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Volume 71, Issue 137, Friday, April 28, 2006


Activist set to speak at graduation

Nobel Peace Prize winner to share views at Social Work commencement ceremony May 13

Cougar News Services

The Graduate School of Social Work announced this week the commencement speaker for the May 13 graduation ceremony.

Nobel Peace Laureate Jody Williams will address the graduates at 1 p.m. in the Cullen Performance Hall. 

Approximately 110 students will gradate from the Graduate School of Social Work this semester.

"Social work and social workers must be concerned with the issues of our global community. Jody Williams personifies that," Dean of the College of Social Work Ira Colby said. "It's our greatest privilege to learn from her," he said.

Williams is a distinguished visiting scholar of social work and global justice. She has served on the school's faculty since 2003.

The 1997 Nobel Peace Prize winner is one of 12 female recipients. She was awarded the prize for her work to ban antipersonnel landmines. 

In October 1992, Williams founded the International Campaign to Ban Landmines for which she now serves as the chief strategist and spokesperson. 

The organization includes more than 1,300 non-governmental organizations in 85 countries.

Her work with ICBL, the United Nations and the Red Cross helped to achieve an international treaty banning antipersonnel landmines. 

In recognition of her work, 12 universities and colleges have awarded Williams honorary doctorates. She holds masters degrees in international relations and teaching Spanish and English as a second language. 

Williams is a founding member of PeaceJam, an international service organization. Nobel Peace Laureates work with high school students to advocate peace. The most recent PeaceJam conference was held at UH.

Before founding the ICBL, Williams worked to build awareness about Central American policies and directed humanitarian relief organizations.

Williams has also worked with U.N. officials to raise awareness of the social consequences of armed conflict. 

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