alternatives to weapons production as part of the Trident Conversion Campaign (1977 – 1980) and the Community Coalition for Economic Conversion through the 1990'S. She has also been involved with community land trusts for decades. She was a co-founder of the Rose City Community Land Trust for Housing in Norwich, CT (1985) and served as President of the Board. She then joined the board of the Institute for Community Economics (1990-1998), a national organization supporting the development of community land trusts, serving as its President from 1992-1998. She is the founding President of the Board of the Southeastern Connecticut Community Land Trust.
Joanne has written about feminism and nonviolence, nonviolent campaign strategy, nonviolent economics and constructive program. She lives in Norwich, CT with her partner. They have two grown children and three grandchildren. Together they provide food for peace and justice groups through Pacifeast Caterers and have an organic garden.
Joanne has been a “Research Studies Fellow” with the Resistance Studies Program since 2017, focusing on the history of nonviolent action training. She is an instructor with Stellan Vinthagen for a class on “Land Struggles and Nonviolent Resistance” during the Fall Semester of 2018.
A Revolutionary Nonviolent Perspective on US Uprisings by Joanne Sheehan July 19,2020 in War Resisters League
We need to strategically eliminate fascism, not hollow calls for peace. by Joanne Sheehan and Shiyam Galyan January 22, 2021 in Waging Nonviolence
The roots of revolutionary nonviolence in the United States are in the Black community by Joanne Sheehan February 15, 2021 in Waging Nonviolence