Nona Canon Ph.D. is well known as faculty and co-founder of the Women's Studies Department at San Diego State University (1969) and for her United Nations work for women's equality and promotion of peace within communities and family. She joined the faculty of San Diego College in 1959 and became head of the Family Studies and Consumer Sciences Department. Working with students and other faculty, Dr. Cannon presented the new department proposal to the Curriculum Committee. When the world's first Women's Studies Department was instituted, she was one of three professors teaching its courses.
To this day, the Department remains a leader in the discipline and is one of the largest. Dr. Cannon raised funds to accompany students to the U.N.'s First World Conference on Women in Mexico City in 1975. To expand their knowledge about international women's rights, she founded San Diego's U.N. Women's Equity Council (WEC), and led students to the subsequent U.N.'s Women's Conferences in Copenhagen (1980) and Nairobi (1985). She and her husband, began traveling throughout the nation, her husband as Chair of Chapters and Divisions of the UNA-USA, and Nona to establish WEC's in other UNA-USA chapters. The couple received the 1988 Goodman Award for their tireless efforts. Dr. Cannon's organizational peace work included several events for the 1994 U.N. International Year of the Family.
Her conferences, most notably at the University of Peace in Costa Rica, advocated for nurturing, peace-loving families. The crowning of her many writings was the publication of her books: Roots of Violence, Seeds of Peace in People, Families, and Society, a textbook for creating peace-loving families and societies, and Families and Society, a textbook for creating peace-loving families, societies, and individuals.