Women and Peacebuilding Conference
November 10, 2007   8 AM-5 PM
University of Hartford Gengras Student Union

Registration begins at 8
Event runs until 5 PM

Donn Weinholtz, University of Hartford
weinholtz@hartford.edu 860-768-4186

Mary Lee Morrison, Director Pax Educare, Inc.,
the Connecticut Center for Peace Education
paxeducare@comcast.net 860-231-0445

Conference web site: http://uhaweb.hartford.edu/peaceconf/

"Building Peace: Women Making a Difference" will focus on women’s leadership in peace and conflict resolution initiatives locally, regionally, and internationally. The target audience will be educators, students, community activists and interested others. Students with student IDs are free.

$20 pre-registration; $30 after November 1
For a registration form, click => here

This major conference is funded by a grant from the Women’s Education and Leadership Fund (WELF), a legacy fund of the Hartford College for Women, and will be held at the University of Hartford on November 10, 2007. The aims of the event are to:

  • Highlight the roles women are playing in leading peace and conflict resolution at the local, regional, national and international levels.
  • Build collaborative, working relationships among conference participants that will help move forward women’s peace building initiatives.
  • Illustrate that peacemaking is a real option for average people, as well as for the exceptionally talented.
  • Develop participants’ peacemaking skills for individual action and successful group initiatives through interactive workshops.

The day will feature an international plenary panel of prominent women peacemakers, morning and afternoon workshops, a theatrical performance by HartBeat Ensemble, resources and will include lunch. During the conference a Lifetime Achievement award will be given to New England resident Elise Boulding, sociologist and former Nobel Peace Prize nominee and a co-founder of the International Peace Research Association, whose work in the area of women and peace has been groundbreaking.

Workshops will feature local, grass-roots skill-building and processes designed to empower participants to work toward peace and social change, as well as showcase women’s peacemaking internationally. Topics will include: the media and peace and social change, community organizing, global sustainability, peace and communities of color, art and peace, youth and peace, and empowering individuals for social change.

To download a flyer, click => here

Pax Educare, Inc., the Connecticut Center for Peace Education, located in Hartford, CT, is a co-sponsor. Pax Educare is a resource center whose mission is the promotion of the research, study and teaching of peace.  Several other groups have joined in as affiliates.

Brief biographies of the morning speakers

Mishkat Al Moumin, Women Waging Peace Network

The former minister of the environment in the interim Iraqi government and current Futrell Visiting Scholar at the Environmental Law Institute, Mishkat Al Moumin is a well-known Iraqi lawyer, and a lecturer of human rights in the University of Baghdad’s College of Law. Since Iraq did not previously have a ministry of the environment, Dr. Al Moumin designed its entire structure. In this post, she also developed new environmental law, led campaigns to support Iraqi people living in environmentally dangerous areas, and initiated awareness and cleaning projects. Prior to joining the government, she served as the women’s issues director for the Free Iraq Foundation, where she successfully advocated for women to hold 25 percent of the seats in the new Iraqi parliament. In this role, she also conducted trainings for NGOs and women leaders. In 2004, Dr. Al Moumin worked with the International Federation of Election System as an adviser on the elections in Iraq. Dr. Al Moumin was a lecturer at University of Baghdad College of Law, where she lectured on human rights, fundamental rights, international and constitutional law. Dr. Al Moumin, a scholar at the Middle East Institute in Washington, DC, recently graduated as a Mason fellow at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, where she earned a master’s degree in public administration. Dr. Al Moumin already has a master’s degree and a PhD in public international law from the University of Baghdad. She has published articles in various Arabic newspapers on environmental developments and women’s roles in public life. She has also authored articles on international law and international justice in a number of legal journals. Finally she is the founder and director of Women and Environment Organization that operates in Iraq; and a member of the board of directors in the PATH organization, an international, nonprofit organization that creates sustainable, culturally relevant solutions, enabling communities worldwide to break longstanding cycles of poor health.

Rachel Mayanja, Special Adviser of the Secretary-General on Gender Issues and Advancement of Women, United Nations

Ms. Rachel Mayanja, the Secretary-General’s new Special Adviser on Gender Issues and Advancement of Women, is a long-serving career international civil servant with vast experience in normative, policy and operational work of the United Nations, including peace-building, peace-keeping and inter-agency collaboration.
Ms. Mayanja’s career with the UN started in the Women’s Division shortly after the first World Conference in Mexico in the midst of sensitization of the world to women’s right to equality, development and peace. As Secretary to the drafting committee of the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women, she was actively involved in the establishment of this landmark legal instrument.
Ms. Mayanja actively participated in peace-building and peace-keeping missions and therefore possesses an understanding of the suffering created by conflicts and the challenges facing the UN in such situations. This first hand knowledge is essential in her role as the Secretary-General’s Special Adviser, especially in the area of women, peace and security. Ms Mayanja, a national of Uganda, obtained a law degree from Makarere University, as well as a Master’s Degree in Law from the Harvard University Law School. She has three children

Lina Sidrys Nealon, Initiative for Inclusive Security

Ms. Nealon is a policy specialist and trainer for Initiative for Inclusive Security, a research and advocacy organization that promotes the full participation of all stakeholders - especially women - in peace processes. She has conducted capacity-building workshops for women leaders in government and civil society around various aspects of conflict prevention, resolution, and reconstruction in conflict areas such as Palestine, Afghanistan, and Liberia. In addition to working closely with the Women Waging Peace Network of over 500 women peacebuilders from over 40 countries, Ms. Nealon focuses her efforts on United Nations advocacy work and Liberian women's engagement in security sector reform. Ms. Nealon graduated with honors from the University of Notre Dame, earning a BA in Political Science with a Concentration in International Peace Studies. Lina is an active member of the Lithuanian- American community, specifically mentoring students and engaging them on social justice issues. Along with her husband, Boston bookstore owner Brian Nealon, Lina has organized over 10,000 books to be sent to Liberia and Afghanistan. Lina is fluent in French and Lithuanian Initiative for Inclusive Security.