The round table represents the medieval concept of a circle with no beginning and no ending, symbolizing unity, perpetuity, equal representation and opportunity for all.
The motto is “One for All and All for One; Una para Todas y Todas para Una,” penned by Alexander Dumas, the author of “The Three Musketeers.”
EVOLUTION OF PAN AMERICANISM
Some scholars trace the origins of the inter-American system back to the Monroe Doctrine of 1823 and the Congress of Panama convened by Simon Bolivar in 1836. However, it was not until 1889 that the American States (North, Central and South American) decided to meet periodically to forge a shared system of standards and institutions. The First International Conference of American States was held in Washington, D.C., from October 1889 to April 1890. Eighteen American States took part in the conference and it was agreed to constitute the “Commercial Bureau of the American Republics.” Two years later the name was changed to “The International Union of American Republics,” and in 1910 to “The Pan American Union.”
The purpose of the Union was to create and promote international cooperation in commerce and trade, legal matters, and protection of member countries. It offered technical and informational services to all of the American Republics and served as a repository for international documents. The Union was also responsible, through supplementary councils, to promote the furtherance of economic, social, juridical and cultural relations.
In 1916, amid the turmoil of the Mexican political upheaval and revolutionary governmental changes taking place, Mrs. Griswold became interested in the work of the Pan American Union and wholeheartedly endorsed its goals:
- Achieving an order of peace and justice
- Promoting American solidarity
- Strengthening collaboration among member states
- Defending the sovereignty, independence and international integrity of the nations of the Americas
Mrs. Griswold believed the work of the Union could be advanced by the women of the Americas. As a symbol of her support for the Union, Mrs Griswold and 21 of her friends gathered and formed the first Pan American Round Table. Each of the members agreed to represent one of the 21 member nations of the Pan American Union.
One for All and All for One
Una para Todas y Todas para Una