Introduction of Betty Reardon for the El-Hibri Peace Education Prize

Cora Weiss

President, Hague Appeal for Peace
October 2, 2013

Click here to download a PDF of this publication.

Question: What is a Jewish woman doing nominating an Episcopalian woman for a prize offered by a foundation inspired by Islamic and universal values?

Answer: The right thing.

You will soon discover that Betty Reardon not only believes passionately in diversity, she believes passionately that peace education is the most sustainable way to achieve a culture of peace.

Betty is convinced that students preparing to be teachers and people who are eager to prevent violence in their communities, should learn the methodology of peace education: participation, critical inquiry and reflection, and debate the substance of the issues necessary to achieve democracy and peace.

Betty is gung-ho about insisting that women be at every decision making table, every level of governance and especially in peace making processes.

In fact, Betty was among a small group of women from civil society who sat around the table with women from UNIFEM in 2000, made compromises to arrive at a common position and drafted what became the first and most comprehensive resolution on women, peace and security, unanimously adopted by the Security Council. Security Council Resolution 1325 is now law. International law.

I can’t resist noting my concern about speaking of women as if we were all homogenous.  Virginia Woolf once said that war is not women’s history. She hasn’t been around since the Kosovo bombing, the Libyan bombing, or the threat to send missiles into Syria, all promoted by powerful women. So, we need to talk about peace and justice loving women.

Betty was instrumental in bringing peace educators together to design the Global Campaign for Peace Education, incubated in 1999 by the Hague Appeal for Peace and later turned over to Tony Jenkins who created an online monthly newsletter providing news, views and inspiration to the peace education world.

Indeed, Betty and I have been co-conspirators for many years. For those who may be listening but not present, to conspire means to breathe, and we have been breathing about the same vision of a WWW.  What does that mean? A World Without War.

Betty Reardon has been described as a public intellectual in the service of the common good.

Betty has been my mentor for many years. She is a role model for women, for educators, a role model for friendship and a role model for staying young.

You can read Betty’s bio in your program. Congratulations, Betty, for a very well deserved prestigious award.

Cora Weiss
President, Hague Appeal for Peace
former president, International Peace Bureau
currently the IPB Representative to the UN

Join the Campaign & help us #SpreadPeaceEd!
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