Bayard and John Cobb Peace Lecture

Distinguished thinkers, practitioners, activists, and scholars from diverse backgrounds are invited to give Naropa University’s annual Bayard and John Cobb Peace Lecture.

Cobb Lecture 2016

Witness to Innocence Project: A Journey of Hope, Forgiveness, and Resilience
with Magdaleno "Leno" Rose-Avila

March 9 // 7 p.m.
Nalanda Events Center // 6287 Arapahoe Ave.

$10 // Register

FREE to Naropa University Students, Faculty, Staff, and Alumni with I.D.

Leno is a dreamer, a poet, a human rights activist who believes that we can change the world.

He now serves as Executive Director of Witness to Innocence which is a national organization comprised of exonerated death row Inmates and their families. Together they work to end the death penalty.

In this regard Leno has worked for 30 years to abolish the death penalty working all those years with a team that included Sister Helen Prejean, author of Dead Man Walking, and Dr. Michael Radelet, the world expert on the death penalty and innocence.

Leno is a gifted public speaker bringing his passion for justice and struggle to his stories of the past, present, and a vision of a more just future. He is a published poet having his work in the book LOS CUATRO, Looking For My Wings, and is currently editing a book entitled Driving To The Moon. He also has a wicked and dry sense of humor.

Forgiving the Unforgiveable?
Trauma, Remembering and the Emergence of the Unexpected 

Insights from South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission

Dr. Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela
April 21, 2015

Watch the Cobb Peace Lecture

Dr. Pumla Gobodo-MadikizelaThe Truth and Reconciliation Commission of South Africa (TRC) established a unique platform on which unexpected human moments emerged in the encounter between perpetrators of gross human rights violations and survivors/victims of these human rights abuses.  At the core of the transformative moments that unfold in these encounters is empathy, elicited by the reciprocal expression of remorse in perpetrators, and in forgiving responses by survivors. Drawing on her research on forgiveness, Professor Gobodo-Madikizela will discuss how the expression of emotions and memories, and the exchange of identifications which played out at the TRC created an extraordinary setting of unique and unexpected possibilities, the most significant of which was forgiving what some scholars have described as “the unforgivable.”   

Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela, PhD, is Senior Research Professor in trauma, forgiveness and reconciliation at the University of the Free State, South Africa. She served on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Human Rights Violations Committee; since that time, her research and public engagement have been concerned with the question of transformation in the aftermath of mass trauma and violence. She is the author of numerous articles and books, including the award-winning A Human Being Died that Night: A South African Story of Forgiveness. An international speaker, she has received several prestigious awards for her work. 

Naropa University welcomes participants with disabilities. Please contact Jen Szabo to inquire about accessibility and disability accommodations needed to participate fully in this event.

Seeking a Just Society Symposium Series

Previous Peace Lectures

Prior lectures include: