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Updated 10:00 AM October 31, 2007




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Nobel Peace Prize recipient will give McInally Lecture

Jerry White, co-founder and executive director of the Landmine Survivors Network, will deliver the Stephen M. Ross School of Business' 41st annual William K. McInally Memorial Lecture at 5:30 p.m. Nov. 7 at Rackham Auditorium.

His free, public talk is titled "Survivorship: Evolution of an Organization."
(Photo by D.C. Goings)

White, who earned his MBA from the Ross School of Business in 2005, was a co-recipient of the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize awarded to the International Campaign to Ban Landmines. Founded in 1997, Landmine Survivors Network is an international organization based in Washington, D.C., with offices in six mine-affected countries. Created by and for survivors, LSN advocates for a ban on land mines and develops support programs around the world designed to promote comprehensive rehabilitation through an integrated system of peer support, sports and social and economic reintegration.

While backpacking with friends in northern Israel in 1984, the then-20-year-old White stepped on a land mine.

"I thought it was a terrorist attack," White says. "It was then that I learned what land mines do. They were invented to rip off body parts — not to kill, but to maim. My right foot was blown off. I kept shouting, 'I have no foot! I have no foot!'"

Bone fragments from his right foot became projectiles peppering his lower body. His left leg also was blown open, bones jutting out of his calf.

"I was bleeding to death," he recalls.

But White didn't die. His friends carried him out of the unmarked minefield that had been laid during the 1967 Arab-Israeli war.

After spending six months recuperating in Israeli hospitals, White returned to Brown University and graduated. He worked for 10 years as a nonproliferation analyst, tracking the spread of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons for the Wisconsin Project on Nuclear Arms Control before he and fellow land mine survivor Ken Rutherford founded the Landmine Survivors Network.

"I didn't set out to help land mine victims," says White, whose passion to change the world was sparked by a Cambodian girl, also an amputee. When she noticed him adjusting his prosthesis and said in Khmer "You are one of us," he realized he could no longer distance himself from the suffering of amputees in Cambodia and other countries around the world.

White says there are 80 million land mines buried in more than 80 countries. Eighty percent of land mine victims are civilians and every 22 minutes someone steps on a land mine.

The McInally Lecture began in 1966 in memory of William McInally, who served on the Board of Regents from 1960-64. Past speakers include Madeleine Albright, Andrew Young, Martha Seger, F. Lee Bailey, C.K. Prahalad, Richard Tedlow and Zainab Salbi.

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