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Nobel Peace Laureate And Childen’s Advocate Betty Wiliams To Speak At U.Va. Oct. 28

Oct. 22, 1999 -- [Reporters: Betty Williams will be available for interviews from 2-3 p.m. Oct. 28. She will conduct a small private seminar with students, faculty, and community members at 4 p.m. at the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities. Greg Smith, a 10-year-old freshman at Randolph-Macon College in Ashland, who is an activist for non-violence, will attend the workshop and meet with Williams. Contact Amy Campbell if you would like to attend the press session or workshop.]

Betty Williams, whose grassroots crusade for peace in Northern Ireland won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1977, will speak at the University of Virginia at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 28, in McLeod Hall Auditorium. A reception will follow her talk, which is titled "Creating Safe Havens for the World's Children" and sponsored by U.Va.’s Women’s Center.

Williams currently heads the World Centers of Compassion for Children (WCCC), a U.S.-based nonprofit organization she founded that creates safe and nurturing environments for children in areas devastated by war, conflict, and poverty.

A compelling speaker who shows what ordinary people can do to make a difference in the world, she electrified a U.Va. audience last fall when she spoke about human rights at the Nobel Laureates Peace Conference.

Williams is the cofounder of Community of Peace People, a group of Catholics and Protestants who marched and protested against violence in Northern Ireland in the 1970's and helped launch the peace movement in that country.

Today, through a partnership between the WCCC and Peace Jam, an educational outreach and youth empowerment program, Williams also encourages teenagers to act immediately and decisively for the common good. The partnership gives youth the opportunity to work shoulder-to-shoulder with Nobel peace laureates like Williams, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, and the Dalai Lama in community service projects. Young participants learn principles of non-violence and the tenets of peacemaking and are inspired to view themselves as a new generation of peacemakers.

Williams will lead a private workshop for students, faculty and community members interested in peace issues.

Contact: Amy Campbell, (804) 982-2259

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: please contact the Office of University Relations at (804) 924-7116. Television reporters should contact the TV News Office at (804) 924-7550.
SOURCE: U.Va. News Services

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