Focus on Liberia

Focus on LiberiaJoin us on April 19-20 as we focus on women's leadership in Liberia

On these two evenings we will examine the role women activists played in bringing decades of civil war to an end in Liberia, which is now led by Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the first elected female president in Africa.


April 19th at 4:00 pm:  A reception hosting Abigail Disney and Vivian Lowery Derryk in the Vandenberg Room of the Michigan League.  

April 19th at 5:30 pm:  A free screening of Pray the Devil Back to Hell, with remarks by producer Dr. Abigail Disney, plus a preview of her new project, "Women, War and Peace."  


April 20th at 5:00 pm: An address by Ms. Vivian Lowery Derryck, founder and CEO of the Bridges Institute, on women and politics using Liberia as a case study.

Register for each program at: progevents/programs 



Pray the Devil Back to Hell, featuring remarks by Abigail Disney, producer

Pray the Devil Back to Hell premiered in 2008 and is the winner of the Tribeca Film Festival Award for Best Documentary. Since it’s release, it has also been awarded 15 other documentary film awards. Directed by Gini Reticker and produced by Abigail Disney, it tells the story of the Women of Liberia Mass Action for Peace, a movement that helped bring an end to the long civil war in Libera and helped to bring President Johnson Sirleaf to power. The film features Liberian social worker Leymah Roberta Gbowee, who inspired Christian and Muslim women to work together and demand peace. Thousands of members of the Women of Liberia Mass Action of Peace, dressed in white, staged non-violent protests forcing then-President Charles Taylor to attend peace talks and warring groups to reach a peace agreement. The April 19th screening, at 5:30pm, will feature remarks from producer Abigail Disney who is also founder and president of the Daphne Foundation, which supports grassroots programs in low-income New York City communities. A reception and Q&A session will immediately follow the film.

On April 19th at 4:00 pm there will be a reception to host both Abigail Disney and Vivian Lowery Derryk in the Vanderberg Room of the Michigan League.

Pray the Devil Back to Hell - Movie Screening and Q&A - April 19, 2011 - 5:30pm


Women in Charge: Leadership and Social Action in the Twenty-First Century

Along with the LS&A African Studies Center, CEW is proud to bring Ms. Vivian Lowery Derryck to campus to give an address, Women in Charge: Leadership and Social Action in the Twenty-First Century at 5:00 pm on April 20th. In her talk, Ms. Derryck will discuss the current situation in Liberia to help illustrate a new era in global political leadership–one in which women are rising to the highest political offices. Ms. Derryck’s distinguished career in national and international public affairs include participating as an Inaugural Fellow in Harvard University’s Advanced Leadership Initiative, serving as Assistant Administrator for Africa in the US Agency for International Development, as president of the African-American Institute, and as senior vice president at the Academy for Educational Development. Her presentation will be followed by a reception.

Women in Charge: Leadership and Social Action in the Twenty-First Century - Address by Vivian Lowery Derryck - April 20, 2011 - 5:00pm

CEW is pleased to present this combination of speakers and film exploring recent developments in Liberia. Please join us for both of these free events by registering on the CEW website.

A special thanks to all of the U-M co-sponsors: Office of the Senior Vice Provost, Center for Global Health, Institute for Research on Women and Gender, School of Nursing, LS&A African Studies Center, the Center for Afroamerican and African Studies, and LS&A Women's Studies Department.