Angelina Jolie meets University of Bradford Students
Hollywood mega star and Special Envoy for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Angelina Jolie, has joined the University of Bradford's "Lend a Hand: End Sexual Violence in Conflict" campaign.
Dr Fiona Macaulay and MA students from the University's Peace Studies department met Jolie at the three-day Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict at the ExCel Centre in London on 11 June, when she added her handprint to their banner.
The students had been gathering colourful handprints and messages from the people of Bradford in the days running up to the Summit in an effort to raise awareness of the need to end sexual violence in conflict.
These handprints were joined by Jolie’s and a special message from her to all the other contributors: "Love to Bradford".
The University of Bradford delegation chatted with Jolie about the aims and the importance of the Summit, which she is co-chairing with Foreign Secretary William Hague.
She told the students, who represented the largest and oldest Peace Studies department in the world at the Summit "This could be the most important work we do in our lifetimes. But it takes everybody to make this change - governments cannot do this on their own."
University of Bradford Senior Lecturer on Gender and Conflict Dr Macaulay said "The Peace Studies department's research on conflict countries in Africa, the Middle East and Latin America tells us that systematic sexual violence destroys individuals and communities. Many of our students come from these countries and have seen the horrendous impacts of such violence at close hand. The Peace Studies department has spent 40 years analysing the causes and impacts of conflict and wars. It is now abundantly clear that sexual violence and gender discrimination is at the heart of contemporary conflict, which is why staff and students lent their voices to this Global Summit."