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Denver, Colorado  80218


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Doris Twitchell Allen

CISV Founder

1901 – 2002
Born:  October 8, 1901, Old Town, Maine

Died:  March 7, 2002, Sterling, Virginia


Doris Allen had a dream, a dream of peace.  She believed that by making friends with others around the world, children will grow up wanting and working for peace.


Doris was born in Old Town, Maine.  Doris’ mother was an educator and her father was a doctor.  She used to travel by horse and buggy with her father when he visited his patients.  Both parents gave Doris a sense of fairness and social responsibility.  After high school, Doris studied chemistry, biology and psychology at the Universities of Maine, Michigan and Berlin, Germany.  She worked as a psychologist and professor of psychotherapy and psychodrama with both children and adults in New York City, Cincinnati, Ohio and Orono, Maine.


In 1946, after World War II, Doris read a newspaper article about UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) and an international institute that would train adults to become leaders for world peace.  Doris knew that the time to develop leadership was at a much younger age.  “We must start with the children.”  When her son asked if there would be wars when he grew up, Doris responded, “We’ll have to do everything we can, so we won’t need any more wars.”  With the help of her husband, Erastus Allen, and other psychologists, the idea of Children’s International Summer Villages began.  In 1951, children from European countries and Mexico attended the first village in Cincinnati, Ohio.


Doris Allen stayed committed to her dream all her life.  She was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979 and was awarded the Freedom Medal in 1999 by the President of the USA and the Hague Appeal for Peace Prize in 2001.  Even in her 90’s Doris attended National and International Board Meetings.  But, she especially enjoyed visiting Villages every summer and talking to the children.  Doris came to the first four Villages held in Maine (1987-1996).  She listened to the children; their ideas and dreams were important to her.  She loved to dance and villagers danced with her.  Holding their hands, she would smile with the joy she always felt when children from all over the world were having fun together.


Although wars continue, the dream of peace is still strong.  Doris Allen believed, “The power of love is stronger than the love of power.”


Doris Allen had a dream.  Today we dare to make her dream, our dream, a fact.





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Doris Allen Video