Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace & Justice Welcomes International Peace Brokers to Campus

Women battling conflict around the world take part in eight-week residency

University of San Diego students don’t have to travel abroad to get a glimpse of life in Bangladesh, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Peru or South Africa. The students simply need to stroll across campus to the Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace & Justice (IPJ) to meet with women from those areas, who have traveled here to tell their stories.

From now through Nov. 1, four women who have fought for peace and justice in their home countries will share their stories through the 2008 Women PeaceMaker’s program. They are Shinjita Alam of Bangladesh, Sylvie Maunga Mbanga of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Zandile Nhlengetwa of South Africa and Olenka Ochoa of Peru. The women were selected for the annual program that allows them to document their stories with the help of professional writers and through video.

This time allows them to share, document and build upon their unique peacemaking stories, an opportunity that is not always possible for these women on the frontline of efforts to end violence.

During the residency, they will speak to USD students through classroom discussions and to the community at large through intimate conversations, detailed below. All events are free and open to the public. No RSVP is required. 

Thursday, Oct. 2, 2008, 12:30 - 2 p.m.
Peace & Justice Theatre
"Uniting Communities Torn Apart by Political Violence"
A Conversation with Woman PeaceMaker Zandile Nhlengetwa from South Africa.
Zandile Nhlengetwa, youth advocate, facilitator, counselor and creator of peacebuilding strategies for communities affected by high levels of violence, will share her story.

Tuesday, Oct. 7, 2008, 12:30 - 2 p.m.
Peace & Justice Theatre
"Combating Violence and Discrimination through Advocacy"
A Conversation with Woman PeaceMaker Olenka Ochoa from Peru.
Olenka Ochoa, political organizer, human rights activist, founder of the first commission of women in her municipality and creator of programs for battered women and at-risk youth, will share her story.

Thursday, Oct. 9, 2008, 12:30 - 2 p.m.
Peace & Justice Theatre
"Empowering Impoverished Women in Marginalized Communities"
A Conversation with Woman PeaceMaker Shinjita Alam from Bangladesh.
Shinjita Alam, activist, mediator, peace educator and creator of regional forums for interfaith dialogue, will share her story.

Tuesday, Oct. 14, 2008, 12:30 - 2 p.m.
Peace & Justice Theatre
"Fighting against Rampant Sexual Violence against Women"
A Conversation with Woman PeaceMaker Sylvie Mbanga Maunga from the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Sylvie Mbanga Maunga, lawyer, counselor, radio correspondent and tireless advocate for victims of sexual violence, will share her story.

For more information on the Women PeaceMaker’s program, and full bios on the participants, go to


About the University of San Diego

The University of San Diego sets the standard for an engaged, contemporary Catholic university where innovative Changemakers confront humanity’s urgent challenges. With more than 8,000 students from 75 countries and 44 states, USD is the youngest independent institution on the U.S. News & World Report list of top 100 universities in the United States. USD’s eight academic divisions include the College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Business, the Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering, the School of Law, the School of Leadership and Education Sciences, the Hahn School of Nursing and Health Science, the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies, and the Division of Professional and Continuing Education. In February 2016, USD launched the public phase of Leading Change: The Campaign for USD, which represents the most ambitious fundraising effort in the history of the university and builds upon the strong philanthropic momentum achieved by USD in recent years. In September 2016, USD introduced Envisioning 2024, a strategic plan that capitalizes on the university’s recent progress and aligns new strategic goals with current strengths to help shape a vision for the future as the university looks ahead to its 75th anniversary in the year 2024.