Women in Christian Peacebuilding Movements

Posted on June 29, 2022 by PLT Staff

In her groundbreaking paper, “Women in Christian Peacebuilding Movements,” Meghan Topp Goodwin argues that women’s leadership not only was crucial to the success of the U.S. Civil Rights Movement and to the movement to end the Second Liberian Civil War (1999-2003), but also is necessary for any lasting peace. Goodwin takes as her models the still-underappreciated Rosa Parks and the Nobel Peace Prize-winner Leymah Gbowee. Goodwin laments the sexism that prevented Parks from becoming the spokesperson for the Montgomery Bus Boycott and, by extension perhaps, for the U.S. Civil Rights Movement as a whole:

“[King] believed himself destined to change the course of U.S. history and change it he did. But I add, with the small and often-silenced voice of women in history, whether Rosa Parks might not also have been destined for a more prominent role, whether a more just arc of history might have included Rosa Parks, permitted to speak to [thousands of] people inspired by her leadership just before the leadership of the MIA [Montgomery Improvement Association] was chosen, freed from the oppressive subjugation of her sex at the same time that the nation rose up to break the oppressive shackles of segregation.”

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