(May 1, 2012)

Students attend World Peace Summit

SHREVEPORT, LA — Five Centenary students along with several alumni attended the 12th World Peace Summit of the Nobel Laureates, April 23-25. The Chicago-held event marks the first time the conference has taken place in North America. Chaired by Mikhail Gorbachev, the Summit featured several luminaries including the Dalai Lama, Jimmy Carter, Lech Walesa, F.W. de Klerk, Ethel Kennedy, and Nobel Peace Prize winner Jody Williams.

Centenary students with Kerry Kennedy
Centenary students with Kerry Kennedy

"I felt a fullness of heart and mind being among so many who had the same vision and honest desire to further social justice around the world," said Centenary Trustee Nancy Word '70. "There was no sense of this country versus that country—we were all there as global citizens to further an understanding of how we can embrace each other and our shared environment for future generations."

Word, a Nobel Woman philanthropist, received tickets to the Summit from PeaceJam, an organization that strives to create young leaders who are committed to positive change. The College paid travel costs for the students who attended: Paul Eugene, Tia Landrum, MK Orsulak, Ellen Orr, and Jordan Ring.

The group is currently putting the finishing touches on a video that they filmed of the experience to show what they expected, what they saw, and how their thought processes have since changed.

"I was truly moved by Jody Williams's words when she explained that changing the world for the better 'is not magic,'" said Jordan Ring, current junior and political science major. "I felt as if she were speaking directly to me."

The World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates ranks among the world's important events in the field of peacemaking, non-violence, and the analysis of conflicts. First held in 1999, the Summit invites Laureates to discuss and consider the problems of the world and its development.