Tuesday, April 10, 2007

On April 12th, 2007, the Students for Action in Darfur (SAD) at the University of Oklahoma will be hosting Samantha Power, Executive Director of the Carr Center for Human Rights at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard. Samantha Power has worked in the office of Sen. Barak Obama as a foreign policy advisor and is widely recognized as a leading activist for human rights. She has been the recipient of numerous awards including the 2005 National Magazine Award for best reporting for her article in the New Yorker discussing the genocide in Darfur.

Since February of 2003 the people of the Darfur region in Sudan have been the victims of a government-sponsored genocide. The crisis has already displaced over 2.5 million people and is responsible for the deaths of 400,000 people with 10,000 more added to this figure each month as a result of malnutrition, disease, and violence. Unfortunately, though, the international community has yet to respond in a manner that reflects the atrocities that take place in Darfur each day.

The Students for Action in Darfur is a student led organization that is affiliated with the national anti-genocide coalition, STAND. Since 2003, SAD has worked toward bringing an end to genocide through various events held at the University of Oklahoma aimed at influencing our representatives in government to act in favor of the people of Darfur.

Saira Ali, vice-president of SAD, encourages the public to attend the event, stating, “As the genocide in Darfur relentlessly continues and the global community disputes its next step, Samantha Power’s arrival at OU couldn’t have come at a better time. We hope that Power’s presence at OU will not only bring awareness to the violence currently taking place in Darfur, but also persuade students to take action to end the genocide.”

Power will be speaking about her 2003 Pulitzer prize-winning book, “A Problem from Hell”: America and the Age of Genocide, which provides insight into our country’s response to genocides in the 20th century. ''When innocent life is being taken on such a scale and the United States has the power to stop the killing at reasonable risk,'' Power writes, ''it has a duty to act.''

"Power seeks to show that American policymakers have knowingly turned a blind eye to massacres. In her view, the United States' policy of nonintervention in the face of genocide has not been a failure but precisely what diplomats wanted”, writes Jacob Heilbrun of The Los Angeles Times.

The event will be held in the University’s Ballroom at 7:00 P.M. and will be followed by a book signing.

For more information:

Natalie Reese
Students for Action in Darfur

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