Middlebury College speaker bows out to take Nobel Prize

MIDDLEBURY, Vt. (WCAX) A key guest speaker taking part in Middlebury College's Critical Conversations series had to cancel Friday night -- she's instead going to pick up a Nobel Prize.

Yazidi activist Nadia Murad was one of two named by the Norwegian Nobel Committee Friday "for their efforts to end the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war and armed conflict."

Murad and thousands of other Yazidi women and girls were abducted, held in captivity and repeatedly raped after the Iraqi area of Sinjar fell to IS militants in August 2014. She escaped after three months in captivity. Since then she has become a spokeswoman for Yazidi women abused by the Islamic State group.

Murad was scheduled to deliver a presentation Friday night at Middlebury titled "Hope Has an Expiration Date: Exploring the Plight of Victims of Ethnic and Religious Violence in the Middle East."

Middlebury President Laurie Patton in an email to the community said, "This is by far the best cancellation notice I have ever had to write."