When it comes to women and conflict, the media often delivers two narratives. On one end of a restricted spectrum, we see women victimized and under siege — vulnerable, isolated, and helpless. And on the other end, as evidenced by recent coverage of female Kurdish fighters in Syria and Iraq, we see a celebrated, if not fetishized, image of women as warriors — sexy gun-wielding badasses.

But what often gets lost are the stories of the women in the middle — those working tirelessly on conflict resolution; those who raise not their voices, but their actions.

We talked to eight of them — all members of Peace is Loud— a speaker’s bureau chock full of interruptors— and asked them about their inspirations, the books on their nightstands, and why peace might not be so elusive after all.

Head over to our Medium channel to meet them.