Canada’s only women’s university welcomes five-time Nobel Peace Prize nominee and internationally-recognized human rights and inspirational peace activist for International Women’s Day

March 6, 2019

London, ON –Brescia will begin its International Women’s Day celebrations one day early on March 7th at its second annual Dr. Colleen Hanycz Leadership Lecture: Educate a Woman, Empower a Nation. This evening of empowering dialogue will feature a keynote address by five-time Nobel Peace Prize nominee and internationally-recognized human rights and inspirational peace activist, Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish. Designed to highlight the significance of women’s education, the event will also feature an interactive panel discussion, moderated by CBC London journalist Kate Dubinski and include panelists: Chair, School of Leadership and Social Change, Dr. Marlene Janzen Le Ber; Brescia alumna and lawyer Leenat Jilani ’13 and first-year Foods & Nutrition student Esraa Hassan.

“I can think of no more fitting way to celebrate this year’s Dr. Colleen Hanycz Leadership Lecture, and International Women’s Day, than by engaging in a timely dialogue about the vital importance of women’s education – not only in Canada but around the world,” said Brescia’s Principal, Dr. Susan Mumm. She goes on to say, “As Brescia continues to celebrate its centenary and a century of women leading, we are proud to welcome inspirational guest speakers, like Dr. Abuelaish, to campus to continue to empower and motivate the next generation of women leaders.”

The Dr. Colleen Hanycz Leadership Lecture was created and funded in 2015 by Brescia’s Board of Trustees, faculty, staff and friends to honour Brescia’s 11th Principal, Dr. Colleen Hanycz. Together, donors to the fund raised over $100,000 to establish the annual Lecture series, which is designed to bring outstanding leaders to Brescia on an annual basis to share their knowledge and experience with students and the broader community, and to inform and inspire women leaders of the future.

Educate a Woman, Empower a Nation is the second in a series of lectures under the Dr. Colleen Hanycz Leadership Lecture series. In its inaugural year, the University welcomed registered psychologist and certified Clinical Traumatologist, Dr. Jacqui Linder for her lecture, Understanding Human Trafficking. This year, the event will focus on the change-making effect an educated woman has on our global society.

Born and raised in the Jabalia Refugee Camp in the Gaza Strip, Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish is a Palestinian Canadian physician and an internationally recognized human rights and inspirational peace activist. He is devoted to advancing health and education opportunities for women and girls in the Middle East, through both his research and his charitable organization, The Daughters for Life Foundation. Dr. Abuelaish has overcome many personal hardships, including poverty, violence and the horrific tragedy of his three daughters’ and niece’s deaths in the 2009 Gaza War. He has now dedicated his life to using health as a vehicle for peace.

Media and members of the London community are invited to attend Educate a Woman, Empower a Nation, taking place at Brescia’s St. James Auditorium on Thursday, March 7th, 2019 from 5:00 – 7:30 p.m. Admission and parking are complimentary. For additional information or to register, please visit:



Interview & Photo Opportunities

Date: Thursday, March 7, 2019
Location: St. James Building Auditorium, Brescia University College
5:00 p.m. Reception
6:00 p.m. Welcome
6:15 p.m. Panel Discussion
6:50 p.m. Keynote Address

For more information, please contact:

Colleen Aguilar, Director, Communications & External Relations at 519-432-8353, ext. 28293 or at, or Caitlin Core, Communications, Marketing & External Relations Officer at 519-432-8353, ext. 28280 or at

Brescia University College, Canada’s women’s university college, is affiliated with Western University. The 1,500 women registered as either full- or part-time students at Brescia study a wide variety of subjects in the Schools of Behavioural & Social Sciences, Food & Nutritional Sciences, Humanities and Leadership & Social Change in an empowering, compassionate, student-centred and invigorating environment. Degrees are granted by Western. The Catholic University College welcomes students from all backgrounds and values diversity. For more current and archived news, a listing of faculty experts, and photos please visit our Online Media Room, at .