LOWELL, Mass. – Human-rights champion Sanam Naraghi-Anderlini, who works toward ensuring women and girls are safe from violence and included in global peace-building efforts, will visit UMass Lowell in April as the university’s 2016 Greeley Scholar for Peace.

The humanitarian is the co-author of a groundbreaking United Nations mandate that requires warring factions to prevent gender-based violence against women and girls, uphold their rights, include them in peace negotiations and consider their needs during reparations and resettlement. The first UN resolution to specifically mention women, United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 was unanimously adopted in 2000.

Naraghi-Anderlini works with the UN and around the globe to train governments and policy organizations in the peacemaking process. She co-founded and directs the International Civil Society Action Network (ICAN), a nonprofit organization established in 2006 that promotes women’s rights, along with peace and security in countries that are experiencing conflict and that maintain a closed political system.

Naraghi-Anderlini will talk about the challenges of building lasting peace during UMass Lowell’s annual Day Without Violence, a free event on Tuesday, April 5 for the public, students from area schools and the university community.

“We cannot take peace for granted anymore. We need a new, world peace architecture that goes beyond state-to-state relations and deepens its foundations within states, within communities and among people. The challenge of our generation is to ensure social cohesion while celebrating the most pluralistic societies globally in the history of humanity,” she said.

The Day Without Violence event will be held at 12:30 p.m. in UMass Lowell’s O’Leary Library Learning Commons, Room 222, on the university’s South Campus at 61 Wilder St., Lowell. Launched in 1996 to honor the work of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the annual event was created by the Peace Studies Association – of which UMass Lowell is a founding member – and is today observed by more than 100 colleges and universities throughout the United States.

Members of the public interested in more information about Naraghi-Anderlini’s schedule of public events should visit www.uml.edu/Research/PACSI/Day-Without-Violence.aspx or e-mail community@uml.edu.

With her selection as UMass Lowell’s Greeley Scholar, Naraghi-Anderlini joins an esteemed list of human-rights leaders who have also received the honor. Past scholars include 2011 Nobel Peace Prize winner Leymah Gbowee, who organized a peace movement that helped end the Second Liberian Civil War in 2003; Albie Sachs, who fought apartheid in South Africa and became an architect of the country’s democracy; John Prendergast, founder of the Enough Project, which strives to end genocide and crimes against humanity in nations like Sudan; Linda Biehl, who forgave the men who killed her daughter in South Africa and now travels with them to teach restorative justice and reconciliation; author and professor Padraig O’Malley, who works for peace in regions in conflict such as Northern Ireland; and Gavriel Salomon, founder of the Center for Research on Peace Education at the University of Haifa in Israel, who died earlier this year.

Naraghi-Anderlini was chosen for the honor by the Greeley Scholar Advisory Committee, a group of community leaders.

“This year, the Greeley Committee reviewed a long list of very qualified potential scholars. Our charge is to find a distinguished advocate for peace, noted humanitarian, or faith leader who will visit the campus and region to teach and engage in public discussions that advance the cause of peace and justice. An international advocate, researcher, trainer and writer on conflict prevention, the rights of women and the peace-building process, Sanam Naraghi-Anderlini was chosen by a unanimous decision,” said Robert Gamache, who co-directs UMass Lowell’s Peace and Conflict Studies Institute (PACSI) with Imogene Stulken, the university’s campus minister. Gamache is the associate vice president of academic affairs, student affairs and international relations for the University of Massachusetts system and a UMass Lowell professor of environmental, earth and atmospheric sciences.

During her residency at UMass Lowell, Naraghi-Anderlini will teach classes on human rights through the university’s Peace and Conflict Studies Program and will lead other free events throughout the region that will be open to the community.

“A particular beauty of the Greeley Scholar’s visit is that the impact is felt beyond one keynote speech,” Stulken said. “In a time when one-third of women worldwide still experience physical or sexual violence, it is important to welcome Naraghi-Anderlini as a woman whose work specializes in gender – in addition to equality and non-violence – because all are interrelated.”

Naraghi-Anderlini’s visit to UMass Lowell is presented by PACSI, the Peace and Conflict Studies Program, the Political Science Department and the offices of the Provost and University Relations.

The Greeley Scholar for Peace Studies is selected annually in recognition of the honoree’s distinguished humanitarian achievements and ability to effectively promote peace and conflict resolution at the local, regional, national or international level. The honor is named for Rev. Dana McLean Greeley, an internationally respected advocate for peace, human and civil rights, and a longtime Unitarian Universalist minister from Concord. The program is funded by the Greeley Endowment for Peace Studies, established with a gift from the Concord-based Dana McLean Greeley Foundation for Peace and Justice and a contribution from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts via the UMass Foundation.