Abigail Disney Speaks
Posted: October 4, 2012
Documentarian Abigail Disney spoke on campus October 2 as part of the Katharine Howard Miller Endowed Speakers Program. After spending time speaking in classes and meeting with students during dinner, Disney spoke on both her film Pray the Devil Back to Hell and her work as executive producer of the groundbreaking PBS mini-series Women, War & Peace, which reached over 13 million viewers when aired on PBS in 2011.
For Disney, the most rewarding aspect of the film series is ongoing, as women’s groups around the world screen the films for one another. The women identify with each other and discuss what they can do to make peace in their own communities.
Disney further emphasized the importance of involving grassroots organizations – especially women’s organizations – in battling terrorism, economic inequality, and other pressing worldwide issues. She also spoke of her frustration stateside, condemning the tendency of Americans to view war as something far away from themselves even as the United States exports weapons, policy, and mythology that influences war across the globe. She encouraged the crowd to turn to their “own backyard” and begin the fight for peace at home.
Disney ended the talk with a Q & A session, in which she inspired college students to go out into the world with “open ears and open hands,” ready to listen and help others with whatever grabs them, and with the encouraging reminder that change is possible, even within one’s lifetime.
–Ann Mayhew ’13
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