2005 Peace Writers
Ozlem Ezer grew up in Istanbul, Turkey and has spent time working with diverse groups and organizations, including with the United Nations Development Programme in Ankara and as a teaching assistant in various universities. With a B.A. in English language and literature, and an M.A. and Ph.D. in progress in women's studies, her area of expertise is on genres in women's life writing as well as women's travel literature since the 17 th century. Currently, she is writing her dissertation, volunteering at a women's shelter, and writing women's stories and interviews for a feminist journal published in Turkish. Ezer enjoys traveling around the world and immersing herself in new cultures, people and languages.
Updated 6/10 - Ezer is a full-time instructor of English as a second language at the Northern Cyprus Campus of the Middle East Technical University. She was recently awarded a post-doctoral fellowship at the Swedish research center GEXcel (Gendering Excellence).
Updated 5/11 - Ezer was recently awarded the Dicle Koğacıoğlu Article Award from Sabancı University's Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences and the Gender and Women's Studies Forum. The aim of the award is to support and motivate young researchers and their research on Turkish society and Turkish culture with gender focus. She was given the honor for her article "Freedom from the Hegemony of 'The One' and 'The Language': Plurality in Biographies," written in Turkish.
Lucia Gbaya-Kanga, of Sierra Leone origin, was raised in Philadelphia and lived in San Diego where she taught composition and literature at City and MiraCosta Colleges. As an author of dramatic poetry, she has performed at various venues in Philadelphia and San Diego. Gbaya-Kanga's work focuses on issues such as fragmentation, displacement, exile, war and relationships between mother and child. She is published in Sunshine Noir (an anthology published by City Works Press) and will have an article published in the upcoming edition of Chain, a literary magazine. She also co-hosts a specialty show "illfonix" on KSDS Jazz 88 and is involved in various projects with community artists, activists and educators.
Updated 6/10 - Gbaya-Kanga lives in Philadelphia and teaches English and writing courses at Moore College of Art & Design and Eastern University's School for Social Change. She is co-editor of the anthology Lavanderia: A Mixed Load of Women, Wash, and Word, (City Works Press, 2009), which won a 2010 San Diego Book Award.
Emiko Noma grew up in northern California and received her master's degree in conflict resolution from Portland State University. Her studies focused on nonviolence and international conflict resolution. She has written for the Peaceworker , a monthly newspaper in Oregon, and recently presented a scholarly paper at a peace conference at the University of Notre Dame. In her undergraduate work, Noma received Bachelor of Arts degrees in English and religious studies from York College. She has traveled extensively throughout Japan, Europe and China.
Maia Woodward was born to a Cypriot mother and British father and grew up in the United Kingdom after her family fled the conflict in Cyprus in 1974. Gaining a master's degree in peace studies from Bradford University, she went on to work with NGOs in Cyprus, the UK, Mexico and the Middle East, before joining the BBC. She has been a freelance journalist focusing on women, conflict and human rights issues, and continues to be moved by the dedication of women globally working for peace.
Updated 6/10 - Woodward lives in Larnaca, Cyprus and is senior communications and advocacy officer for the Middle East and Eastern European Region of World Vision International.