Chapman University has announced that Nadia Murad, a human rights activist and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, will be the keynote speaker at the university’s 2022 Commencement ceremony. The May 20 event will mark the beginning of Murad’s appointment to a three-year term as a Presidential Fellow at Chapman.
It’s a continuation of Chapman’s connection with Murad that began years ago when students in Professor James Brown’s First-Year Focus Course “Difficult Histories and Critical Theory” and Leadership/Peace Studies course “Critical Discourse, Social Change and Positive Peace” launched talks with Murad via Zoom to hear her story first hand.
Murad was born in the Sinjar District of Iraq and was captured by Islamic State militants in 2014 — as one of more than 6,500 Yazidi women and children taken into slavery. She was later able to escape and was smuggled out of the Islamic State’s territory to a refugee camp in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.
Murad chronicled her story of survival in her book, “The Last Girl: My Story of Captivity, and My Fight Against the Islamic State,” and has since become a leading advocate for both gender equality and survivors of genocide and sexual violence. In 2016, Murad became the first United Nations Goodwill Ambassador for the Dignity of Survivors of Human Trafficking. In 2018, she won the Nobel Peace Prize.
“I am proud to serve as a Presidential Fellow at a university that is dedicated to seeking truth and fostering thoughtful global citizens,” said Nadia Murad. “I was 21 when my village was attacked, and I began my journey as an activist. I hope to educate and inspire Chapman students – many of whom are the age I was then – and impart that they too can make a difference. Together, we can make the world a better place: one where marginalized communities are protected, survivors are supported, and gender equality is the norm.”
Meet Nadia Murad at the following events:
- May 19 at 1 p.m. — Q & A with Wilkinson College Dean Jennifer Keene, followed by a 2 p.m. book signing
- May 19 at 2:30 p.m. — Discussion with Professor Jim Brown’s students
- May 20 at 7 p.m. — Keynote address at Chapman University Commencement
About Chapman University
Founded in 1861, Chapman University is a nationally ranked private university located in Southern California. Chapman is categorized by the Carnegie Classification as an R2 “high research activity” institution and offers personalized education to more than 10,000 undergraduate and graduate students. The campus has produced a Rhodes Scholar, been named a top producer of Fulbright Scholars, and hosts a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, the nation’s oldest and most prestigious honor society. Based in the city of Orange, Chapman also includes the Harry and Diane Rinker Health Science Campus in Irvine. In 2019, the university opened its 11th college, Fowler School of Engineering, in its newest facility, Keck Center for Science and Engineering. Learn more about Chapman University: www.chapman.edu.
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