November 12, 2008
Webster University To Host Former Sierra Leone Child Soldier Ishmael Beah
ST. LOUIS, Nov. 12, 2008 — Ishmael Beah, former Sierra Leone child soldier turned internationally recognized author and public speaker, will speak at Webster University, Wednesday, Dec. 3, at 7 p.m. in the University Center Grant Gymnasium, 175 Edgar Road. The event is free and open to the public. Doors will open at 6 p.m. A book signing will follow. The event will be held in conjunction with Webster University’s 2008 Year of International Human Rights and is sponsored by the Webster University Multicultural Center, the International Student Affairs Department and the College of Arts & Sciences.
Beah wrote “A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier,” a nationally acclaimed book and this year’s selected text for all Webster University fall freshmen seminar classes. Beah’s book recounts his experiences as a young boy, fleeing attacking rebels, witnessing unimaginable brutality and being forced into the army. He explains how, given his life circumstances, he evolved from being a gentle boy, to a brutal soldier committing terrible acts, and ultimately to a more civilized person showing goodness, courage and forgiveness.
In his remarks, Beah will speak about his experiences and of the plight of many children who are denied a childhood and forced to carry arms around the world. Beah has spoken widely on the plight of child soldiers and children affected by war around the world, on behalf of UNICEF, Human Rights Watch, and United Nations Secretary General’s Office for Children and Armed Conflict. He has spoken at the United Nations General Assembly, before the Council on Foreign Relations, at the Center for Emerging Threats and Opportunities (CETO), and at the Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory on children affected by war. He is also a member of the Human Rights Watch Children’s Rights Division Committee. Beah has been featured on NPR, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, The New York Times, USA Today and Time magazine.
For event information, contact Wenceslaus P’Oryem at 314-246-7658 or email@example.com. Members of the media are encouraged to contact Christine Wells Eason, director, Media Relations, at 314-968-5976 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
With its home campus in St. Louis, Webster University (www.webster.edu) is a worldwide institution committed to delivering high-quality learning experiences that transform students for global citizenship and individual excellence. Founded in 1915, Webster offers undergraduate and graduate degree programs through five schools and colleges, and a global network of more than 100 campuses. Its 20,000-plus student population represents almost 150 nationalities. The University’s core values include excellence in teaching, joining theory and practice, small class sizes, and educating students to be lifelong independent learners, fully prepared to participate in an increasingly international society.
Since opening its first campus overseas in Geneva in 1978, Webster has become a recognized leader and innovator in global education, with an international presence that now includes campuses in London; Vienna; Amsterdam and Leiden, the Netherlands; Shanghai, Shenzhen and Chengdu, China; and Bangkok and Cha-am, Thailand. Webster also has educational partnerships with universities in Mexico and Japan.