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International Women’s Peace Colloquium brought together over 170 women
from various religious, ethnic and national backgrounds

International Women Gather at Barry University to Envision Peace

MIAMI SHORES, FL - August 13, 2007-- For those who believe that peace begins with dialogue, there is perhaps no better example than the five women who took the stage Sunday, July 15 at the International Women’s Peace Colloquium, hosted by Barry University. Over 170 women attended the colloquium, held on Barry’s main campus in Miami Shores from Friday, July 13 through Sunday, July 15. The event was co-sponsored by the Dominican Sisters of Adrian, Michigan, Barry University, Miami Shores, and the Center of Concern, Washington, DC.

The Caribbean Muslim, Christian Palestinian, Buddhist human rights activist, Israeli Orthodox Jew and Catholic Iraqi Prioress who spoke in Sunday’s panel were only part of the diversity represented at the recent event. The women in attendance, from various religious, cultural and national backgrounds, came together for the weekend with common goals to envision pathways to a more peaceful world and to build relationships and make connections for ongoing collaboration. The women also made commitments to action on behalf of world peace, not only in their respective cultures, but also within the international community.

Perhaps the most moving moment occurred at the panel discussion. Gwen Ifill, moderator and managing editor of “Washington Week” and senior correspondent for “The News Hour with Jim Lehrer,” both on PBS, served as moderator for the discussion. Each panelist, from the backgrounds described above, was invited to present her perspective on peace, drawing upon her life experiences. Panelists included Tayyibah Taylor, editor-in-chief of Azizah Magazine for Muslim women; Jean Zaru, an active member in Palestine’s struggle for liberation; Anchalee Kurutach, a Thai activist for immigration, refugee and domestic violence reform; Elana Rozenman, founder and director of the Israeli peace-making organization, TRUST; and Sister Marie Therese Hanna, OP, former Prioress of the Dominican Sisters of Mosul, Iraq.

The attendees also benefited from a presentation by Dr. Gertrude Mongella, president of the Pan-African Parliament, who spoke on mutual dependency in our world, and Dr. Mariama Williams, an international economics and trade consultant, who traced the multi-faceted roots of economic injustice and violence. 

Participants also worked towards solutions by creating “action sessions,” ranging in topic from peace and environmental change, to teaching peace in higher education.

In addition to the presentations, dialogues and conversations over meals, the women also participated in a variety of ritualistic celebrations, including a Seminole welcoming ceremony, African songs and dance, Christian and Orthodox Jewish prayers and a Saturday evening classical musical concert.

After three days, the women left with a deepened experience of community and a strong commitment to inspire and facilitate dialogue and actions on behalf of sustained peace in our world.  

“This significant gathering brought women leaders from around the globe to our campus – each one committed to creating peace in our world through respectful dialogue and mutual understanding,” said Barry University President Sister Linda Bevilacqua, OP, PhD. “We were honored to host this historic event. These women were a blessing to us.

“Let us empower our personal and collective strengths,” said event co-founder and Commissioner for Equal Rights of People with Disabilities of Israel, Dina Feldman, “in the hopes of creating meaningful change and bringing hope to at least one more human being”.

Linda Bevilaqua, OP (Adrian)

Linda Bevilaqua, OP is the president of Barry University

International Women's Peace Conference

for more information contact:
Mary Karen McClellan
Director of Communications and Technology 

Dominican Sisters of Adrian
517-266-3490 office


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