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  • A Guide to the Freedom Project: What does Freedom mean to you? (4/7/2014) - Create an installation in your community where people can share their answers to the question: What does freedom mean to you? How to: Get a large banner—could be a piece of paper or a movable white board—and put it up in a public place in your community. Leave post-it notes and pens available on or near the installation where people who are walking past can easily see and access them. Prompt people to write what freedom means to them on the post-it notes and then stick it on the display. Throughout the display, you can include quotes from Darfurian refugees that i-ACT will provide to any community who wishes to participate in the freedom project. Such as this one from Ayoub: Freedom means to me there can be peace in a country, security fully, stability between people and equality in different places. Everyone prefers a community who can care about these and from the government there can be equality and that they are not a dictatorship.  Wars and killing people and animals is not protection, there are many bad results, and destruction of peaceful life. I have more, more but can’t describe all in my heart. Thank you for your […]
  • Rwanda 20 Years Ago (4/2/2014) - Photo credit: Refugees made makeshift crosses to honor those who died in the Benaco Refugee Camp. (Michael S. Williamson/The Washington Post). Originally posted as part of 11 Powerful Images from the aftermath of the Rwandan genocide. Twenty years ago this month, the normal lives of Rwandans were uprooted. The love between neighbors and families that once created bridges between ethnic groups was replaced by fear, terror, and bloody deaths. It was a calculated massacre of the Tutsi ethnic group. A genocide organized by a small group of people in power and carried out by everyday citizens who were told if they didn’t join in the killing, they would be killed. The radio, once used to connect Rwandans, was used to disseminate the names of those who should be targeted. Neighbors took up machetes and family members killed one another. It was a horrific 100 days in which 800,000 to a million people died. Last night I had the privilege of listening to two Rwandan survivors as part of Living Ubuntu’s Six Commemorative Film Series for Genocide Awareness and Prevention Month. Their words struck deeply in my heart and it was hard to hold back the tears. “I only have half a […]
  • #ActToEndGenocide: April is Genocide Awareness and Prevention Month (3/31/2014) - In 2005, I attended a meeting at a Portland, OR coffee shop with half a dozen other people to discuss creating a Genocide Awareness Week. We didn’t know each other, but we knew we had to do something about what was happening in Darfur. Soon that group grew into the Portland Coalition for Genocide Awareness, and in 2006 we hosted a month of events. Now, I am proud to say that every year i-ACT works closely with dozens of other local and national groups during the month of April for Genocide Awareness and Prevention Month. This year’s campaign is 100 Days: Act to End Genocide. We chose to expand the campaign to 100 days in commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the Rwanda genocide. Starting April 7, 1994 and lasting 100 days, Tutsis were targeted because of their ethnicity and the world stood by. This April, I am asking you to not only reflect on our promise of ‘Never Again’ but to take action too. The Carl Wilkens Fellowship, now a project of i-ACT, has a great resource webpage and calendar with events from all over the country listed! There are also actions you can take and promote with your […]
  • Camp Darfur: Traveling Educational Exhibit (3/26/2014) - While Camp Darfur may seem exhausting and it’s definitely labor intensive, I love taking the Camp to various community events, schools, and universities. It’s one of the greatest educational and outreach tools i-ACT has to educate and empower everyday people to take action to end genocide. Earlier this month, I unpacked our Camp Darfur materials from the garage and loaded up my car for the first time in 2014. At 7am on a Friday morning, I pulled into UCLA Community School and met 70 7th graders who had been learning about genocide and mass atrocities. In about an hour we had the tents up and materials displayed inside. The DVDs were playing in each tent, and the students were having their final meeting before every 6th, 8th, 9th – 12th grader student at their school was going to come through the exhibit. The students had prepared their own genocide education exhibits to enhance Camp Darfur and peer educate visitors. Each group of 3 or 4 students had a presentation board about a different genocide and how it compared and contrasted to both the Holocaust and Darfur. They also had brochures they had made for their peers to take home. Visitors […]
  • Expanding Human Rights Education for Refugees (3/19/2014) - It’s been a while since we’ve given an update on the R2E Library, so here it is! We’ve recently returned from checking in on the Library in both camps Djabal and Goz Amer. R2E Librarians Rahma, Umbda and Ahmed informed us on the status and reach of each library and their suggestions for the libraries moving forward. What is the R2E Library? The R2E Library provides a space, materials and educational tools for refugees to learn about their human rights and how to address human rights issues. Users not only learn about human rights and mechanisms that protect them, but also the acquisition of skills needed to apply human rights in a practical way in daily life. By providing Darfuri refugees with the opportunity to access human rights education, i-ACT aims to empower individuals and their communities to critically analyze their human rights problems and seek out solutions that are consistent with human rights values and standards. This is particularly important for a group of people who have experienced genocide and who continue to remain vulnerable to violence and instability in the refugee camps and in their home country. Update from the Camps The libraries are in full-use and reaching all the […]
  • CARL WILKENS FELLOWSHIP NOW ACCEPTING 2014 CLASS APPLICATIONS (3/5/2014) - Program launches fourth cohort to further strengthen permanent anti-genocide constituency in the United States For Immediate Release CONTACT: Katie-Jay Scott Stauring, 310.738.0285, ktj@iactivism.org Download the PDF of this Press Release here LOS ANGELES, CA – March 5, 2014 – The Carl Wilkens Fellowship (CWF), a project of i-ACT, a Los Angeles based, international nonprofit, is now accepting applications for it’s fourth class to start in August 2014. The adult leadership program trains emerging leaders from communities around the country to build a permanent constituency working to prevent and end mass atrocities. The new class of Fellows will join a network of 55 other Fellows who actively work to prevent, stop, and heal from mass atrocities. The Carl Wilkens Fellowship is a selective year-long, part-time program that aims to give a diverse set of individuals at every level of experience the tools and resources to build sustained political will to end genocide. This program is designed to accommodate the schedules of working professionals as well as community members who have families, are active in other organizations, and have other commitments. Fellows will receive leadership training, conflict and advocacy education, organizing tools and resources, and one-on-one and group advising. The year-long Fellowship […]
  • Innovative Sports and Education Programs Reach Darfuri Refugee Camps; Los Angeles-based Nonprofit Makes 18th Trip to the Region (2/10/2014) - For Immediate Release Contact: Katie-Jay Scott ktj@iactivism.org, 310.738.0285 Download PDF Version Here Hermosa Beach, CA USA – February 10, 2014 i-ACT is continuing its mission of empowering those affected by mass atrocities through its 18th trip to refugee camps in Eastern Chad. The team, comprised of members of the California based nonprofit, will use the trip to assess its preschool programs; as well as, hold tryouts for Darfur United, an all-refugee soccer team. The trip comes at a time when violence in Sudan’s Darfur region has been on the rise, causing recent influxes of refugees into Chad. Approximately 300,000 Darfuris have spent years living in these refugee camps, displaced from their homes. i-ACT has traveled to the refugee sites 17 times to help build strong communities, and to promote personal growth for the youth in these camps. On this trip, i-ACT staff will focus on two key initiatives: preparing the Darfur United soccer team for their second international tournament this coming June, and checking the progress of its “Little Ripples” preschool program. Darfur United is comprised of men who currently live in the 12 refugee camps in the region and who represent several tribes from Darfur. The team plays for […]
  • Refugee Soccer Team Representing Darfur Receives an Offer of Friendship and Support from a Team Representing the Isle of Man (12/20/2013) - Darfur United and Ellan Vannin Become “Twinned” Teams FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Sara-Christine Dallain, scd@iactivism.org, +1 805.637.6876 Download PDF of Press Release Here HERMOSA BEACH, CA USA and ISLE OF MAN, UK – December 19, 2013 – In what could be seen as an unlikely pairing, Manx Independent Football Association (MIFA) and Darfur United (DU) soccer team have joined in a “twinned” partnership. MIFA contacted Darfur United, a team formed from refugees living in camps in Eastern Chad, to offer support in getting DU to the 2014 ConIFA World Football Cup in Sweden. Beyond financial support, MIFA is interested in friendship, cultural exchange, and a long-term relationship with DU. The “twinned” partnership was initiated by MIFA after hearing of the DU team’s inspiring story. Darfur United is made up of young men that escaped extreme violence in their homeland. They have been living in remote, isolated refugee camps at the edge of the Sahara for 10 years. These camps—located in Eastern Chad, close to the Sudan border—are the home to over 300,000 refugees, and have very limited resources. Darfur United is not only an opportunity for the refugees to represent their people and play, but it’s also a movement to bring […]