Seton Hall to host Nobel Prize winning activist

The Seton Hall University School of Diplomacy and International Relations will welcome Nobel Peace Prize winner Leymah Gbowee to address students and faculty as this year’s World Leaders Forum speaker.

On Thursday Nov. 20, the Liberian peace and women’s leadership activist will speak on her experience in building the women’s peace movement, which helped bring an end in 2003 to the 14-year-long civil Second Liberian Civil War, the Ebola epidemic and women empowerment.

“Leymah Gbowee is a really great example of servant leadership,” said Elizabeth Halpin, associate dean of external affairs. “This talk will particularly strike a chord with the university mission and serves as a great example to students on how one person can effect change.”

Standing as a beacon of peaceful leadership in a time of turmoil, Gbowee led the Women of Liberia Mass Action for Peace, which was a critical part to the end of Liberia’s civil war. Gbowee encouraged thousands of women to protest in order to reconstitute peace talks and end the war that ravaged the country.

According to Halpin, one of the most interesting protests Gbowee orchestrated was the sex strike. She encouraged women to deny their husbands sex until peace talks could be resumed. As a result of her efforts, the civil war ended and, shortly after, Africa’s first female head of state, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, was elected.

To celebrate the School of Diplomacy’s Peace and Conflict Studies research center, Leymah Gbowee’s appearance at Seton Hall will allow students to hear her experiences first hand and learn what it takes to be an effective leader.

“[Gbowee] has a compelling story to tell that is relevant to what is happening around the world and how our students can change the future all over the world,” Halpin said. “She is a great spokesperson on how women can make a lasting impression and how one person can change the world.”

Tickets to Leymah Gbowee’s presentation are currently available to School of Diplomacy students with a valid University ID on the first floor of McQuaid Hall. Tickets will be available for the Seton Hall community and members of the public on Oct. 6 by visiting WLF2014. A $15 donation is suggested to all attendees.

Erica Szczepaniak can be reached at

Author: Staff Writer

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