Nobel Laureate to Speak at MU as part of PeaceJam

Rigoberta Menchú Tum, 1992 Nobel Peace Prize laureate, is coming to mid-Missouri. She will give a public talk in Columbia and participate in the Heartland PeaceJam Youth Conference at William Woods University in Fulton.

Her public talk is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Nov. 9 in Memorial Union North, Mark Twain Ballroom, at the University of Missouri-Columbia.

Menchú Tum will speak on “Ending Racism and Violence.” A Guatemalan, Menchú Tum suffered opposition in her native country while working with the Committee of the Peasant Union. She worked to preserve the indigenous culture and rights of her people but in 1981 was forced to flee to Mexico.

She won the Nobel Peace Prize for her work as a peaceful advocate of native Indian rights in Central America, her leadership for indigenous people around the world and her involvement in the women’s rights movement. This year, Menchú Tum also became the first indigenous woman to run for president of Guatemala.

Menchú Tum will be in Fulton Nov. 10 and 11 for the Heartland PeaceJam Youth Conference at William Woods University. High school students from Missouri, Kansas, Illinois, and Oklahoma will be attending the event whose theme is, “Healing Communities Torn by Racism.”

Menchú Tum’s lecture at MU is open to the public with a suggested $5 donation at the door.

The event is co-sponsored by William Woods University, several MU departments (Peace Studies, Center for the Arts and Humanities, English Department, Women’s and Gender Studies, the Center for Religion & the Professions and the Arts and Science Dean’s Office, among others) and Dr. DeSpain’s Skintuition Medical Spa.

For more information, contact Scott Miniea at or (573) 592-1633, or Elaine Lawless at