For release: February 10, 2010
For press information, contact Gabrielle Maxey, 901/678-2843
Nobel laureate Dr. Shirin Ebadi will bring her message of peace and justice to the
University of Memphis on Friday, Feb. 19, at 4 p.m. in the Michael D. Rose Theatre.
The lecture, sponsored by the Student Activities Council, is free and open to the
Dr. Shirin Ebadi
Ebadi is an Iranian lawyer, human rights activist, and founder of Centre for the Defense
of Human Rights in Iran. In 2003 she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for her significant
pioneering efforts for democracy and human rights, especially women’s, children’s,
and refugees’ rights. She was the first Muslim woman and the first Iranian to receive
Born in northwestern Iran in 1947, Ebadi did well in school, and her parents encouraged
her to become a lawyer. When she was only 22, she became the first woman judge in
Iran. While serving as a judge, she continued her education and earned a doctorate
After the overthrow of the shah in 1979, all female judges were dismissed from their
posts and given clerical jobs. Outraged by the situation, Ebadi requested early retirement.
For several years she stayed at home taking care of her two daughters, writing books,
and working to get her job back.
In 1992, after years of trying to regain her job as a judge, Ebadi succeeded in getting
a lawyer’s license and set up her own practice. She made it a point to take cases
that involved the unfair treatment of women and children. She has represented the
families of serial murder victims as well as victims of child abuse. Today, she is
one of the best-known lawyers in Iran.
Ebadi continues to work for human rights and to challenge the unjust treatment of
people in Iran. “Human rights is a universal standard,” she says. “It is a component
of every religion and every civilization.”
While in Memphis, Ebadi will be participating in the PeaceJam conference for high
school students sponsored by BRIDGES.
For more information, call 901-678-2035.