Sure, Denver hosted the Democratic National Convention in August 2008, filling the town with bold names and high hopes. Still, for sheer exuberance and truly Nobel intentions, it didn't top the tenth anniversary celebration of PeaceJam, which in September 2006 brought a dozen Nobel Peace Prize winners to Denver -- the city where this transformative project designed to create a new generation of young leaders dedicated to peace got its start.
Jody Williams, who won the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize, was among the inspirational leaders at that tenth anniversary event, and she wowed the crowd with both her intensity and accessibility. Now she's coming back, for an appearance that starts at 6:30 p.m. Friday, February 27, at the Central Presbyterian Church, 1660 Sherman Street.
Williams will talk about "Creating True Human Security," a subject she's been passionate about since she was a kid and saw fellow students pick on her deaf brother. Her quest for social justice continued when she opposed the Vietnam War and then fought against U.S. involvement in the civil war in El Salvador. Her passion for causes ultimately became a career, and for two years she worked as coordinator of the Nicaragua-Honduras Education Project, as well as deputy director of Medical Aid for El Salvador.
By 1992, though, Williams had a new mission: coordinating the International Campaign to Ban Landmines. In just over five years, Williams and the ICBL achieved their goal of raising awareness enough to effect an international landmine ban -- an effort that earned Williams and the ICBL the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize.
To date, more than 156 counties have signed the landmine ban treaty. And while Williams is no longer the coordinatopr of the ICBL, she continues to serve as its international ambassador. At the same time, she's heading the Nobel Women's Initiative, which the six living female Nobel Peace laureates started in 2006 -- a special present for PeaceJam's tenth birthday.
Tickets for Williams's talk are $18 in advance, $20 at the door, and $16 with a student ID; all proceeds go to the PeaceJam Foundation. Learn more at www.PeaceJam.org.
For more ways to rock the night and kill the day, go to westword.com/calendar.
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