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
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
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
“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
Linda Bevilaqua, OP (Adrian)
Linda Bevilaqua, OP is the president of Barry University
for more information contact:
Mary Karen McClellan
Director of Communications and Technology
Dominican Sisters of Adrian