29 October 2015 – The speakers of the Nairobi Peace Talks, to be held on 12 November 2015 at 16:00 local time (GMT+3), include people from across Kenya who are committed to peace. They will share their personal stories, and show how everyone can contribute to peace. The speakers include:
Ikal Angelei is an environmental activist. She is co-founder and Director of Friends of Lake Turkana, a grassroots organization that seeks to foster social, economic and environmental justice in the Lake Turkana Basin. In 2012 she was awarded the Goldman Environmental Prize, particularly for campaigning against the environmental consequences of the Gilgel Gibe III Dam on behalf of Northern Kenyan indigenous communities.
Nardos Bekele-Thomas is the Resident Representative of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Resident Coordinator of the United Nations system in Kenya. Nardos leads and coordinates the United Nations’ efforts to support the Government in creating and sustaining an enabling environment for the promotion of human rights, good governance and the improvement of the quality of life and the well-being of the people of Kenya by reducing poverty, with a particular focus on the most vulnerable groups and regions.
Abbas Gullet is Secretary General of the Kenyan Red Cross Society. Under Abbas, the timely interventions of the Kenya Red Cross have earned it recognition as one of the best performing National Red Cross Societies globally. Abbas was the first African Deputy Secretary-General of the International Federation of the Red Cross (IFRC), but he chose to return to lead the Kenya Red Cross. His personal leadership in emergencies and humanitarian situations has made him one of Kenya’s most recognizable faces. In 2007 he was named “UN in Kenya Person of the Year”.
Yusuf Hassan is a Kenyan diplomat, journalist and serving Member of Parliament. He began his career as a journalist, working for Kenyan and international news agencies before joining the UN. Hassan was elected to the Kenyan Parliament in 2011. In 2012, he was wounded in a grenade attack in Nairobi and was re-elected while recuperating in hospital. He continues to advocate relentlessly for tolerance, human rights, social justice and equality.
Francis Kariuki, known as ‘The Tweeting Chief’, has captured national and international attention for his use of Twitter as a tool for community policing and neighbourhood watch, reporting and preventing crimes. He also uses Twitter to send messages of hope and peace.
Selline Korir is founder of the Rural Women Peace Link (RWPL), a network of grassroots women’s organizations operating in areas affected by armed conflicts in western parts of Kenya. Selline has worked for many years in different rural parts of Kenya, empowering women and girls to become active citizens and agents of change.
Josephine Kulea is the Founder and President of Samburu Girls Foundation (SGF). She is a courageous activist addressing harmful cultural practices facing children in the pastoralist communities in Northern Kenya. Her tremendous work has been rewarded with numerous awards, and it has been recognized widely, including by President Obama.
Solomon Muyundo, better known as “Solo 7,” is a grassroots artist from Kibera, Kenya’s largest slum. During the 2008 post-election violence he started to paint murals delivering messages of peace in public spaces. Solomon estimates that he’s painted his street art in more than 4000 locations around Kibera on bridges, fences, and buildings.
Geofrey Odongo was elected Vice Chair of the Children’s Government of the National Children’s Government of Kenya by pupil representatives from all of Kenya’s 47 Counties. Under the leadership of Godfrey and his fellow members, the Children’s Government has focused on a campaign to fully ratify the Convention on the Rights of the Child; education and nutrition; and even encouraging older youths to break free of the long held belief that only white collar jobs count for a decent living.
Juliani was born and raised in the low-income Dandora neighbourhood of Nairobi. He is a popular hip-hop musician known for his socially conscious lyrics, with themes that mainly focus on social, spiritual and political emancipation and the dream of a united Kenyan nation.
Zarina Patel is an author, human rights activist and environmentalist. Famous for almost single-handedly saving the public Jeevanjee Gardens in Nairobi from land grabbers in 1991, Zarina is a founding member of the Asian African Heritage Trust and was a member of the Ufungamano initiative for Constitutional Change in Kenya. She has authored three books and is currently managing editor of AwaaZ magazine.
For full biographies of the speakers, click here.
Victoria Rubadiri, a news anchor for NTV Kenya, will moderate the event.
Afrizo, a band that combine English, Swahili and other African languages in to their dance and story-telling performances, and Sarabi, who use a musical fusion of East African rhythms, Afro Beat, rock and reggae, will provide music for the event.
Claudia Meier will provide graphic design during the event. Claudia is a peacebuilder with a passion for photography, process facilitation and all things visual. Since March 2014, she has been Interpeace’s Rwanda and Burundi Programme Officer. As a self-taught graphic recorder, Claudia illustrated Build Peace 2015, an international conference on technology in peacebuilding, and is part of the organizing team for Build Peace 2016.
Nairobi Peace Talks 12 November 2015 16:00-18:00 local time (GMT+3)
ABOUT THE PEACE TALKS The Nairobi Peace Talks will be held on 12 November 2015 at the United Nations Office at Nairobi (UNON). Organized under the theme ‘I Contribute to Peace’, the event aims to inspire broad reflection on how everyone has a role to play in promoting peace. The event is organized by Interpeace and the National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) with the generous support of the Embassy of Switzerland in Kenya.
This event will mark the first time the Peace Talks are held in Kenya. Speakers from all over the country, and coming from diverse backgrounds, will share their personal stories and experiences, demonstrating their commitment to peace. The Nairobi Peace Talks will highlight how every individual can contribute to peace in their own unique way, such as by building bridges between communities and pursuing mutual understanding.
Due to limited space at the venue, attendance is by invitation only.
The Nairobi Peace Talks will however be filmed and made available on the website. The event will also be webcast live here.