THE WHITE HOUSE
April 28, 2006
The President meets with Darfur Advocates
The President will meet with leading Darfur advocates who are taking steps to bring global attention to Darfur. The meeting gives the President an opportunity to highlight his commitment to improving security in Darfur, finding a political solution to the crisis, and meeting urgent humanitarian needs.
BIOGRAPHIES OF PARTICIPANTS
David Rubenstein, Coordinator, Save Darfur Coalition (Washington, D.C.)
The Save Darfur Coalition is an alliance of more than 100 faith-based, humanitarian, and human rights organizations whose mission is to raise public awareness and mobilize an effective unified response to the atrocities that threaten the lives of two million people in the Darfur region. The Coalition formed on July 14, 2004, when the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and American Jewish World Service organized a Darfur Emergency Summit to address the situation and push for a global response.
Elisa Massimino, Washington Director, Human Rights First (Takoma Park, Maryland)
Human Rights First is a leading human rights advocacy organization based in New York City and Washington, D.C. Since 1978, they have worked at home and abroad to create a secure and humane world, advancing justice, human dignity, and respect for the rule of law. Massimino is the organization's chief advocacy strategist, an expert on a range of international human rights issues, and a national authority on U.S. compliance with human rights law.
Faith McDonnell, Director, Religious Liberty Programs, Institute on Religion and Democracy; and Coordinator, Church Alliance for a New Sudan (Annandale, Virginia)
The Church Alliance for a New Sudan (CANS) is one of several programs of the Institute on Religion and Democracy, which is celebrating 25 years of working to reform the social and political witness of American churches, while promoting democracy and religious freedom at home and abroad. McDonnell has been leading CANS since 1998 and has spoken out publicly regarding the Darfur issue.
Reverend Gloria White-Hammond, Chairwoman, Million Voices for Darfur Campaign (Boston, Massachusetts)
Million Voices for Darfur seeks to collect one million signed postcards urging the President to take action in Darfur. Individuals can send a postcard simply by visiting the campaign's web site. The messages will be delivered to the White House and Capitol Hill. The group is using this campaign to garner national and local media attention for the crisis in Darfur. The campaign, which began on April 2, is already halfway toward its goal. White-Hammond is also Co-Pastor of Bethel AME Church in Boston, Massachusetts.
Jerry Fowler, Director, Committee on Conscience, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (Arlington, Virginia)
Jerry Fowler is the first staff director of the Committee on Conscience, which guides the genocide prevention efforts of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM). When the President's Commission on the Holocaust recommended the creation of a living memorial to the victims of the Holocaust, it observed that no issue was as perplexing or as urgent as the need to insure that such a totally inhuman assault as the Holocaust or any partial version thereof never recurs. To address that need, the Commission recommended the creation of a Committee on Conscience, which the USHMM unanimously approved shortly after its opening.
Rabbi David Saperstein, Director, Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism (Washington, D.C.)
The Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism (RAC) has been the hub of Jewish social justice and legislative activity in Washington, D.C., for over 40 years. It has educated and mobilized the American Jewish community on such issues as Israel, international religious freedom, economic justice, civil rights, international peace, and religious liberty. The RAC is the Washington office of the Union for Reform Judaism, whose more than 900 congregations across North America encompass 1.5 million Reform Jews, and the Central Conference of American Rabbis, whose membership includes more than 1,800 Reform rabbis.
Reverend Keith Roderick, Executive Director, Sudan Campaign, Christian Solidarity International (Fredericksburg, Virginia)
Christian Solidarity International (CSI) is a Christian human rights organization for religious liberty helping victims of religious repression, victimized children, and victims of disaster. Founded in Switzerland in 1977 by Reverend Hans Steckelberger, CSI is a non-profit, independent organization that seeks to bring together Christians of all denominations to meet urgent needs.
Simon Deng initiated the Sudan Freedom Walk in which he traveled 300 miles from New York to Washington in an effort to raise awareness and support for bringing about an end to the genocide in Darfur and establish a comprehensive peace for all of Sudan. The walk ended on the steps of the U.S. Capitol on March 16 2006. At the age of 9, Deng was caught up in the struggle between the Arab-dominated government and African villagers in Sudan. He was kidnapped from his village in the southern region of the country and forced to work for a family. With the help of a stranger he met who happened to be from his village, Deng was smuggled back to his family after almost three years of forced labor.
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Jay S. Zeidman
The White House
Office of Public Liaison