(EDWARDSVILLE, Ill.) Medea Benjamin, co-founder of Code Pink-a women's initiated grassroots peace and social justice movement and dedicated to ending war in Iraq-will speak at 5 p.m. Thursday, March 6, in the Maple-Dogwood Room on the second floor of the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Morris Center. Benjamin will speak about "Peace Activism as a Way of Life," co-sponsored by SIUE's Women's Studies Program as part of Women's History Month.
Her appearance is the sixth event in a year-long series under the general rubric, "Peace in a Time of War," which has examined ways of addressing conflict nonviolently as well as the human costs of war and violent responses to conflict.
In addition to her work with Code Pink, Benjamin is a co-founder of the international human rights organization, Global Exchange. Described as "one of America's most committed-and most effective-fighters for human rights" by Newsday, Benjamin has distinguished herself as an eloquent and energetic figure in a progressive movement. In June 2005, Benjamin was one of 1,000 women from 140 countries nominated to receive the Nobel Peace Prize collectively, on behalf of the millions of women who do the essential work of peace worldwide.
Benjamin also has led several fact-finding delegations to Iraq and helped establish the Baghdad-based Occupation Watch Center. During the 1990s, she focused on tackling the problem of unfair trade as promoted by the World Trade Organization. Widely credited as the woman who helped place the issue of sweatshops on the national agenda, Benjamin was a key player in the campaign that won a $20 million settlement from 27 U.S. clothing retailers for the use of sweatshop labor in Saipan. She also pushed Starbucks and other companies to start carrying fair trade coffee.
A former economist and nutritionist with the United Nations and World Health Organization, Benjamin is author-editor of eight books, and resides in San Francisco with her husband and two daughters.
The last event in the Peace series will feature Jim McGinnis, of the Institute for Peace and Justice, speaking about "Gandhi, King, and the Challenge of Non-Violence" at 5 p.m. Wednesday, April 16, in the Maple/Dogwood Room of SIUE's Morris University Center. The entire series has been made possible by the Excellence in Undergraduate Education Program, the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and Lovejoy Library.
For more information about Peace Studies at SIUE, contact Denise DeGarmo, (618) 650-3375. For more information about the speaker series, contact Steve Tamari, (618) 650-3967. For more information about Women's Studies and Women's History Month events, contact Professor Mariana Solares, director of the SIUE Women's Studies Program, or Liz Stygar, a Women's Studies graduate assistant, (618) 650-5060, or by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Southern Illinois University Edwardsville is proud to celebrate its 50th Anniversary and first half century of excellence. The University has grown from 1,776 students in 1957 to nearly 13,500 students today. SIUE is a catalyst for the cultural and intellectual vitality and economic development of Southwestern Illinois and the greater St. Louis region.