Leymah Gbowee-Powerhouse of the 21st Century

Why Leymah Gbowee, women’s rights activist and peace builder does what she does:

“[When people ask me] ‘what is your drive?’ I say anger. Anger and pain propels me into action; results and joy keeps me running.”

On adopting a former sex worker:

“You know how those old ladies always say ‘Jesus will give you money and God will give you money and [you’ll get whatever you need to get but take this one child!’]…[So I said come with me to my office and took her to my car]…I turned to her at one point, stopped the car, turned to her and said, ‘I’m going to be your worst nightmare in your life. I’m gonna invest in you because I believe you can make it. But child, if you even try to go back I will hunt you down in every ghetto and you will be straight by every hook or crook. Have you heard a woman tell you that?…I tell you these stories because this is real life stories, things happening in people’s lives. But until you step out of your comfort zone, until you step out of everything that is happening in your comfortable space, you will never really see or hear.”

I was fortunate enough to see Nobel Peace Prize laureate Leymah Gbowee, the Liberian peace activist who helped end her country’s civil war through a women’s peace movement, at the Texas Conference for Women last week. And lucky for the world, her speech is recorded for all to see, hear, and be inspired to realize that “this fight is possible.”

She is a wonderful, powerful, speaker. It was an honor to be in her presence.


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