Photo by Tim Wright
Ray Acheson (they/them) is an organiser, activist, and writer. They are Director of Reaching Critical Will, the disarmament programme of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF), the world's oldest feminist peace organisation. They serve on the steering group of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), which won the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize for its work to ban nuclear weapons, as well as the steering committees of Stop Killer Robots and the International Network on Explosive Weapons.
Ray is author of Banning the Bomb, Smashing the Patriarchy (Rowman & Littlefield, 2021), which offers a first-hand account about the work of activists and diplomats to outlaw nuclear weapons and challenge the nuclear orthodoxy. They are also author of Abolishing State Violence: A World Beyond Bombs, Borders, and Cages (Haymarket Books, 2022), which analyses the connections between police, prisons, surveillance, borders, war, nuclear weapons, and capitalism and highlights ongoing organising efforts for their abolition.
Ray provides analysis and advocacy at the United Nations and other international forums on matters of disarmament, and has written many book chapters, articles, and research reports challenging weapons and war from an intersectional feminist perspective. They have also done many podcasts and media interviews and have given many talks and webinars, including a TEDx talk on nuclear abolition. They organise locally and globally against war, militarism, and the arms trade, and support the abolition of the carceral system and other structures of state violence.
Ray has an Honours BA from the University of Toronto in Peace and Conflict Studies and an MA in Politics from The New School for Social Research. They are currently a Visiting Researcher at Princeton University's Program on Science and Global Security. As part of their work with the Program, Ray has published a working paper Notes on Nuclear Weapons and Intersectionality in Theory and Practice, helped develop a curriculum resources project to counter racism and other structural discrimination in teaching and research on nuclear issues, and participated in a social impact campaign for the VR experience On the Morning You Wake (To the End of the World).
Ray is recipient of the 2020 Nuclear Free Future Award, the 2019 PathMaker to Peace Award from Brooklyn for Peace, the 2018 Champion of Change Award from UN Women Metro NY, the 2018 Dorothy Eldridge Peacemaker Award from Peace Action, the 2014 Shirley Farlinger Award for Peace Writings from Canadian Voice of Women for Peace, and the 2012 Spirit of the UN Award.