Give Peace (Week) a chance

Sorell Grow | Staff Reporter |

Starting on Monday, Butler’s campus took steps to becoming a more peaceful place as the Desmond Tutu Center for Peace Reconciliation and Global Justice and Peace and Conflict Studies began hosting their annual Peace Week.

Every day from Oct. 3 to Oct. 10, a different event or activity in relation to peace will occur on campus to educate college students on prominent issues facing the world today.

“Butler does a really good job of supporting our diversity,” first-year Maddie Mann said, “The university touches on important issues that no one else wants to talk about.”

The special guest of Peace Week was Josina Machel, stepdaughter of the late South African president Nelson Mandela. Machel spoke at the Game Changers Forum on campus, hosted by the Desmond Tutu Center and Saving Orphans Through Healthcare and Outreach.The forum’s theme focused on changing the game on violence against women and girls.

One in three women in South Africa are assaulted at some point during their lives and Machel experienced assault herself.

The International Day of the Girl falls one day after Peace Week ends, so most of the week’s focus, especially Monday’s forum, is on empowering women.

Another international figure, Gail Masondo, spoke at the forum. Masondo accentuated the importance of forgiveness and healing in her job as a mentor and counselor for victims of gender-based abuse and trafficking.

The rest of the leaders who spoke at the forum are from different organizations in Indiana, including Indiana University, Indiana Protection Against Trafficked and Abused Humans Task Force and the Victim Services Division for Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller.

According to the Desmond Tutu Center’s website, the forum “provides a unique opportunity to raise awareness of a common problem and to dialogue together as we contribute to solutions,.”

Margaretha Geertsema-Sligh will host a presentation on Thursday called Gender and Media Development: A Look at Internews. The presentation will analyze how citizens are able to participate in the world of public discourse.

“I think it is important to find ways for women to be more involved in the news media so that women’s voices can be heard in important public debates,” Dr. Geertsema-Sligh said.

Peace Week will close on Monday by celebrating the International Day of the Girl, which happens on Tuesday and with a presentation in the Johnson Room called “How Hoosiers Are Working Globally to Empower Women and Girls”.

Representatives from businesses and organizations in Indianapolis will attend and speak on the importance of global engagement, especially regarding equality for women, and why fellow residents of Indiana should take part in the movement towards positive change.