Peru State College
font size: - | +
print print
News Release

Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Dr. Shirin Ebadi to speak at Peru State Monday, Feb. 25


(Peru, Neb.) Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Dr. Shirin Ebadi, the first Iranian and the first Muslim woman to win the honor, will speak at Peru State College (PSC) at 7 pm. Monday, Feb. 25 in the College Theatre as part of the institution’s Distinguished Speaker Series. The public is encouraged to attend the free event.

Ebadi’s presentation is titled Iran Awakening: A Story of Revolution and Hope.

As a woman in Iran, Ebadi’s life has paralleled the dramatic changes within her country. Her call for dissent and support for human rights has rung clear during the political and religious upheaval in the Middle East.

Making history as the first woman judge in Iran, Ebadi was stripped of her basic rights by religious revolutionaries, whom she once supported, who declared women unfit to serve as judges. She fought her way back as a human rights lawyer, defending women and children in controversial, politically charged cases. She has been arrested and has been the target of assassination, but through it all, Ebadi has spoken out with quiet bravery on behalf of victims of injustice and discrimination.

Defying government obstacles, Ebadi created one of the first independent, non-governmental human rights organizations in Iran: The Society for the Protection of the Rights of the Child. She is the author of Iran Awakening: One Woman's Journey to Reclaim Her Life and Country and The Golden Age.

A towering figure with a commanding voice that will not be silenced, Ebadi courageously champions democracy and basic human rights for women, children and all individuals. Her influence extends far beyond the borders of her country, inspiring hope that Islam, democracy and all human rights can co-exist despite the challenges faced in these turbulent times.

Peru State established the Distinguished Speaker Series in fall 2010 as part of the college’s commitment to student engagement and success. The intent of the Series is to bring diverse, nationally and internationally recognized speakers to southeast Nebraska to enrich the educational experience of students while also providing surrounding communities opportunities to engage in interesting and relevant topics. Speakers are encouraged to connect with the community in a variety of ways during their visits through classroom discussions, guest lectures, meet and greet receptions, and a keynote address.

Previous guests include former skinhead Frank Meeink, civil rights leader and Little Rock Nine member Minnijean Brown-Trickey, Mahatma Gandhi’s grandson Arun Gandhi, Bawa (Cameroon, Africa) Health Initiative co-founded Dr. Dennis Richardson, Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and author Sonia Nazario, consumer advocate and former Green Party presidential candidate Ralph Nader, and human trafficking activist Somaly Mam. All events are open to the public and free of charge.

Additional information about Peru State’s Distinguished Speaker Series is available at or by contacting Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Affairs Michaela Willis at 402-872-2224 or