by Robert Bell
Clinton School of Public Service. Free.
UPDATE: This event has been moved to the Statehouse Convention Center.
Liberian social worker and activist Leymah Gbowee has dedicated her life to pursuing peace and advancing women's rights in a nation that was torn apart by a civil war for the better part of 15 years.
Gbowee helped organize the Women in Peacebuilding Network and worked with Christian and Muslim women to protest the war, even taking a page from Lysistrata and threatening a sex strike. She's the central character in the acclaimed 2008 film "Pray the Devil Back to Hell," which documented the peace movement Gbowee and others had waged in the face of years of brutal conflict, much of it at the hands of convicted war criminal and former president Charles Taylor.
But the women's movement in Liberia led directly to the election of the first female president of an African nation, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who, along with Gbowee and Yemeni activist Tawkkol Karman, won the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize.
Gbowee, who has also won many other awards for her peacemaking work, will speak as part of the Clinton School's Kumpuris Lecture Series and will be honored Wednesday at 6 p.m. at Philander Smith College.