I apologize for my obvious angry rant yesterday. I was a bit shocked at first and then angry. I suppose you could say that I'm mourning the loss of my brother's senses. But I persevere and today is Friday. This month I will feature peace activists from the continent of Africa (I can see a few smiles on you African travelers' faces).
Leymah Gbowee (dates unknown to me) is an African, Liberian-born, peace activist who launched a peace movement that resulted in the end of the Second Liberian Civil War in 2003. This mother of six worked as a trauma counselor aiding child soldiers trained by Charles Taylor, the ruling President of Liberia. Gbowee realized that the only way to end the war was to mobilize the mothers.
In 2002 she organized the group Women of Liberia Mass Action for Peace, where Christian and Muslim women dressed in white (a symbol for peace) would sing, pray, and take part in non-violent protests. The protest worked because they convinced Charles Taylor to attend peace talks in Ghana. Undeterred Gbowee organized a group of women to go to Ghana to stage a silent protest during the talks.
As a result, the war ended. Her work has been featured in the documentary Pray the Devil Back to Hell.
Gbowee continues her work serving as executive director of Women Peace and Security Network Africa.
I read a recent article by her and she is striving to help sex workers in Africa. Many of the women try to escape but they are dragged (literally) back into the life.
Because of Gbowee's courage and finding a peaceful solution to ending conflict, I salute her as my peace activist of the week.