Monday, October 31, 2005

Raising awareness about Sudan

By CASEY FREEMAN Colorado Daily Staff Writer
Sunday, October 30, 2005

A former Sudanese slave and an ex-U.S. Marine will both speak in Boulder this week to raise awareness about genocide in Sudan.

CU-Boulder and Congregation Har Hashem are working together to hold a Sudan Awareness Conference from Nov. 1 through Nov. 3. The week's events are all free, and organizers hope the increased understanding of the situation in Sudan will motivate people to work to end the genocide and human rights violations there.

The keynote speaker will be Simon Deng, a former Sudanese slave. Deng will be speaking on Nov. 1 at the Duane Physics Building G1B30 on the CU campus from 7 to 9 p.m.

Deng - a native of southern Sudan - was kidnapped when he was nine years old and worked as a slave in northern Sudan. He escaped the life of slavery to be a national swimming champion and messenger in the Sudanese parliament.

Now, Deng is an American citizen, human rights activist and leads an effort to stop slavery and genocide in Sudan.

Brian Steidle will speak as a foreigner who has witnessed the burning of villages as well as many other accounts of violence in Sudan. Steidle is a former captain in the U.S. Marine Corps and was in Darfur, Sudan last year as an unarmed military observer.

Now, Steidle works to raise public awareness about Sudan and is seeking international support for the African Union to stop the violence.

“Eyewitness to Genocide” is the title of Steidle's portion of the conference and the event will be held on Nov. 3 at 7 p.m. in the Boulder High School auditorium at 1604 Arapahoe Ave.

Jerry Fowler, the director of the Committee on Conscience for the United States Holocaust Museum, will also speak at the night's event.

The conference is sponsored by the Congregation Har HaShem through a grant from the Lois Pope LIFE Foundation, CU-Boulder School of Journalism and Mass Communication, CU-Boulder African Student Association, Indigenous Support Network, St. Julien Hotel and Spa, CU Chapter of Amnesty International, CU-Boulder Developing Areas Research and Teaching program, CU-Boulder Office of International Education, CU-Boulder Smith Hall International Program, CU-Boulder Institute for Ethical and Civic Engagement, CU Conference on World Affairs Athenaeum and the CU-Boulder International Affairs program.

For more information on the conference e-mail Mindy Pantiel at or visit studentgroups/ASA/SudanConference/.

Contact Casey Freeman on this story at (303) 443-6272 ext. 147 or

No comments: