A Nobel Laureate based on her work against violence in Northern Ireland, Betty Williams will be on campus December 19 to address students as the 2001 Margo Johnson Lecturer. The title of her lecture is “Creating Safe Havens for the World’s Children.” Betty, along with Mairead Maguire, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1976.
Betty and Mairead founded the Community of Peace People (formerly known as the Northern Ireland Peace Movement), an organization which is still involved in the betterment of life in Northern Ireland. Betty is founder and president of World Centers of Compassion for Children, an organization whose mission is twofold mission. The first is to perceive race, religion, politics and economics in a different light so that these forces do not kill our children or perprtuate hatred and violence generation after generation. The second is to create a strong political voice for children in areas of stress due to war, hunger or social economic, or political upheavel and to respond to their expressed need, materially and emotionally.
Betty serves on the Council of Honor for the United Nations University for Peace in Costa Rica and is a Patron for the International Peace Foundation in Vienna. Betty is also Chair of The Institute for Asian Democracy in Washington, D.C. and Honorary Member of the Club of Budapest.
Betty has been honored with the People’s Peace Prize of Norway, the Schweitzer Medallion for Courage, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Award, the Eleanor Roosevelt Award and the Frank Foundation Child Care International Oliver Award. In 1992, Governor Ann Richards of Texas appointed Betty to the Texas Commission for Children and Youth. In 1995, she was awarded the Rotary Club International “Paul Harris Fellowship,” and the Together for Peace Foundation Peace Building Award.