January 3, 2013

Nobel Peace Prize winner Leymah Gbowee to speak at Maine Law

Gbowee led the Women of Liberia Mass Action for Peace, which brought together Christian and Muslim women in a nonviolent movement.

PORTLAND — Leymah Gbowee, an activist and women’s rights advocate who won a Nobel Peace Prize for helping to end civil war in Liberia, will deliver the University of Maine School of Law’s second annual Justice for Women Lecture on March 20.

Gbowee led the Women of Liberia Mass Action for Peace, which brought together Christian and Muslim women in a nonviolent movement. Their efforts helped end the Liberian civil war in 2003 and also contributed to the election of the first female head of state in African history, University of Maine School of Law said in a press release.

Gbowee was awarded the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize, along with Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Tawakel Karman of Yemen. Among her many achievements, Gbowee is founder and president of the Gbowee Peace Foundation Africa, and co-founder and executive director of Women Peace and Security Network Africa. Her work is chronicled in her memoir, “Mighty Be Our Powers,” and in the documentary film, “Pray the Devil Back to Hell.”

The Justice for Women Lecture series is an endowed program that brings speakers to Maine each year to discuss good work and strategies to benefit women and girls, in the developing world and in Maine. The inaugural Justice for Women Lecture was delivered in March 2012 by the Hon. Unity Dow, the first woman to serve as judge on Botswana’s High Court.

“Leymah Gbowee is a dynamic world leader and inspiring speaker,” Peter Pitegoff, dean at Maine Law, said in the press release. “Her life work and values fit well with Maine Law’s goals for the Justice for Women Lecture Series, and we are honored to welcome her to Maine.”

The Justice for Women Lecture is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Wednesday, March 20, at the Abromson Community Education Center, 88 Bedford St., Portland. The event is free and open to the public. Due to limited space,  registration is required. To register, call 207-780-4344 or email mainelaw@maine.edu.

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