Murad was born in the village of Kocho in Sinjar District, Iraq, populated mostly by Yazidi people. Her family, of the Yazidi minority, were farmers. Murad is the founder of Nadia’s Initiative, an organization dedicated to “helping women and children victimized by genocides, mass atrocities, and human trafficking to heal and rebuild their lives and communities”. In 2016, Murad was appointed as the first-ever Goodwill Ambassador for the Dignity of Survivors of Human Trafficking for the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).
“Nobody knows how to sustain vital ecosystems better than the indigenous people who’ve lived there for generations. Yet policies around the world routinely disempower, marginalize or slaughter native people often in the name of progress. In the Amazon the result has been massive deforestation, in turn an enormous driver of global climate change.”
The foster child of a tribal chief, Nelson Mandela began his opposition to South Africa’s government while attending college. He went on to become a lawyer and joined the African National Congress (ANC) in 1944. For two decades he led the fight against apartheid’s racist policies, until he was sentenced to life in prison for sabotage in 1964. The long campaign for his release succeeded in 1990 and the newly legalized ANC elected him their president the next year. His negotiations with President F. W. de Klerk, which won them the 1993 Nobel Peace Prize, led to South Africa’s first multiracial presidential elections in 1994, which Mandela won. He retired in 1999.
Jimmy Carter served as the thirty-ninth president of the United States from 1977 to 1981. His administration’s accomplishments include the peace treaty between Egypt and Israel and the SALT II treaty with the Soviet Union. After leaving the White House, President Carter and his wife, Rosalynn, founded the Atlanta-based Carter Center, a nonprofit organization that works to promote peace, democracy, and human rights. President Carter also teaches Sunday School and is a deacon at the Maranatha Baptist Church. He builds homes one week each year for Habitat for Humanity and is the author of fourteen books.
Born in 1941, Oscar Arias Sanchez studied law and economics in his native Costa Rica, the United States, and England. He began his political career in 1970 in the left-wing National Liberation Party and was elected president of Costa Rica in 1986. He immediately set about working for peace in Central America, bringing the leaders of Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua together for negotiations. Arias won the 1987 Nobel Peace Prize for his continuing efforts to foster democracy and peace among his war-torn neighbors. Since leaving office in 1990, he has continued his work through the Arias Foundation for Peace and Human Progress.