Woman's Christian Temperance Union's Millstone Award Goes To: The Amethyst Initiative

The Amethyst Initiative is an effort by many college and university presidents to promote discussions about how best to reduce alcohol abuse and alcohol-related problems among young people, including adults 18-20 years of age.

In response to this call for public discussion about alcohol, the Woman's Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) presented the Amethyst Initiative with the first annual WCTU Millstone Award. The WCTU explains that "The Millstone Award was created to bring public awareness to a person, organization, or governmental body that creates or uses their (sic) position of influence to promote unhealthy (sic), illegal, or immoral behavior that we believe places children at risk."

The Woman's Christian Union was founded in 1874 to fight the "evils of alcohol" and was influential in bringing about the imposition of National Prohibition in 1920.

The award, announced at the 135th Annual National WCTU Convention, is based on the biblical verse, "Things that cause people to sin are bound to come, but woe to that person through whom they come. It would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around his neck than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin. So watch yourselves" (Luke 17:1-2 NIV).

Like the WCTU, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) also opposes the Amethyst Initiative's efforts to promote public discussions about alcohol policies. MADD's corporate headquarters has instructed all chapters to refuse to debate the issue.


  • Amethyst Initiative. Amethyst Initiative Receives 2008 WCTU Millstone Award. Amethyst Initiative website (amethystinitiative.org); Woman's Christian Temperance Union website; personal communications.

Note that the correct name of the WCTU is the Woman's Christian Temperance Union rather than the Women's Christian Temperance Union or any other variant.