July 24, 2014

Voices from Fighting for Darfur

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Based on contemporaneous documentation and interviews with policymakers across the globe, FIGHTING FOR DARFUR is the story of what was happening in the corridors of power while Darfur activists were building public pressure from the outside. The Darfur advocacy movement has been called the largest U.S. social movement since the anti-apartheid era, thanks to the involvement of literally thousands of people who transformed themselves into activists. FIGHTING FOR DARFUR follows just four of those people. These four activists are not perfectly representative of the whole, but they each provide a lens into different aspects of the Darfur movement which will be recognizable to anyone who has been part of it.

David Rubenstein

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“The Jewish community really was moved to respond by the term ‘genocide,’ and that was an enormous part of the effectiveness of the Save Darfur movement.”

–Excerpted from FIGHTING FOR DARFUR by Rebecca Hamilton. Copyright © 2011 by the author and reprinted by permission of Palgrave Macmillan.

David Rubenstein became a Darfur activist after reading a column by Nicholas Kristof in the New York Times. He was the founding executive director of the Save Darfur Coalition. Today he is the founding executive director of the Best Shot Foundation, which is devoted to saving the lives of the world’s most vulnerable children by forging a dynamic grassroots movement to defeat global childhood pneumonia.

Gloria White-Hammond

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“The idea you would start a movement to “save” anybody, and then not have the movement led by those people. How presumptuous. Imagine a civil rights movement without African Americans, or a women’s movement without women”

-Excerpted from FIGHTING FOR DARFUR by Rebecca Hamilton. Copyright © 2011 by the author and reprinted by permission of Palgrave Macmillan.

Gloria White-Hammond was an advocate for southern Sudan in the years before the crisis in Darfur hit the mainstream media. Today she is the Executive Director of My Sister’s Keeper, which supports Sudanese women in their efforts to build sustainable peace and restore their communities throughout Sudan, and a board member of the recently merged Save Darfur Coalition and Genocide Intervention Network.

Sam Bell

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“Looking back I wish ‘2005 Sam’ was more inquisitive about all Sudan’s challenges and not just the ones called genocide.”

–Excerpted from FIGHTING FOR DARFUR by Rebecca Hamilton. Copyright © 2011 by the author and reprinted by permission of Palgrave Macmillan.

Sam Bell became a Darfur activist when he was a college student. Today he is Executive Director of the recently merged Save Darfur Coalition and Genocide Intervention Network. These two groups joined forces in November 2010 to stop genocide and mass atrocities.

Omer Ismail

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“People like us can be believable, and people can see we are like them, and we have families to protect.”

–Excerpted from FIGHTING FOR DARFUR by Rebecca Hamilton. Copyright © 2011 by the author and reprinted by permission of Palgrave Macmillan.

Omer Ismail was born in Darfur and began lobbying for peace in his homeland long before the mainstream media started reporting on Darfur. He is the co-founder of the Darfur Peace and Development Organization, which works to foster reconciliation, to facilitate just governance and to enable Darfurians to rebuild their homeland in effective, sustainable ways. He is also an adviser to the Enough project and has just joined the board of the newly merged Genocide Intervention Network and the Save Darfur Coalition.