Soundout

Posted on 12 Jul 2007 at 8:11pm
By Ben Briscoe

5 questions with Grace McFerrin



Grace McFerrin is one of more than 30 conference coordinators at the 3rd International Women’s Peace Conference. The conference has been going on since Tuesday, July 10. It runs through Sunday morning, July 15. Highlighting the event are presentations by three of the world’s seven female Nobel Peace Prize winners. It is being held at the Adam’s Mark Hotel in downtown Dallas. Registration is still open in person at the conference. The cost is $50 per day. For more information, visit www.womenspeaceconference.org.

How did you get involved with this event?
I have always been interested in promoting peace and being opposed to war. And the chairperson of the conference goes to my church. So when she recruited some of us to help, I was anxious to get on board.

What is the goal of the conference?
We are trying to find ways to end war, poverty and human rights abuses with the typical marches against war. We have people from all over the world here that are busy coming up with plans for individuals to do to help make the world a better place.

What is the role of women in promoting peace?
I hate to say this, but for years, men have ruled the world. They organize, they lead, they run it all. And look where that has gotten us. Wars still go on. Gosh, that was harsh sounding, but it’s true. Women can provide a fresh prospective to help change that. We have more emotions and are more sensitive. We are better able to mediate problems. And we are more likely to make this a personal issue.

What are you going to do on a personal level to promote peace?
I will definitely be telling all of my friends about what I learned at this conference. I will be encouraging them to go out and vote and be activists so we can help change the laws. My personal passion is the inclusion of immigrants to the U.S. I will continue to be a champion for them. I’m a school teacher and so many people get mad about illegal immigrants getting an education. I just don’t understand it. I hope we can get to the point where we no longer see them as illegal, but as people who add to our culture, economy and general way of life.

What would you tell someone on the fence about coming to the conference this weekend?
It’s expensive and some have to work, but it is one of the most inspiring things I have ever seen. It not just the Noble Peace Prize winners and the other keynote speakers; it is meeting the other women from around the world who want change for the better.

Soundout is a weekly column featuring people whose jobs and interests have an impact on the daily lives of members of the LGBT community. It features those who often go unnoticed by the press and community. If you’d like to recommend someone to cover in this column, contact staff writer Ben Briscoe at briscoedallasvoice.com.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition July 13, 2007

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