September 10, 2019

Human rights activist Murad to open E.N. Thompson series

Nadia Murad

Nadia Murad

Human rights activist Nadia Murad will present “From the Front Lines: Human Rights, Sex Trafficking and the Survival of the Yazidi People” at 6 p.m. Sept. 17 at the Lied Center for Performing Arts.

The free event is the opening lecture in the 2019-20 E.N. Thompson Forum on World Issues. To order tickets, click here or call the Lied Center box office at 402-472-4747. The forum is general admission, with seating on a first-come, first-served basis.

Murad, co-recipient of the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize, is a leading advocate for survivors of sexual violence and genocide. Her life was brutally interrupted in 2014 when ISIS attacked her village in northern Iraq, killing 600 Yazidi men, including several of her family members. Murad and other young women were taken prisoner and subjected to beatings and rape. After three months in captivity, she managed to escape and make it to a refugee camp. Following her escape to Germany, she co-founded Nadia’s Initiative, which works to persuade governments and other organizations to support efforts to rebuild the Yazidi homeland. Murad’s time in captivity is chronicled in “The Last Girl: My Story of Captivity and My Fight Against the Islamic State.” Her work is featured in the documentary “On Her Shoulders.”

Murad’s talk will be translated by Abid Shamdeen, Yazidi activist, co-founder of Nadia’s Initiative and University of Nebraska–Lincoln alumnus.

Stacy Martin, president and CEO of Lutheran Family Services of Nebraska, will give a pre-talk at 5:30 p.m. in the Lied Center’s Steinhart Room. Lutheran Family Services has helped resettle most of the Yazidi population in the state.

The E.N. Thompson series continues with a lecture by Leymah Gbowee, peace activist, social worker and women’s rights advocate, at 6 p.m. Oct. 1. It ends with a talk by Farah Pandith, a world-leading expert and pioneer in countering violent extremism, at 6 p.m. Oct. 8. A pre-talk will take place 30 minutes before both lectures in the Steinhart Room. Free tickets are available from the Lied Center.

Events are streamed on the Thompson Forum website. All events will also be livestreamed on NET, LNKTV City and LNKTV Education. The Sept. 17 and Oct. 1 events will be broadcast on ALLO channel 23, Charter Spectrum 1303 and Windstream Kinetic 1080. The Oct. 8 event will be available live on ALLO channel 2, Charter Spectrum 1300 and Windstream Kinetic 1005. All events will also be accessible on campus channel 4 and KRNU radio 90.3 FM. All talks are interpreted for people who are deaf and hard of hearing.

The E.N. Thompson Forum on World Issues is a cooperative project of the Cooper Foundation, Lied Center and the university. It was established in 1988 with the purpose of bringing a diversity of viewpoints on international and public policy issues to the university and people of Nebraska to promote understanding and encourage discussion.