Leymah Gbowee spoke earlier at EMU in conjunction with a public showing of the documentary film, "Pray the Devil Back to Hell." Photo by Jim Bishop

Forum to Probe Women’s Peace Efforts

The Center for Justice and Peacebuilding at Eastern Mennonite University is hosting an event, “Women, War and Peace,” 7 p.m. Friday, June 10 in the MainStage Theater of the University Commons.

The program will feature Liberian peace activist Leymah Gbowee and documentary filmmaker Abigail Disney, along with other women from around the world who are involved in peacebuilding in their communities.

A trailer for the five-part documentary series, “Women, War and Peace,” that will air on public television this fall will be shown, and several of the women will reflect on their experiences in a panel discussion, with time for audience questions.

“Women, War & Peace” is PBS’s new five-part, prime-time television special that challenges the conventional wisdom that war and peace are men’s domain. It will debut in October 2011, featuring celebrity narrators such as Matt Damon, Tilda Swinson, Geena Davis and Alfre Woddard. The series reveals that many of today’s conflicts are not fought by nation states and their armies, but rather by informal entities: gangs and warlords using unconventional weapons. Women have become primary targets in these conflicts, but as the series demonstrates,they are also emerging as critical partners in brokering peace.

Abigail Disney is a filmmaker, philanthropist, and scholar, the granddaughter of Roy Disney and grandniece of Walt Disney, co-founders of the Walt Disney Company. Her longtime passion for women’s issues and peace-building culminated in her first film, the powerful feature documentary “Pray the Devil Back to Hell” (Fork Films, 2008), about the women of Liberia who brought peace to their broken nation after decades of destructive civil war and focuses on Leymah Gbowee’s peace activism.

Admission to the program is free. For more information, call 540-432-4979.