Darfur social activist to speak at Villanova
VILLANOVA Darfur native Hawa Abdallah Mohammed Salih said she endured beatings and rape while spending time in state prison as she stood up for the rights of her fellow citizens left homeless by civil war.
On Wednesday, the human-rights activist will be the featured speaker at Villanova University's Spotlight on Leadership & Diversity Lecture at 4:30 p.m. in the Villanova Room of the Connelly Center.
As a youngster in 2003, Salih fled her north Darfur village to escape fighting between the rebels and government forces. She then spent much of her young adulthood in Abu Shouk, a large camp for as many as 80,000 internally displaced people. There, she became outspoken on the issue of the widespread sexual assaults on women.
Salih received the U.S. Secretary of State's International Women of Courage Award in 2012 for her advocacy of internally displaced people in Darfur.
"Hawa exemplifies the ideals of servant leadership," said Ralph Gigliotti, assistant director of student development for leadership programs at Villanova.
The event is free and open to the public. Advance registration is required at www.villanovatix.com. - Mari A. Schaefer