Friday, March 4, 2011

Nobel Peace Prize Forum

I'm so excited to be headed to this event for this weekend.  Luther College, along with four other colleges of Norwegian heritage in the Upper Midwest, sponsors the Annual Forum in conjunction with the Norwegian Nobel Institute in Oslo. This event is the Nobel Institute’s only such program or academic affiliation outside of Norway. The other sponsoring colleges are Augsburg College, Augustana College (Sioux Falls), Concordia College (Moorhead) and St. Olaf.

Call me crazy but I'm also truly pumped up about the opportunity to drive three hours there and back because there is something simply special about road trips.  I readily blame this quirk on my upbringing because each summer my family we spent two weeks criss-crossing the country in our van, visiting national parks, historical markers and museums, living by the AAA triptick.  And somehow I sense that this weekend will be very special from the time I pull out of the driveway...  
Dr. Shirin Ebadi, Iranian lawyer and human rights activist who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2003 for her significant and pioneering efforts in democracy and human rights, especially for the rights of women and children. She is the first Iranian and the first Muslim woman to receive the prize.
Dr. Eboo Patel, founder and president of the Interfaith Youth Core (IFYC), a Chicago-based institution building the global interfaith youth movement. He was named by U.S. News & World Report as one of America's Best Leaders of 2009 and a nominee for the Nobel Peace Prize.
Dr. Steinar Bryn, Norwegian peace studies specialist and Project Director for the Nansen Dialog Network, which focuses on inter-ethnic dialogue between strategic individuals and groups that have strong influence or decision-making power in deeply divided communities.  Dr. Bryn and the Nansen Dialog Network were nominated for the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize.