DPDO has vigorously engaged in activities that educate the public to the situation in Darfur. DPDO representatives travel all over the US to speak to groups willing to take action in support of the people of Darfur. View our list of speakers.
Recent Advocacy News
Pledge 2 Protect March on Capitol Hill and Lobby Day – November 6-9, 2009
November 6-9, 2009 – WASHINGTON, D.C. – DPDO representatives, along with nearly 1,000 student activists, descended on Capitol Hill last weekend for the Pledge 2 Protect Conference. The conference was hosted by STAND, the student-led division of the Genocide Intervention Network, and core partners the Save Darfur Coalition and Enough Project. The activists participated in workshops, trainings, and panel discussions on Sudan, Burma, and the Democratic Republic of Congo, and heard inspiring speakers tell their stories of how they became involved in the anti-genocide movement.
Jerry Fowler, President of the Save Darfur Coalition, opened the conference with a story about an activist who asked a Darfuri, “How do you get rid of Darfur fatigue?” The Darfuri replied, “Unless you are living in Darfur, there is no such thing as Darfur fatigue.” Other keynote speakers, while acknowledging the long, hard road ahead, encouraged the students to stay life-long members of this movement and told them that everyone must be hopeful. Congressman Tom Perriello (D-VA) expressed his faith in the students’ efforts: “This generation is the generation that will end genocide on the planet.”
Darfuri, southern Sudanese, Congolese, and Burmese survivors also spoke and thanked the students for their hard work and dedication to their people and this cause. After recounting her traumatic story, Burmese survivor Myra Dahgaypaw received a standing ovation from the audience. “I don’t want you to feel sorry for me,” she said. Then she quoted Aung San Suu Kyi, Nobel Peace Prize laureate and leader of the democracy movement in Burma: “Please use your liberty to promote ours,” she asked the students.
On the final day of the conference, more than 800 students made history during their march to Capitol Hill for a lobby day and rally to prevent genocide. In meetings throughout the day, the students asked their senators and representatives to urge Congress to implement the recommendations of the Genocide Prevention Task Force (GPTF) report.
“For the first time, I finally realize the significance of my role in this national, even international, movement,” said Chiara V. Cabiglio, DPDO Outreach Intern. ‘”As a UC Santa Cruz Community Studies student who studies social movements in history, it has dawned on me that I made history today. Just as the students from the Civil Rights movement, the members of SNCC, the Black Panther Party, and the Weather Underground, and the students of the anti-Apartheid movement, I am part of the movement – the generation – that has the power to abolish genocide and mass atrocities forever. I was yelling, ‘What do we want? JUSTICE JUSTICE! When do we want it? NOW!’ with the other students, and I realized how unique this was. We were not asking for justice for ourselves, but justice for a people we have never met who live in a country thousands of miles away. Our collective voice was their voice, truly giving a voice to the voiceless.”‘
To view DPDO’s Outreach Intern Chiara participate in STAND’s “Pledge on Camera” campaign, click here:
To view a video clip of the march on Capitol Hill, click here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WgoQar-MbLo
For more information about Pledge 2 Protect and how you can participate in the next conference, visit http://www.standnow.org
Damanga Rally from White House to State Department – July 22, 2009
“End genocide, YES WE CAN!” was one of the many phrases chanted at the Damanga Coalition for Freedom and Democracy rally on July 22, 2009. Darfur Peace and Development Organization joined representatives from the Darfur Human Rights of Philadelphia, Southern Sudanese Voice for Freedom, the Darfur Rehabilitation Project, Enough, the Save Darfur Coalition, the American Jewish World Service, Africa Action, the Armenian Assembly of America, and many others in calling for justice and peace in Darfur.
The activists gathered at Lafayette Park in front of the White House to hear moving speeches from a number of people, including U.S. Representative Lynn Woolsey of California’s 6th District, who remarked, “After recognizing genocide in Darfur almost five years ago, it’s far past time for the international community to come together to end it. We need to make ending the genocide in Darfur a top priority. This isn’t a Democratic issue or a Republican issue – this is one of the moral issues of our time.”
From there, the nonviolent group marched to the State Department and delivered a letter that asked the Obama Administration and the State Department to end their silence and take action for the people of Darfur. Our solidarity with the Darfuri people was evident and our message was loud and clear: justice brings peace to Darfur. We hope that all those who heard our pleas will do everything in their power to end the suffering for the Darfuri people once and for all.
Tents of Hope and DPDO co-sponsor a three-day event for Darfur
Hundreds of canvas tents purchased and hand-decorated by communities throughout the US will become classrooms in Darfur through a unique partnership between Tents of Hope and Darfur Peace & Development Organization (DPDO).
The centerpiece of this event was “A Gathering of Tents” from across the US. Three-hundred tents painted by community groups from 48 states formed a “City of Hope” on the National Mall in Washington, DC from November 7-9, 2008. Weekend activities included a vigil at the Sudanese Embassy, seminars and workshops, an Interfaith Worship Service, films, a benefit concert and a rally.
The event was envisioned as a way to connect ongoing advocacy efforts throughout the US with direct assistance to war-affected Darfuris. Following the event, DPDO shipped and will distribute the tents to community schools throughout Darfur. For information on progress of tent shipment and distribution, contact DPDO at [email protected]
The Tents of Hope project, a collaboration between the United Church of Christ, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and Dear Sudan, has engaged communities in the process of transforming tents into works of art that became focal points for education and advocacy about the Darfur crisis. (www.TentsofHope.org).
Appearances on radio and television programs include:
- Al-Jazeera TV (English)
- Amnesty International
- Australian Broadcasting Corporation
- CBS News
- CNN and CNN International
- Congressional Black Caucus
- Duke University
- George Mason University
- Georgetown University
- Harvard University, Kennedy School of Government
- New York Times
- United Nations Security Council
- United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
- Voice of America
- Alhurra TV
- 1 Africa Radio
Other Advocacy Initiatives
The apparel brand Human Intonation has designed t-shirts to benefit Darfur Peace & Development’s work in Darfur. Human Intonation uses fashion as a medium to raise awareness about todays significant social and human rights issues. 15% of proceeds go to DPDO. T-shirts are available through www.humanintonation.com.
Stop Genocide Now: The i-Act Initiative
Interactive-ACTivism connects the surviving victims of this genocide with those who want to help, creating an interconnected community. i-ACT uses the power of the internet to put a face to the mind numbing numbers of dead, dying, and displaced. More information is available at http://www.stopgenocidenow.org/iact.
For more information on DPDO’s Advocacy Program, please contact: [email protected] or call (202)393-8150.