Nobel Peace Prize Winner Shirin Ebadi to Speak at Sanford

Shirin Ebadi, the 2003 Nobel Peace Prize winner and Iranian human rights activist, with give the Crown Lecture in Ethics at Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy.  The event will be in the Fleishman Commons at 5:30 pm on April 16, 2012.

Edabi was raised in Tehran and studied law at the University of Tehran.  In 1975, she was the first woman to serve as a judge in Iran, but was demoted to a clerk after the Iranian revolution in 1979.  She became a lawyer, and a high profile human rights activist, especially concerned with the rights of children and women. She taught at the University of Tehran for several years.  In 2001, she was a founding member of the Defenders of Human Rights Center. In 2003, she was the first Muslim and the first Iranian to receive the Nobel Peace Prize.

"From the day I was stripped of my judgeship to the years of doing battle in the revolutionary courts of Tehran, I had repeated one refrain: an interpretation of Islam that is in harmony with equality and democracy is an authentic expression of faith. It is not religion that binds women, but the selective dictates of those who wish them cloistered. That belief, along with the conviction that change in Iran must come peacefully and from within, has underpinned my work," Ebadi wrote in her book, “Iran Awakening: A Memoir of Revolution and Hope.”

There will a reception and book-signing following the talk.  Copies of her most recent book, , “The Golden Cage: Three Brothers, Three Choices, One Destiny” will be available for sale.

The Crown Lecture in Ethics is named for benefactor Lester Crown, and brings speakers to Duke to explore ethical issues in the arts, sciences, medicine, business and other fields. Previous Crown lecturers include Rwandan Paul Rusesabagina, Pulitzer Prize-winning author and conservationist Jared Diamond, science writer Rebecca Skloot, and U.S. Sen. Bill Bradley. The event is co-sponsored by the Duke University Union.