Dawn Engle is the Co-Founder and Executive Director of the non-profit organization, The PeaceJam Foundation, which brings youth together with thirteen Nobel Peace Prize Laureates including the 14th Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu.
Engle has been nominated eight times for the Nobel Peace Prize herself. She is the co-director of the award-winning documentary film, PEACEJAM and co-authored the book, PeaceJam: A Billion Simple Acts of Peace. In addition she directed the award-winning documentary films, 2012: The True Mayan Prophecy and Mayan Renaissance, which is the first in a series of feature length documentaries in PeaceJam’s Nobel Legacy Film Series.
Engle began her career as an economist, working for the U.S. Congress in Washington, D.C. She was the youngest women ever appointed to serve as Chief of Staff to a U.S. Senator. In 1991, she co-founded the Colorado Friends of Tibet, and in 1994, she and artist Ivan Suvanjieff began working together to create the PeaceJam program. Suvanjieff and Engle married in March 2000, with Archbishop Desmond Tutu presiding over the ceremony. In September 2008, the Dalai Lama, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Jody Williams, Shirin Ebadi and six other Nobel Peace Laureates joined together to launch PeaceJam’s Call to Action campaign calling for one billion acts of service and peace by the year 2018.
Dr. Tererai Trent is one of today’s most internationally recognized voices for quality education and women’s empowerment. Distinguished as Oprah Winfrey’s “All-Time Favorite Guest,” Dr. Trent is a scholar, humanitarian, motivational speaker, educator, author, and the founder of Tererai Trent International, which aims to provide quality education in rural Africa.
Rooted in humble beginnings, Dr. Trent grew up in a cattle-herding family in rural Zimbabwe. Despite facing many obstacles, she never lost sight of her dreams for an education. Dr. Trent could not have imagined that her steadfast determination, hard work and belief in her dreams would eventually earn her a prominent global platform with world leaders and international audiences where she leads the global charge in the fight for quality education and women’s rights. Dr. Trent has been a two-time keynote speaker at the UN Global Compact Leaders Summit where she used her growing voice to appeal to international businesses to invest in equal access to quality education. She is currently an adjunct professor in Monitoring & Evaluation in Global Health at Drexel University, School of Public Health.
Her new book, The Awakened Woman: Remembering & Reigniting Our Sacred Dream, published in 2017, has a foreword by Oprah Winfrey and was the Winner of a 2017 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work. Her picture book, The Girl Who Buried Her Dreams in a Can, is based on her story of perseverance, and encourages children to explore their imagination and dream big. Dr. Trent has become a symbol of hope for everyone, and living proof that anything is possible. Her favorite motto is “Tinogona,” meaning, “It is achievable!”
A longtime human rights advocate and former Amnesty International Legal Advisor, Karima Bennoune’s most recent book — published by W.W. Norton & Company — is entitled Your Fatwa Does Not Apply Here: Untold Stories from the Fight Against Muslim Fundamentalism.
The book addresses resistance to fundamentalism in Muslim majority contexts, and is based on interviews she conducted with nearly 300 people in almost 30 countries, including Afghanistan, Egypt, Israel/Palestine, Mali, Niger and Russia. It answers the question often posed in the West: “Where are the Muslims who speak out?” Bennoune finds that they are everywhere – but those who peacefully challenge extremism are not usually given the microphone. Increasingly frustrated with the stagnant, politicized public dialogue about the “clash of civilizations,” Bennoune set out on an epic journey to change the conversation.
Bennoune currently serves as a professor of international law and Martin Luther King, Jr. Research Scholar at the University of California–Davis School of Law. She grew up in Algeria and the United States.
2011 Nobel Peace Laureate Leymah Gbowee is a Liberian peace activist, trained social worker and women’s rights advocate.
She currently serves as Executive Director of the Women, Peace and Security Program at the Earth Institute at Columbia University and is the founder and current President of the Gbowee Peace Foundation Africa, the founding head of the Liberia Reconciliation Initiative, as well as co-founder and former Executive Director of Women Peace and Security Network Africa (WIPSEN-A). She is also a founding member and former Liberian Coordinator of Women in Peacebuilding Network/West Africa Network for Peacebuilding (WIPNET/WANEP). She travels internationally to advocate for human rights and peace & security.
Ms. Gbowee’s leadership of the Women of Liberia Mass Action for Peace – which brought together Christian and Muslim women in a nonviolent movement that played a pivotal role in ending Liberia’s civil war in 2003 – is chronicled in her memoir, Mighty Be Our Powers, and in the award-winning documentary, Pray the Devil Back to Hell. Ms. Gbowee holds an M.A. in Conflict Transformation from Eastern Mennonite University (Harrisonburg, VA), and a Doctor of Laws (LLD) honoris causa from Rhodes University in South Africa and the University of Alberta in Canada.
Ms. Gbowee advises numerous organizations working for peace, women’s rights, youth, and sustainable development, and has held distinguished fellowships at Barnard College and Union Theological Seminary. In 2016, Ms. Gbowee was awarded the Lifetime Africa Achievement Prize (LAAP) for Peace in Africa by the Millennium Excellence Foundation. Ms. Gbowee serves as a Sustainable Development Goals Advocate for the United Nations and as a Member of the World Refugee Council. In 2017, Ms. Gbowee was selected by the United Nations Secretary General to serve as a Member of United Nations Secretary-General’s High Level Advisory Board on Mediation. In 2018, she was appointed to the Gender Equality Advisory Council Secretariat for Canada’s G7 Presidency.
Leymah is the proud mother of eight children.
Robi is the Israeli spokesperson and Director of International Relations for the Parents Circle – Families Forum (PCFF), a group of 600 Israeli and Palestinian families who have lost close family members to the conflict and who work together for reconciliation and a just resolution to the conflict. Robi’s son, David, was killed by a Palestinian sniper in March of 2002 while he was guarding a checkpoint near a settlement during his army reserve service. Since becoming active in the Parents Circle, Robi has spoken around the world, including to thousands of Israelis and Palestinians, to demand that reconciliation be a part of any peace agreement. Robi was named as a 2015 Woman of Impact by Women in the World. In 2014, Robi was selected by the Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice as one of four Women PeaceMakers. She is the protagonist featured in the documentary, One Day after Peace. She regularly contributes to The Forward and Huffington Post, and has spoken at various Women in the World events, Royal Albert Hall with Marcus Mumford, and European, Spanish and Canadian Parliament.