The Association for Conflict Resolution is pleased to announce the Keynote Speaker for the 2012 ACR Annual Conference:
Ms. Leymah Gbowee
Joint Winner, 2011 Nobel Peace Prize
Ms. Gbowee is Executive Director, Women Peace and Security Network Africa (WIPSEN-A) and Founder, Women in Peacebuilding Program/West African Network for Peacebuilding
Ms. Gbowee is an internationally known peace activist and women’s advocate. She played a pivotal role in ending the civil war in Liberia by promoting non-violent strategies by mobilizing Christian and Muslim women. Dressed in white, thousands of women staged pray-ins and nonviolent protests demanding reconciliation and the resuscitation of high-level peace talks. The pressure pushed Liberian leader Charles Taylor into exile, and smoothed the path for election of Africa’s first female head of state, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. Documenting these efforts in the Tribeca Film Festival 2008 Best Documentary winner Pray the Devil Back to Hell, Ms. Gbowee demonstrated the power of social cohesion and relationship building in the face of political and social turmoil.
She is a founding member and former coordinator for Women in Peacebuilding/West African Network for Peacebuilding (WIPNET/WANEP). A trained social worker, Ms. Gbowee co-founded the Women Peace and Security Network Africa (WIPSEN-Africa) to promote cross-national peace-building efforts. She helped transform women’s participation as victims in the crucible of war to mobilized armies for peace.
In 2006, Gbowee co-founded the Women Peace and Security Network Africa (WIPSEN-A) to promote cross-national peace-building efforts. By engaging participation from women of different ages, family status, religions and classes, she worked to unify divergent voices to restore relationships, and build social cohesion against civil strife. Gbowee is also a member of the African Feminist Forum, the African Women’s Leadership Network on Sexual and Reproductive Rights, and served as a commissioner-delegate for the Liberian Truth and Reconciliation.
Gbowee travels internationally to speak frankly about the pernicious and devastating effects of war and gender-based violence. She has been featured on many television programs, including Charlie Rose, The Colbert Report, and Amanpour on CNN International. She is also the author of Mighty Be Our Powers: How Sisterhood, Prayer, and Sex Changed a Nation at War.
Gbowee earned her Master’s degree in Conflict Transformation from the Center for Justice and Peacebuilding at Eastern Mennonite University in Harrisonburg, Virginia. She lives in Ghana, and is the proud mother of six children.
To stay up to date with information about the ACR Annual Conference, visit www.acrnet.org/annual2012