Manal Omar, Leadership Academy 2016 volunteer lecturer cherished by The Initiative's students, presented "Women At The Negotiating Table – The Missing Peace in Peacebuilding" at TEDx San Diego. In her brilliant, thought-provoking TEDx talk, Manal describes the need for the peacebuilding community to recognize the central role of women on the front lines of global conflict and resolution. Manal cites women’s intrinsic knowledge of their own communities and their unique ability to embrace fresh perspectives as two important reasons why their presence in peace negotiations are essential to successful outcomes. Manal posits that women must have a fully integrated self-understanding of their own sexuality as a source of power and leadership to be fully effective in those negotiations.
Manal is CEO and Founder of AcrossRedLines, which aims to address the gap in knowledge on sexuality, gender, and intimacy within an Islamic framework. She was an inaugural fellow for Foreign Policy Interrupted and is a 2016 Truman National Security Fellow. She has over 20 years of experience in humanitarian work, conflict resolution, and peace building. She served as the Associate Vice President for the Middle East and Africa Center for the last nine years at the United States Institute of Peace.
"So now, as conflict is on the rise in a brand new form, it's important for the the peacebuilding community to look at change itself - drastically."
- Manal Omar, CEO and Founder of AcrossRedLines