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Nobel Peace Prize Winner SpeechMarch 21, 2015 11:00 AM - 1:00 PMDana Auditorium
Queens University of Charlotte is proud to host Nobel Peace Prize laureate Leymah Gbowee for a conversation about her story from grassroots to winning the Nobel Peace Prize on Queens' campus.
After the Liberian civil war, Gbowee led the Liberian Mass Action for Peace, a coalition of Christian and Muslim women advocating for peace and women rights. She was drawn to Charlotte when she heard of a story about a mission-driven, passionate little girl named Mongais Fankam. The 11 year-old started going on mission trips to Cameroon with her mother at the age of 3. She was struck by the fact that the children in Cameroon had no backpacks, and carried their books to school in plastic bags. This motivated Mongai to create No Backpack Day at Blythe Elementary School Huntersville. Students generate awareness by carrying their books to school and raise support by conducting a backpack and school supply drive for the children in Cameroon. Now, close to 30 schools participates in No Backpack Day and more than 5000 backpacks filled with supplies have been sent to Cameroon, Liberia and Sierra Leone.
Mongais' initiative earned the attention of the Nobel Peace Prize winner. Now Gbowee is coming to Queens to visit, speak and help spread the success of No Backpack Day.
No Backpack Day is sponsored by A Place for Hope, a local non-profit Cofounded by Abong Fankam, Mongais' mother. Queens partnered with A Place for Hope to make the event possible.
Fankam's mission-driven efforts and selfless spirit embody the Queens motto, not to be served, but to serve.