8:00 am

Breakfast & Registration

Coffee and a bit of continental fuel to get everyone started on a day of provocative and inspiring conversations.

8:45 am

Welcome and Opening Remarks

Bridget Moix, Senior US Representative and Head of Advocacy for Peace Direct will welcome everyone to the WSPS symposium and introduce our emcee, Melanie Cohen Greenberg, President and CEO of the Alliance for Peacebuilding, will deliver opening remarks and set the stage for the day.


Bridget Moix, Peace Direct
Melanie Cohen Greenberg, Alliance for Peace

8:55 am

A Story

“One day, I must have been the age of 12, my cousin who is almost my age, was told that she was not useful anymore. She had to leave school and was to get married…”

Saba Ismail in her own words.

9:00 am

Telling and Not Telling the Story

A panel of experts who have covered conflict all over the world, worked for peace where there was none to be had, and written kinds of stories that in fact have changed hearts and minds gather to explore how reporting frames the way we think about violent conflict. Lots of opportunity for Q+A.


Mort Rosenblum, Reporter/Professor


Heba Aly, IRIN
Anna Therese Day, Frontline Freelance
Mike Jobbins, Search for Common Ground
Scott Stearns, VOA

10:10 am

A Second Story

“On Tuesday 18 July, 2017, over one thousand Darfur students from Bakht Al-Ruda university collectively resigned from their faculties in protest at what they described as racist and discriminatory university policies arbitrarily targeting students from Darfur.”

Quscondy Abdulshafi in his own words.

10:15 am

Alexis Okeowo and Robert J. Rosenthal—a Conversation

She is a staff writer at The New Yorker and her debut book, “A Moonless, Starless Sky: Ordinary Women and Men Fighting Extremism In Africa” is a winner of a 2018 PEN America Literary Award. Her work is emblematic of a new way of thinking about conflict reporting.

He is a distinguished journalist, an executive producer of the Center for Investigative Reporting,  the former editor of the Philadelphia Inquirer and a former managing editor of the San Francisco Chronicle.

Both have been on the ground, wrestled with choices, thought hard about what reporting can be. Let’s listen in as they discuss.


Alexis Okeowo
Robert J. Rosenthal

11:00 am

Networking Break & Booksigning with Alexis Okeowo

Stretch your legs, grab a cup and make new contacts. Take a few minutes to check out our book table and have a book signed.

11:30 am

Pulitzer Center’s Pitching for Peace Contest.
Live Pitches from the 3 Contest Winners

The three winners of the Pitching for Peace competition – who will each receive a Pulitzer Center grant of up to $20,000 – will present their story idea to the symposium audience and a panel of distinguished judges. An additional $5,000 will be awarded for the best story pitch!

Learn more about our three finalists.


Kem Sawyer, Pulitzer Center


Hayes Brown, Buzzfeed
Yochi Dreazen, Vox
Rhitu Chatterjee, NPR
Vanessa Gezari, The Intercept
Saba Ismail, Aware Girls

12:15 pm

Lunch Break

A tasty lunch is included in your ticket price. Take the time to connect with others and share ideas.

1:25 pm

Another Story

Thinking about the recent violence in the Central African Republic is not about just remembering the number of victims…it’s now about the role and the place of thousands of people who have been trying to put an end to the violence.” 

Kessy Ekomo-Soignet in her own words.

1:30 pm

Who’s Telling the Story & Whose Story Are They Telling?

Men comprise about three-fourths of the guests booked to discuss foreign policy and national security on American prime-time cable and top Sunday news shows.

What do we lose by not including more women’s voices? And what do we gain when we listen to the people who live in conflict zones?


Zainab Salbi


Anastasia Taylor-Lind, Photojournalist
Christina Asquith, The Fuller Project for International Reporting
Jacqueline O’Neill, Inclusive Security
Passy Mubalama, AIDPROFEN (DRC)

2:45 am

Sebastian Junger

Sebastian Junger is the internationally acclaimed, best-selling author of “Tribe,” “WAR,” “The Perfect Storm,” “A Death in Belmont” and “Fire.” He is also the director of the Academy Award-nominated documentary “Restrepo.” As a contributing editor to “Vanity Fair “and as a contributor to “ABC News,” he has covered major international news stories in Kosovo, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Afghanistan. He has been awarded the National Magazine Award and an SAIS Novartis Prize for Journalism.


Sebastian Junger

3:30 pm

Moving Forward: Re-imagining Conflict Reporting As a Force for Change

The image of the conflict reporter is iconic, embedded in our sense of international journalism. Flak jacket. Front lines. A face full of dust. What we don’t imagine when we think of conflict reporting is the coverage of the peaceful protest, nonviolent resistance, careful negotiation, or the stories of individual resistance.

A local perspective can change the way we think about conflict. And human stories can be as compelling as war reporting. In this panel, we hear from organizations who are already re-thinking conflict reporting and offer unique approaches to covering crises.


Laurie Hays, Edelman


Daniel Beaulieu, News Deeply
Tina Rosenberg, Solutions Journalism
Reza Sayah, PBS
Jon Sawyer, Pulitzer Center
Nahal Toosi, POLITICO

4:45 pm

Book Signing with Sebastian Junger and Cocktail Reception

Join us for some end-of-day refreshment and a chance to share what you’ll take away from the day—and what you’ll do next to change the world.

PHOTO: Harun Najafizada

BBC Reporters, Afghanistan

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