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African Peace Activist Leymah Gbowee Brings Her Story of Courage to UCSB

She talks about she turned her frustration about Liberia's war and corruption into organized action

Liberia has suffered much war and corruption, and it took a strong and determined woman to organize other women to put an end to the war. That woman was Leymah Gbowee, and she told her story to an attentive crowd in UCSB’s Campbell Hall on Sunday in a talk sponsored by UCSB Arts & Lectures.

Gbowee turned her anger and frustration into effective action.

She was critical of the United Nations for its arrogance and ineffectiveness, but she was appreciative of the international efforts that were essential to the success of the peace project.

She has written a book, Mighty Be Our Powers: How Sisterhood, Prayer, and Sex Changed a Nation at War, which was also the title of her talk. The “sex” part had to do with organizing a “sex strike” until peace was won. She likened it to fasting, a denial of worldly pleasures for a higher purpose.

Her work continues with empowering women and working for peace in other African nations through her organization Women Peace and Security Network Africa, among others.

Her work has earned her numerous awards, including the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award.

She emphasized that organizing together is the key to progress.

Robert Bernstein is a local photographer and frequent Noozhawk contributor.

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