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Renowned peacebuilder and EMU alumna back on campus

Posted on October 19th, 2009

“Pray the Devil Back to Hell,” a gripping film account of a group of brave and visionary women who demanded peace for the African nation of Liberia, will be shown 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 22 in Lehman Auditorium.

CJP alum Leymah Gbowee Their leader, Leymah Gbowee, who organized the women and succeeded in pressuring those at the negotiating table to come to agreement to end the long, brutal war, will speak and answer questions following the film showing.

The film is directed by Emmy-winning and Academy Award nominated filmmaker Gini Reticker and produced by Abigail Disney. It premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2008, where it won “Best Documentary Feature.” Nobel Peace Prize winner Desmond Tutu calls the film “inspiring, uplifting and a call to action for all of us.”

The film went on to win several other honors, including the Gabriel Award from the Catholic Academy for Communication Arts Professionals. The Liberian women in the film from the Mass Action Campaign for Peace have received both a John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage award and Gruber Women’s Rights Prize this year.

A leader in Liberia, Gbowee organized hundreds of women to protest the civil war. In the midst of her campaign, she attended EMU’s Summer Peacebuilding Institute (SPI). She later earned her MA degree in conflict transformation from EMU’s Center for Justice and Peacebuilding, graduating in 2007.

She now heads Women Peace and Security Network in Ghana, offering training and counsel to women all over Africa. She has been featured on national news shows, including “Bill Moyers Journal” and “The Colbert Report.”

The program is sponsored by the Center for Justice and Peacebuilding, and admission is free. For more information, call 432-4581.

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