Wai Wai Nu, International Award-Winning Burmese Activist
Michigan Theater | 603 East Liberty Street | Ann Arbor, MI 48104
CEW+ Advocacy: Catalysts for Change
Join CEW+ for an inspirational evening featuring graduate student fellowship recipients, recipients of the CEW+Inspire and Carol Hollenshead Awards, and the Christobel Kotelawela Weerasinghe lecture by Wai Wai Nu. Ms. Nu is an international and award-winning Burmese activist who is working for human rights and women’s equality for the Rohingya people in her home country of Myanmar.
Ms. Nu’s lecture will be the culmination of an evening focused on highlighting the applied research of U-M faculty and students engaged in diverse scholarship. Prior to her taking the stage, the Center will award the Carol Hollenshead Award and the inaugural CEW+Inspire Award. This new initiative, CEW+Inspire, is a multifaceted program that aims to expand the vision of what is possible and teach lifelong skills to underserved students, empowering each to make bold and confident choices about their futures.
The Student Fellowship Poster Session will begin at 5:30 pm in the Michigan Theater lobby and the event will begin at 6:00 pm in the main theater. This non-ticketed event is free and open to the public. Visit cew.umich.edu/events/cew-advocacy-catalysts-for-change for more information and to register.
This event is free and open to the public. RSVP requested.
Co-sponsored by Institute for Research on Women and Gender, Center for Southeast Asian Studies, Weiser Center for Emerging Democracies, and Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy.
This event is in honor of Christobel Kotelawela Weerasinghe a lifelong advocate of cross-cultural dialogue and advancement for women. Ms. Weerasinghe passed away on March 29, 2018, leaving a long legacy of creating change. The Christobel Kotelawela Weerasinghe Fund was created by CEW+ Leadership Council Member Emerita Menakka Bailey in honor of her late mother.
Wai Wai Nu is the director and founder of Women Peace Network. Nu was a political prisoner for seven years under the Burmese military government and emerged to serve as a national – and international – voice for Burma’s human rights and democracy movement. In 2012, after seven years as a political prisoner, she was released under a presidential amnesty. Nu was deeply moved by the escalated violence she encountered upon her release from prison. As a result, she formed the Women’s Peace Network, as a platform to build peace and mutual understanding between Myanmar’s different ethnicities and to empower and advocate for the rights of marginalized women in Arakan and Myanmar. Through the Women’s Peace Network she has been campaigning for women’s rights, an end to impunity. Nu has been working to reduce discrimination and hatred among Buddhist and Muslim communities and improve human rights situation of her people Rohingya. Nu has conducted women’s empowerment training, offered legal education seminars, and organized human rights and peacebuilding activities. In 2014, after completion of her law degree, she founded Justice for Women, which operates as a network of female lawyers providing legal consultation and education for the women of Burma. She also organized a campaign – “My Friend Campaign” – with youth from different communities to promote tolerance and to reduce discrimination among diverse groups. In 2016, Nu has founded a Yangon Youth Leadership Center where young people can learn and explore their ideas and promote leadership in social, political and peace-building. She was awarded N-Peace award (peace generation) and selected as a “100 Top Woman” by the BBC in 2014. She was awarded “Democracy Courage Tributes 2015” by World Movement for Democracy. She was also recognized as one of the 100 inspiring women by Salt Magazine and one of the 100 World Thinker 2015 by Foreign Policy Magazine respectively. She was listed as one of the Next Generation Leader in the world by Time Magazine in March 2017. Nu was recently awarded the 2017 Hillary Rodham Clinton Award for Advancing Women in Peace and Security by Georgetown University Institute of Women Peace and Security.