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Last week, Enough’s Co-founder John Prendergast participated in a series of community events with human rights activists in Pittsburgh while in town for a fellowship at the Ford Institute for Human Security at the University of Pittsburgh.
In one gathering, organized by the Pittsburgh Darfur Emergency Coalition, Prendergast sat down with local activists with an intimate environment to discuss the complex issues related to Sudan. Prendergast also spoke about A Roadmap for Peace in Darfur, a report released by Enough and Sudan Now last month, which proposes a dynamic approach to ending the conflict in Darfur.
David Rosenberg, who has written about the Pittsburgh Darfur Emergency Coalition’s activities on this blog, said that the meeting between Prendergast and Pittsburgh activists felt like a reward for the very hard work that volunteers have devoted to the Sudan cause over the years.
“The gathering helped draw tighter the bonds between diaspora leaders, students, church leaders, political leaders, and our small band of grizzled veteran activists,” Rosenberg said. “John's knowledge, experience, reputation and ability to relate to people provided a fabulous media hook, as evidenced by the front page story and photo in the Region section of the Sunday Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.”
Prendergast participated in several other events in Pittsburgh, including screenings of the films “War Child: The Emmanuel Jal Story,” “3 Points: Peace Protection, Punishment,” and “The Greatest Silence: Rape in the Congo.” Prendergast also gave a lecture as part of the Ford Institute Speaker Series entitled “Eye on Sudan: The Promise and Perils of Secession.”
"On Friday, we were contending with sub-freezing temperatures after a night of freezing rain and snow," Prendergast said. "But the theater where we screened '3 Points' was brimming with enthusiastic folks who enjoyed the movie and wanted to get involved in the Darfur Dream Team,” he said. With numerous universities, an interested local government, and an active community group, Pittsburgh is doing a commendable job of keeping a spotlight on conflict and humanitarian tragedies half a world away, Prendergast said.
Today the Pittsburgh City Council is honoring Prendergast with a special proclamation in recognition of his advocacy work, and tonight Prendergast will speak at the World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh’s Political Salon from 6 to 8 p.m.
Keep an eye on our Events page for more details about upcoming speaking engagements and screenings.