Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson Hosts the Annual “A World of Woman for World Peace” Conference in Dallas
Hundreds gathered for the 2016 “A World of Women for World Peace” conference
Dallas, TX - (Saturday, April 30, 2016) - Today, Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson hosted the annual “A World of Women for World Peace” Conference in Dallas, Texas at the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center.
“The concept of peace and conflict resolution is crucial to me,” Congresswoman Johnson told the more than 200 people in attendance. “After the events of September 11th 2001, I saw a magazine cover that had a picture of two boys from Liberia who were 12 and 14 years old all dressed in war gear with machine guns. I have two grandsons who were their age and I knew that I had to rally women to do something about war and conflict. Women are natural peace-builders and it has been women who have driven the peace movement around the world."
This year’s conference theme was: Women, World Peace and Security. The conference was moderated by peace-building trainer, Ms. Robyn Short and featured a panel of 3 dynamic women who are peace activists from both North Texas and Africa. The first panelist was Nikiya Natale, the immigration attorney for Refugee Services of Texas in Dallas. Ms. Natale manages a program that focuses on immigration issues facing refugees.
The second panelist was Ms. Mu Naw Di, the vice chair of the Youth Commission in Dallas. Ms. Naw Di was born in a small village in Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, during the midst of the country’s long waging civil war. She now focuses her efforts on the Youth Commission to identify programs and services needed in the community and promote civic engagement among youth.
The final panelist and keynote speaker was Sister Rosemary Nyirumbe of Gulu, Uganda. She is a nun and peace activist that has gained international recognition by helping thousands of young girls that have fled captivity from rebels in Uganda. Sister Rosemary’s work as the director of the St. Monica’s Girls Tailoring Centre, in Gulu led to TIME magazine recognizing her as one of the “100 Most Influential People’ in the world in 2014. “It is difficult for me to talk about peace, but I believe that we can bring about peace if each woman in the world works towards that goal,” Sister Rosemary said during her keynote address. “We must learn to love those who have been victims of violence. If we really want to be peace-builders we must be present in the lives of those who experience violence."
Congresswoman Johnson began “A World of Women for World Peace” in 2001 to bring greater visibility to the women who are victims of war and aggression, and the women who facilitate peacemaking, peacekeeping and peace building activities in their communities. It is her firm belief that the burden of peacemaking and peace building must be a shared responsibility that encompasses all, regardless of race, class, gender and religion. We must look at the human and economic costs of war to realize just how urgently we need to actively pursue peace. The costs of war cannot merely be measured with statistics. In fact, the real faces of war are torn and displaced communities, women suffering the ravages of rape and widowhood, children with missing limbs and orphans without the hope of education and healthcare.
U.S. Representative Eddie Bernice Johnson is the ranking member of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology and the highest-ranking Texan on the House Committee on Transportation & Infrastructure. She represents the 30th Congressional District of Texas, which includes Downtown Dallas, Fair Park, Kessler Park, Old East Dallas, Pleasant Grove, South Dallas & South Oak Cliff; all of Cedar Hill, DeSoto, Duncanville, Hutchins, Lancaster & Wilmer and parts of Ferris, Glenn Heights, South Grand Prairie, Oak Lawn, Ovilla, Uptown/Victory Park and West Dallas.