Creating space for transformative conversations

Peace, Pluralism and Gender Equality with Alice Wairimu Nderitu

2017/18 Jack P. Blaney Award for Dialogue

February 20, 2018 to March 8, 2018

Between February 17 and March 3, 2018, SFU’s Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue and Alice Wairimu Nderitu hosted a series of community-engaged events that highlight and build upon the concepts of women in leadership and peacebuilding, human rights and genocide prevention, and multiculturalism and education in conflict prevention. The Jack P. Blaney Award for Dialogue recognizes dialogue in action. It celebrates the extraordinary achievements of individuals who uses dialogue to increase mutual understanding and advance complex public issues.

Alice’s visit was very timely and relevant given Canada’s current focus on Women, Peace and Security agenda and successfully engaged a diverse audience from the public, private and community sectors. Additionally, private meetings with the senior leaders of our government were facilitated to discuss Canada’s role in supporting women on the ground in conflicts. Alice and SFU's Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue staff was also formally recognized by the Speaker of the Senate at the Senate Chamber.

About Alice Wairimu Nderitu

Alice is an armed conflict mediator and Adviser to the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue on Africa. She is a Member of the Women Waging Peace network and the Kenya National Committee on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, War Crimes, Crimes Against Humanity and All Forms of Discrimination. She is also a member of a group of male Elders mediating confidentially between African leaders at the highest levels.

Alice was Commissioner of the National Cohesion and Integration Commission in Kenya, a founder and Co-Chair of Uwiano Platform for Peace, a conflict prevention agency largely credited with leading efforts in ensuring peaceful processes during the 2010 Constitutional referendum and 2013 Kenyan elections.

She is a 2011 Transitional Justice Fellow of the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation and was named a 2012, Woman Peace Maker Of the Year by the Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice, University of San Diego, USA. 

Alice now leads mediation in various States in Nigeria as the first woman to do so. She has mediated processes that resulted in peace agreements signed by 10 ethnic communities in Nakuru, Kenya, 29 ethnic communities in Kaduna State, Nigeria and 56 ethnic communities in Southern Plateau, Nigeria. Alice holds a Masters degree in Armed Conflict and Peace Studies from the University of Nairobi.

For additional info please see The Auschwitz Institute for Peace and Reconciliation for full biography and profile.


February 20, 2018
Award ceremony (SFU Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue)
The biennial Jack P. Blaney Award for Dialogue ceremony took place in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada on February 20, 2018, with remarks by Andrew Petter, President of Simon Fraser University. The board of directors of the university, Ann Giardini, Chancellor of SFU, the Rt. Hon. Joe Clark, former Prime Minister of Canada, as well as distinguished guests, were present.


February 21, 2018
Building Peace and Well-Being Through Education (SFU Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue) 
Presented in partnership with the Dalai Lama Centre for Peace and Education, this event explored issues surrounding Alice’s peacebuilding work – ethnicity, identity, the power of storytelling and the role of education in building strong pluralistic values and well-being.


February 21, 2018
Semester in Dialogue Class visit (SFU Surrey)
Alice visited the current cohort of the Semester in Dialogue students and discussed the complexity of working in an armed conflict environment.


February 22, 2018
Women, Peace and Conflict Prevention (SFU Vancouver)
An intimate group workshop and dialogue with 24 local women with lived experience of armed conflict. This workshop was convened in partnership with Atira Women’s Resource Society, Vancouver Association for Survivors of Torture and Surrey Local Immigration partnership.


February 27, 2018
Book Launch (Ottawa)
In partnership with the Global Centre for Pluralism, this event focused on Alice’s newly published book Bridging ethnic divides and building peace: Lessons from Kenya’s Experience and engaged over 60 academics and civil society. The event explored the lessons that can be learned from Kenya’s experience to inform other conflict-afflicted countries grappling with the challenges of conflict mediation, reconciliation and post-conflict institutional reform.


February 27, 2018
Parliament Reception (Ottawa)
This invitational reception was hosted in partnership with Senator Yuen Pau Woo and engaged over 30 parliamentarians and senators and many civil society organizations.


February 28, 2018
Global Affairs Canada Officer’s event (Ottawa)
Alice spoke to Global Affairs Canada employees about gender aspects of peace processes and mediation, genocide and mass atrocity prevention, and election violence prevention and early warning. This event was chaired by Annik Res Lussier, Deputy Director (Women, Peace and Security)

This meeting was proceeded by a meeting with Larisa Galadza Director General of Peace & Stabilization Operations Program.


March 1, 2018
Ottawa Experts Roundtable (Ottawa)
This roundtable convened more than 30 national and international experts to generate ideas on how to support and protect the capacity of women in conflict and genocide prevention. This roundtable was convened in partnership with Montreal Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies and the Women Peace and Security Network – Canada, under the patronage of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for the Prevention of Genocide and other Crimes against Humanity and the Raoul Wallenberg All-Party Parliamentary Caucus for Human Rights.


March 8, 2018
Equitas Reception “A Woman’s Journey for Human Rights” (Ottawa)
SFU Partnered with Equitas, Canada’s most active and recognized human rights organization, to feature Alice at the Equitas’ Annual Reception on International Women’s Day. The conversation was moderated by Lloyd Robertson, Host and Chief Correspondent of CTV on the 54th floor of the Toronto TD Tower.


The Jack P. Blaney Award for Dialogue is presented to an individual who exemplifies, internationally, the spirit and programs of SFU's Centre for Dialogue. Recipients of the award have demonstrated excellence and accomplishments in using dialogue to further complex issues of public importance.

Experts Roundtable Reports:

Summary Overview 

This one page overview outlines the main strategies and recommendations from the experts roundtable which included representatives from civil society, local organizations, government, and netoworks.  


Full Report

On March 1, 2018, key actors from civil society, government, local organizations and networks gathered for an Experts Roundtable in Ottawa. The objective of the session was to explore strategies for how Canada can best support and protect the capacity of women in the field of conflict and atrocity prevention. Simon Fraser University’s Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue convened the event in partnership with the Montreal Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies (MIGS) at Concordia University, and the Women, Peace and Security Network – Canada, as part of the proceedings for the 2017/18 Jack P. Blaney Award for Dialogue, awarded to Alice Wairimu Nderitu.  

Download Full Report

To request physical copies of the report, please contact Grace Lee at or 778-782-4893.

news media coverage