Like the rest of the country, All Ears is reeling from the disturbing events this week at the Capitol Building, so we decided to switch gears away from our planned programming to talk about the impact of this seemingly inevitable burst of political violence. Looking for some perspective from outside U.S. borders, Abby calls her good friend, 2011 Nobel Peace Laureate Leymah Gbowee, who lived through civil and military insurrection in her native Liberia and as an ordinary social worker and grass roots organizer helped to lead her country out of a very dark era. Leymah’s perceptive commentary on the race and gender dynamics at play this week in Washington offers insight into the ways men, white people, and people in power shield themselves from moral responsibility and solution building. Abby and Leymah also talk about the ways women can both perpetuate and break apart conservative coalitions. Leymah insists that faith in the goodness of all people is a necessary ballast to her work as a peace builder, and as someone who has lived through the brutal undoing of a Democracy, her words have resonance for Abby. We hope you find inspiration in Leymah’s words as well.
Leymah Gbowee on Twitter: @LeymahRGbowee
Pray the Devil Back to Hell (Fork Films)
Leymah Gbowee (Nobel Prize biography)
Gbowee Peace Foundation USA
The Washington Post Man who posed at Pelosi desk said in Facebook post that he is prepared for violent death (The Washington Post, 1/7/2021)
The Baltimore Sun What were Liberians thinking? How did Charles Taylor win last month's voting by such a large margin? (The Baltimore Sun, 8/3/1997)