Leymah Gbowee: We’re Hiding Our Humanity behind Our Fear

A post I wrote for the Program on Human Rights and the Global Economy at Northeastern School of Law


By: Nicole Hicks, PHRGE Program Intern and NU Human Services Student

NU Interfaith Keynote 2016 (2)[2]On February 11th, Northeastern’s Center for Spirituality, Dialogue and Service and a host of other campus organization presented Nobel Peace Prize laureate Leymah Gbowee to an overflow crowd at Blackman Auditorium. Ms. Gbowee answered many of the audience’s implicit questions. How does someone look at the way another person is dressed and decide they are a threat? How can someone read a last name or passport cover and decide to hate the individual it belongs to? Watching the world news can leave anyone asking, “how does this happen?”

“Fear,” says Gbowee. Every fear, assumption, or stereotype you have heard builds a thin wall between you and that person or group. Every time you act on the fear, another wall is built, further inhibiting your ability to see that person, and their humanity. “Eventually you do not see the indi­vidual; you see a thing. And because you…

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