Nobel Peace Prize Recipient Jody Williams to Speak in Columbia

Nobel Peace Prize winner Jody Williams, known for her fight against landmines, is scheduled to speak in Columbia in April.

Her talk, “Individuals Can Make a Difference,” will be at 7:30 p.m. April 13 in Ellis Library Auditorium on the University of Missouri campus. Co-sponsored by MU and William Woods University, the speech is free and open to the public.

Internationally recognized as a powerful and eloquent speaker, Williams encourages people to take action against world problems and see the difference one person can make.

As the chief strategist for the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, Williams successfully convinced 135 countries and more than 1,000 non-governmental organizations from more than 60 countries to support the campaign. In 1997 she became only the 10th woman in history to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

She has also worked to build public awareness about U.S. policy toward Central America. She worked with Medical Aid for El Salvador, Nicaragua-Honduras Education Project and taught Spanish and English as a Second Language in Mexico, the U.S. and the United Kingdom.

Recently, Williams was appointed by the United Nations to lead a team of investigators to survey and assess the growing violence and brutality of Darfur where more than 200,000 people have been killed and 2.5 million have fled their homes since 2003 when Janjaweed militia and ethnic African groups began fighting.

Williams will be in mid-Missouri for the Heartland Region PeaceJam Conference at William Woods University April 14 and 15. PeaceJam is a year-long international education program that allows high school students to personally work with a Nobel Peace Prize recipient and to understand the importance of peace and the strength of one. About 250 students are expected to attend the two-day event.