Jerry White

by Abigail Richardson from MY HERO Staff

Born and raised in the United States, Jerry White's journey toward becoming a global advocate for peace was profoundly influenced by a life-altering event. In 1984, while studying at Brown University, Jerry White's life took an unexpected turn when he stepped on a landmine during a hiking trip in Israel. The explosion resulted in the loss of his leg, fundamentally altering the course of his life, and shaping his perspective on conflict and its devastating impact on individuals and communities.

Rather than succumbing to despair or bitterness, Jerry White turned his personal tragedy into a catalyst for positive change. His own experience with disability and the horrors of landmines ignited a deep-seated passion for humanitarian action and propelled him into the forefront of the global campaign against landmines.

155102Jerry WhiteWikipedia

Jerry White's advocacy work gained international recognition when he co-founded the Landmine Survivors Network (LSN) in 1995, alongside Ken Rutherford, another landmine survivor. Their goal was to create a global initiative to link survivors to healthcare, rehabilitation, peer support, and social and economic integration.

Accompanied by Princess Diana, Ken and Jerry opened the first Landmine Survivors Network in Tuzla, Bosnia in 1997; this trip was significant for its importance to landmine survivors and because it was to be her last humanitarian mission. Diana’s presence, compassion and genuine kindness buoyed the spirits of survivors, and brought attention to the challenges victims of landmines face.

Since that trip, LSN has opened seven field offices (Bosnia & Herzegovina, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Jordan, Mozambique, and Vietnam), and has developed programs have reached out to survivors in 43 of the 87 most mine-affected countries around the world.  

The LSN also played a pivotal role in galvanizing support for the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty, also known as the Ottawa Treaty, which aimed to outlaw the use, production, stockpiling, and transfer of anti-personnel landmines. His tireless efforts and passionate advocacy contributed significantly to the treaty's success, which has since been ratified by 164 countries, signaling a global consensus against the use of landmines.

Beyond his work on landmine issues, Jerry White's commitment to peace and humanitarian causes has taken him to the frontlines of some of the world's most protracted conflicts. As a seasoned mediator and peacebuilder, he has worked in war-torn regions such as Afghanistan, Bosnia, and the Middle East, striving to facilitate dialogue, reconciliation, and the resolution of longstanding conflicts.

Jerry White's contributions extend far beyond the realm of advocacy and diplomacy. As an author, speaker, and educator, he has sought to raise awareness about the human cost of war, promote the rights of persons with disabilities, and inspire others to become agents of positive change in their communities and beyond.

In recognition of his outstanding contributions to peace and humanitarianism, Jerry White was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1997, along with his fellow campaigners of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines. The prize served as a testament to his indomitable spirit, unwavering courage, and relentless pursuit of a more peaceful and just world.

Today, Jerry White continues to inspire and empower countless individuals through his work as a humanitarian leader, educator, and advocate. Whether addressing audiences at prestigious universities, engaging with policymakers at the highest levels, or standing in solidarity with communities affected by conflict and violence, he remains steadfast in his commitment to building a world where the dignity and rights of every individual are upheld and respected.

Hoping to one day build restoration bridges with an Iran and Israel-Palestinian peal deal, White often testifies before U.S. Congress and the United Nations. Now married with four kids, White embodies the spirit of survivorship in every facet of his career and has improved the lives of many. 

In Eva Haller's Salon in March 2024, Jerry and Georgette discuss their collaboration on "Religicide: Confronting the Roots of Anti-Religious Violence." They will focus our attention on Religion-related violence - the fastest-spreading type of violence worldwide. We will learn about their blueprint for action, calling on government, business, civil society, and religious leaders to join in a global campaign to protect religious minorities.

Watch here: 

Page created on 3/7/2024 4:03:52 PM

Last edited 3/7/2024 5:55:15 PM

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