Sister Ardeth Platte, OP, and Sister Carol Gilbert, OP

Activists

Sister Ardeth Platte, OP, was born in Michigan in 1936 and has been a Dominican Sister of Grand Rapids for more than 60 years. Sister Ardeth has served as:

  • Teacher
  • Inner-city high school principal
  • Administrator of an educational center and school for dropouts and expellees
  • City councilwoman for twelve years
  • Mayor pro tem of the City of Saginaw, Michigan
  • Coordinator and organizer for Advocacy for Justice and a Home for Peace and Justice

Sister Carol Gilbert, OP, was born in Michigan in 1947 and entered the Dominican Sisters ~ Grand Rapids in 1965.  She has served as a junior high school teacher, a researcher at the Home for Peace and Justice, and involved in a variety of issues, including draft counseling, countering nuclear power and nuclear weapons, criminal injustices, poverty and all of the struggles caused by it, and U.S. intervention in Nicaragua. Sister Carol spent five years living and witnessing at two of Michigan’s Strategic Air Command Bases until both closed.

In the eighties, Sister Ardeth and Sister Carol joined a coalition to place an initiative on the Michigan State Ballot to disallow nuclear weapons from being deployed in Michigan, thereby preserving the state's freshwater lakes and soil. The initiative passed with 56 percent of the vote. However, the federal government superseded the state law and brought hundreds of nuclear cruise missiles and squadrons of B-52’s onto two Strategic Air Force Bases, one in Oscoda and one in Quinn/Marquette. Sister Carol and Sister Ardeth began full-time organizing of the state to witness at these bases and to call for nonviolent symbolic actions to eliminate these hundreds of weapons. Both bases were closed within the next twelve years, but only after hundreds of arrests and sentences for civil resistance.

Sisters Carol and Ardeth have spent the last 24 years educating, organizing, and resisting at the Pentagon, White House, Embassies, United Nations, and at many nuclear and war sites throughout the United States. They have done plowshare actions at the Naval Base in Connecticut, Peterson AFB in Colorado, and Weld County, Colorado.  After these actions, they have continued witness (usually with arrests) at Y- 12 in Oak Ridge, Tennessee and in Washington DC. The sisters have spent more than fifteen years altogether in jails and prisons during these many years of working for justice and peace.

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