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International IPJ Women PeaceMakers Arrive

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The ninth cohort of the Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace & Justice’s award-winning Women PeaceMakers program arrived at the University of San Diego this week.

The newest group of four international women peacemakers, which brings the total number of program participants to 36, comes to San Diego with a wealth of life experiences and stories about their peacekeeping work that they will share during the next eight weeks.

Wahu Kaara (pictured, top left) is a democracy and anti-debt activist and educator from Kenya; Rashad Zaydan (pictured, bottom right) is a pharmacist who healed the wounded and now supports widows and orphans in Iraq; Claudette Werleigh(pictured, bottom left) was the first female prime minister of Haiti and recent secretary general of Pax Christi International; and Manjula Pradeep (pictured, top right) is an “untouchable” lawyer and human rights leader who is combating gender and caste discrimination in India.

There will be several opportunities to meet the Women PeaceMakers and hear their personal stories, observations and commentary. The first free public event on campus takes place in a 7 p.m. panel discussion with all four women on Thursday, Sept. 29 in the IPJ Theatre.

Individual, one-hour conversations with the Women PeaceMakers will be spread out over four weekdays from 1-2 p.m. in October. Kenya’s Kaara will speak on Tuesday, Oct. 4, India’s Pradeep will talk on Tuesday, Oct. 11, Iraq’s Zaydan discusses her story on Thursday, Oct. 13 and Haiti’s Werleigh speaks on Thursday, Oct. 20.

In addition to their speaking appearances, the Women PeaceMakers are partnering with four female Peace Writers — Amy Choi, Bijoyeta Das, Alison Morse and Lyn-Li Torres Pugh — who are assigned to document each woman’s story.

The annual Women PeaceMakers Forum, whose theme this year is “Women, Media, Revolution,” takes place Oct. 5-7 in the IPJ Theatre. This free, open to the public forum, will examine the theme through film screenings, panel discussions with new media and journalists and more. The four Women PeaceMakers and the four Peace Writers will provide a look back at the three-day forum on Friday, Oct. 7 from 3:15-4 p.m.

The Women PeaceMakers program, made possible by a grant from the Fred J. Hansen Foundation, runs through Nov. 5.

— Inside USD staff

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