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Nobel Peace Summit Draws Students from Near and Far

Students filled the University of Illinois at Chicago Forum hall Monday eagerly awaiting the start of the 12th World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates. Some students traveled for as little as 10 minutes, while others could have referred to their participation as a mini-vacation. Corrie Trice and Abigail Sweeney attend sister schools in Pennsylvania, yet they just met at the summit as they sat rows apart from each other.

Abigail Sweeny. Photo by Elizbeth Buczak

Sweeney, 19, is a freshman at Haverford College in Philadelphia. “Those of us interested in peace, justice and political activism were allowed to apply for tickets, and four were chosen,” she said, adding that she traveled an hour-and-one-half by plane to attend the summit with her teacher and fellow classmates. Sweeney said that if presented with the opportunity to spend time with any Nobel Peace Laureate she would chose former U.S President Jimmy Carter. “He had a really great presidency, but really [I’d like to spend time with] all of them,” she said.

Trice, 29, is a graduate student at the School of Social Work and Social Research at Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania. She said she traveled to the summit because she wanted “to learn more about what the leaders in human resources and national leadership have to say about the human rights violations being done across the world.”

Trice said the Nobel Peace Prize Laureate she would most like to spend time with would be the Jody Williams because she is fascinated with the work Williams has done to ban landmines. It comes as no surprise that her favorite part of Monday’s event was hearing remarks by Williams.

“Her kickoff speech was amazing because it raised a lot of issues I personally had coming to this summit,” said Trice. “She pinpointed how global powers had to realize that they’re also perpetuating a lot of problems with the injustice going on in the world.”

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