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FREE and open to the public.
Note: New start time of 6:00 p.m.
Lied Center for Performing Arts, 301 N 12th St, Lincoln, NE 68508]

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Lecture Archive

Nadia Murad September 17, 2019

Leymah Gbowee October 1, 2019

Farah Pandith October 8, 2019

Nadia Murad portrait
Nadia Murad

Nadia Murad September 17, 2019 - 6:00 p.m.

“From the Front Lines: Human Rights, Sex Trafficking, and the Survival of the Yazidi People”

Nadia Murad, co-recipient of the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize, is a leading advocate for survivors of genocide and sexual violence. Nadia’s peaceful life was savagely interrupted in 2014 when Daesh attacked her homeland in Sinjar—to ethnically cleanse Iraq of all Yazidis. Like many minority groups, the Yazidis have carried the weight of historical persecution. Women, in particular, have suffered much, as they have been, and continue to be victims of sexual violence.

Much of Murad’s advocacy work is focused on meeting with global leaders to raise awareness about Daesh and its genocidal campaign against the Yazidi people. Nadia is the President and Chairman of Nadia’s Initiative which actively works to persuade governments and other organizations to support efforts to rebuild the Yazidi homeland financially.

Leymah Gbowee portrait
Leymah Gbowee

Leymah Gbowee October 1, 2019 - 6:00 p.m.

“Mighty Be Our Powers: Building Women, Building Peace”

2011 Nobel Peace Laureate Leymah Gbowee is a Liberian peace activist, trained social worker and women’s rights advocate.

She currently serves as Executive Director of the Women, Peace and Security Program at Columbia University’s Earth Institute, and is the founder and current President of the Gbowee Peace Foundation Africa, the founding head of the Liberia Reconciliation Initiative, and co-founder and former Executive Director of Women Peace and Security Network Africa (WIPSEN-A). She is also a founding member and former Liberian Coordinator of Women in Peacebuilding Network/West Africa Network for Peacebuilding (WIPNET/WANEP).

Ms. Gbowee’s leadership of the Women of Liberia Mass Action for Peace – which brought together Christian and Muslim women in a nonviolent movement that played a pivotal role in ending Liberia’s civil war in 2003 – is chronicled in her memoir, Mighty Be Our Powers, and in the award-winning documentary, Pray the Devil Back to Hell. She holds an M.A. in Conflict Transformation and a Doctor of Laws honoris causa.

Ms. Gbowee is an advisor for numerous organizations, and has held distinguished fellowships at Barnard College and Union Theological Seminary. She serves as a Sustainable Development Goals Advocate for the United Nations and as a Member of the World Refugee Council. In 2016, she was awarded the Lifetime Africa Achievement Prize for Peace in Africa by the Millennium Excellence Foundation. In 2017, she was selected by the UN Secretary General to serve as a Member of his High Level Advisory Board on Mediation. In 2018, she was appointed to the G7 Gender Equality Advisory Council during Canada's G7 Presidency.

Farah Pandith portrait
Farah Pandith

Farah Pandith October 8, 2019 - 6:00 p.m.

"How We Win: Mobilizing Youth in the Fight Against Violent Extremism”

Farah Pandith is an author, foreign policy strategist, and former diplomat. A world-leading expert and pioneer in countering violent extremism, she is a frequent media commentator and public speaker. She served as a political appointee under Presidents George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama, and most recently she was the first-ever Special Representative to Muslim Communities, serving both Secretaries Hillary Clinton and John Kerry. She has served on the National Security Council, at the U.S. Department of State, and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) in various senior roles. She has also served on the Department of Homeland Security’s Advisory Council, chairing its task force on countering violent extremism. She is a senior fellow with the Future of Diplomacy Project at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at the Harvard Kennedy Schoolas well as an adjunct senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. Pandith divides her time between Washington, D.C.; London; and Cambridge, Massachusetts. Her book is How We Win: How Cutting-Edge Entrepreneurs, Political Visionaries, Enlightened Business Leaders, and Social Media Mavens Can Defeat the Extremist Threat.

Lied Center for Performing Arts, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and the Cooper Foundation

Lectures are streamed online at http://enthompson.unl.edu, and are available on Lincoln City and Education TV channels, and University of Nebraska–Lincoln KRNU radio 90.3 FM.

Pre-talk is delivered by an expert on the topic in the Steinhart Room 30 minutes before each event.

The E.N. Thompson Forum on World Issues is a cooperative project of the Cooper Foundation, Lied Center for Performing Arts, and University of Nebraska-Lincoln. It was established in 1988 with the purpose of bringing a diversity of viewpoints on international and public policy issues to the university and people of Nebraska to promote understanding and encourage debate.