African Peace Activist Begins Residency in April

Leymah Roberta Gbowee Helped End Liberian Civil War

04/01/2011
By Julia Gavin

This year’s UMass Lowell Greeley Scholar for Peace Studies is Leymah Roberta Gbowee, an African peace activist who helped end the Second Liberian Civil War in 2003. Gbowee organized the Women of Liberia Mass Action for Peace, bringing together Christian and Muslim women to pray and sing for peace, and eventually forcing national leaders to create a peace process.
 
Gbowee, now executive director of the Women Peace and Security Network Africa in Ghana, will be in residence in April, hosted jointly by the UMass Lowell Peace and Conflict Studies Institute (PACSI) and the UMass Lowell Middle East Center for Peace, Development and Culture. She will speak at PACSI’s annual “Day Without Violence” program on April 4 at 12:30 p.m. in O’Leary Library Room 222.
 
“PACSI considers it a great honor and privilege to have Leymah Gbowee as our fourth Greeley Scholar for Peace Studies,” says Imogene Stulken, the institute’s co-director. “Her visit to Lowell could have a profound effect on those concerned with proven peace-making strategies, with women’s issues and with interfaith partnerships. Her story — her life’s ambition was to be a pediatrician, but she found a calling as a peace activist — will likely inspire any who have the opportunity to hear her.”

During her residency in Lowell, Gbowee will also meet with community members in Lowell and across the state to discuss peace-making movements and the Liberian women who helped to end a civil war. All events are free and open to the public.

Each year, the Greeley Scholar Program honors a distinguished advocate for peace, noted humanitarian or faith leader. The program is funded by the Greeley Endowment for Peace Studies and was established with a major gift from the Dana McLean Greeley Foundation for Peace and Social Justice of Concord and a matching contribution from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts through the UMass Foundation.

For a complete listing of this year’s events, visit the PASCI website.

For more information about the Greeley Scholar activities, please contact Paul_Marion@uml.edu, executive director of Community and Cultural Affairs, UMass Lowell, at 978-934-3107.