Tolu Olubunmi ’02 to Deliver International Day of Peace Talk Tolu Olubunmi, a 2002 graduate of Washington and Lee, will return to her alma mater as the guest speaker for Washington and Lee’s first International Day of Peace event.
Political strategist and social entrepreneur Tolu Olubunmi ’02 will deliver the inaugural International Day of Peace address at Washington and Lee University on Sept. 21 at 5:30 p.m. The title of her talk is “Peace on Earth: From Platitudes to the Practicality of the Peace Agenda.”
Olubunmi’s address, which will be delivered virtually, is free and open to the public. For registration information, visit go.wlu.edu/global.
Olubunmi, a native of Nigeria who holds a degree in chemical engineering from W&L, is one of the nation’s leading activists on behalf of immigrants and refugees. She has devoted her career to establishing and leading a number of nonprofit organizations and campaigns focused on issues such as migration, education, economic inclusion, climate change and youth engagement.
“It is a genuine pleasure and honor to welcome Tolu Olubunmi back to campus to inaugurate the celebration of the International Day of Peace,” said Mark Rush, director of the Center for International Education. “All of her work has been focused on making the world more peaceful, more just and more inclusive. Her leadership in so many pursuits in the name of peace and justice across the globe is inspirational. At a time in which so much of the world confronts crisis and division, it is critical to pause and reflect upon the pursuit of peace and the forces that can unite people and overcome the challenges that confront people across nations. The importance of Ms. Olubunmi’s Peace Day remarks cannot be underestimated.”
In 2010, Olubunmi founded Ada Consulting, which managed the communications strategy for a coalition of national immigrants’ rights, education, labor and civil rights organizations to advance the Dream Act. She is also the founder of Lions Write, which is focused on building social impact campaigns through the sharing of immigrant stories such as her own. The name of that initiative came from an African proverb, “Until the lions learn to write, all the stories will glorify the hunter.”
Olubunmi has also run the United Nations’ global climate action campaign, ActNow, and she sits on the U.S. Board of Directors for the International Organization for Migration. She co-founded Immigrant Heritage Month, has helped to draft and execute U.S. immigration policies, and in 2015 was named by the World Economic Forum as one of 15 Women Changing the World and an Outstanding Woman Entrepreneur. She has been honored for her work by the Anti-Defamation League, and her story has been shared many times on national and international media outlets.
Olubunmi’s talk is being sponsored by the Center for International Education, the Office of the Provost, the College of Arts and Sciences, the Africana Studies Program, the Office of Inclusion and Engagement and the Roger Mudd Center for Ethics.