Nobel Peace Prize winner Leymah Gbowee on campus

Photo by Michael Angelo for Wonderland

Leymah Gbowee, who shared the Nobel Peace Prize in 2011 for her work that brought an end to the Second Liberian Civil War, will speak in the Lory Student Center Grand Ballroom on March 6 at 6 p.m. She will be on the Colorado State University campus in observance of International Women’s Day.

The presentation is free and open to the public, but tickets are required. Reserve online at

Gbowee shared the peace prize with fellow Liberian Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who was subsequently elected Africa’s first female head of state, and Yemen native Tawakkol Karman.

“We are so excited and honored to have Leymah Gbowee come to Colorado State University as our Spring Distinguished Speaker,” said Shauna DeLuca, assistant director of the Office of International programs. “She is an extraordinary and influential global thought leader and women’s rights advocate, with an important message of peace to share.”

Gbowee was born in central Liberia in 1972 and was living with her parents and sisters in the nation’s capital, Monrovia, when the civil war erupted. Witnessing the effects of war on Liberians, she decided to train as a trauma counsellor to treat former child soldiers.

A second civil war broke out in 1999. Responding to the conflict, Gbowee mobilized an interreligious coalition of Christian and Muslim women and organized the Women of Liberia Mass Action for Peace movement. Through her leadership, thousands of women staged pray-ins and nonviolent protests demanding reconciliation and the resuscitation of high-level peace talks.

Gbowee demonstrated the power of social cohesion and relationship-building in the face of political unrest and social turmoil, efforts documented in the Tribeca Film Festival 2008 award winner Pray the Devil Back to Hell.

She is the founder and president of the Gbowee Peace Foundation Africa, which provides educational and leadership opportunities to girls, women and youth in West Africa, and a co-founder of the Women Peace and Security Network Africa. Gbowee is also the proud mother of six children.

For more information, go to the Office of International Programs website.

The Spring 2017 Distinguished Speaker event is sponsored by the CSU Office of International Programs, the Office of the President, Colorado School of Public Health at CSU, KUNC-FM, Associated Students of CSU, Residence Life, First National Bank, Vice President for University Operations, Student Leadership, Involvement & Community Engagement, and the School of Global Environmental Sustainability.