Tuesday, April 25, 2006

what's happening in darfur?

this thursday, from 6-10 pm, in HUB east ballroom on the UW campus, is darfest. from the website:
    The evening will include music, dance and spoken word performances, and visual arts, conveying the facts and impacts of the situation in Darfur through art and educational displays. Student performers and visual artists will share recent works in a festive and productive environment. There will also be opportunities to educate yourself about the many dimensions of the conflict with materials from different organizations.

    The price of admission is $5 for children under twelve, students, and seniors aged 65+. The price of admission for community members is $7. All profits from DARFEST will benefit the internationally respected organization, Doctors Without Borders, one of the few aid organizations on the ground in Darfur. We hope you all can make it out to support us in our endeavors to end the genocide in Sudan.
my main interest in darfest is simple: i have very little knowledge of darfur and what is happening there and i want to learn more. that said, i'm also extremely impressed by several elements of the organization of this event.
  • instead of merely having talks and lectures, darfest is more about culture - music, dance, spoken word, visual arts, and educational displays. the students behind this event seem to be suggesting that before we are to do something about darfur we first need to understand the region, its people, its history, and its culture.

  • darfest is organized by student groups from two campuses: seattle university's STAND (Students Taking Action Now - Darfur) and UW's Save Darfur Coalition. seattle is a city with a ton of community colleges, colleges, and universities. it's nice to see some inter-campus collaboration.

  • darfest has many student group and community group co-sponsors: African Student Association, Southern Sudanese Community of Washington, UNICEF: UW, Hillel, Tzadek Hillel, Brit Tzedek v'Shalom, Students for a Free Tibet, Earth Club, Young Democrats, SEED, Sierra Club, VOX, Muslim Student Association, Save Darfur Washington State, African Studies Department, Resident Housing Student Association, Alpha Epsilon Delta. smart.

  • the folks behind darfest understand that publicity works on multiple fronts. thus, a web site, a word doc press release, and a pdf flyer. (hey! if you have access to a printer, print this out and place it where people will see it.) they've also been quite active on facebook.

  • finally, the folks at darfest are thinking and working locally, nationally, and globally. after darfest this thursday, they will reconvene sunday (westlake park, 4th and pine, at 2 pm) for a rally and march to raise awareness about darfur. the event coincides with rallies happening all over the country (including washington, dc and san francisco) as part of the million voices for darfur campaign.
to the save darfur coalition and students taking action now - darfur: smart and rock on.


At 4/25/2006 2:52 PM, Blogger Derek Baird said...

Great to see student groups getting involved and informed about what's going on in Darfur.

For those of us outside of the Seattle area, here are some ways to get involved and informed.

The U.S. Holocaust Museum has put together several excellent resources, including:

1.) Six Things you can do to help prevent genocide

2.) Call to Action: College Students Take Action for Darfur

3.) Voices on Genocide Prevention podcasts.

Kevin Sites in the Hot Zone is an excellent series of in-depth news reports from regions entrenched in armed conflict.

Last November, he filed a series of reports (via text, video, and photos) from Darfur. His video essay, Unknown Soldiers, about the boy soldiers of Sudan is heart breaking.

At 4/25/2006 9:37 PM, Anonymous Chuck said...

There's a DC event on Saturday. It's much different in that it features a number of national figures, but should also be well worth attending.

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