11 August 2013

Mali's run-off presidential election is underway

The two candidates are Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta (Rally for Mali) and Soumaïla Cissé (URD - Union for the Republic and Democracy). You can follow the voting process for today's polling on Mali Vote 2013, http://malivote.com.

So, here's a little music from the VFOM Mali INdependence Day celebration from 2012. Cheick Hamala Diabate and his band and dancer lit up the VCU Commons Ballroom that night! CHD's full band returns to Richmond on Friday, Sep. 20, to perform for the Women, War and Peace Conference. Special guest artists include Malian griotte Aissata Diabate and local Hotel X sax player, Tim Harding.

This is video one of two. Click the Culture tab above to see both.

10 August 2013

Films on Women, War and Peace Key Portion of Conference

Films on Women, War & Peace

Key Portion of the Women, War and Peace Conference 2013 (Sep. 20-21, 2013)

The conference title is inspired by the 2011 PBS series of films on Women, War and Peace, in particular the documentary film on the women’s peace initiative in Liberia, entitled Pray the Devil Back to Hell. It is the story of Nobel Prize winners Ellen Johnson Sirleaf (current president of Liberia) and Leymah Gbowee (founder of the Gbowee Peace Foundation) who peacefully took on the warlords and the regime of dictator Charles Taylor during a devastating civil war and brought an end to the conflict.

This film will be shown during the conference, and esteemed film producer Abigail Disney will provide the Friday evening keynote address. She will discuss the film itself and the work of the Gbowee Peace Foundation USA. The Foundation facilitates international engagement with the vision and work of Leymah Gbowee and organizations working in Liberia, West Africa, and globally in areas of peace, security, and reconciliation and in the area of girls’ and women’s rights and leadership. See trailers and more about the film here: http://praythedevilbacktohell.com/.

The Liberian Association of Virginia (LAVA) will host a panel on Saturday during which Liberians attending the conference will comment on their own experiences during the Charles Taylor years.

Please join us at the Women, War & Peace Conference 2013 on the 20th and 21st September, 2013. See full conference program and registration details at http://www.vcupeace.net/.