A distinguished Palestinian leader, legislator, activist and scholar who served as a member of the Leadership Committee of the Palestinian delegation to the Middle East peace process beginning with the Madrid Peace Conference in 1991, will be the featured speaker in a Park University “Year of Diversity” event on Monday, Oct. 16. The event starts at 6:30 p.m. at Unity Temple on the Plaza, 707 W. 47th St., Kansas City, Mo. Admission to the discussion is free.
The event will feature a presentation by Hanan Ashrawi, Ph.D., a member of the Palestine Liberation Organization’s Executive Committee, who will speak on “Inclusivity and Diversity: What We Can Learn from Israel and Palestine” and will reflect on 50 years of advocacy.
Ashrawi, who was elected to the Palestinian Legislative Council representing Jerusalem in 1996, became the first woman to hold a seat in the PLO’s Executive Committee in 2009. As a civil society activist, she founded the Independent Commission for Human Rights (1994), MIFTAH – The Palestinian Initiative for the Promotion of Global Dialogue and Democracy (1998) and AMAN – The National Coalition for Accountability and Integrity (1999). Ashrawi serves on the advisory and international boards of several global, regional and local organizations related to human rights, women’s rights, policy formation, peacemaking and nation-building.
In 2016, Ashrawi was honored with the distinguished French decoration Officer of the National Order of the Legion of Honor. She has also received the following recognitions: Mahatma Gandhi International Award for Peace and Reconciliation (2005); Sydney Peace Prize (2003); Olof Palme Prize (2002); International Women of Hope “Bread and Roses” (1999); Jane Addams International Women’s Leadership Award (1996); Pio Manzu Gold Medal Peace Award (1994); and Marissa Bellisario International Peace Award (1992).
Ashrawi has authored several books, articles, poems and short stories on Palestinian politics, culture and literature, including This Side of Peace (Simon & Schuster, 1995). Ashrawi earned a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Medieval and comparative literature from the University of Virginia, and both a Master of Arts degree and Bachelor of Arts degree from American University of Beirut. She has also been recognized with 11 honorary doctorate degrees from universities across the world.