Talk on Darfur Highlight of Genocide Awareness Month

November 11, 2008 - News Release

Known as a passionate Darfur advocate, Glen Pearson will be giving a talk at the University of Guelph Nov. 13 as part of Genocide Awareness Month.

Organized by the Central Student Association Human Rights Office, Genocide Awareness Month runs throughout November and features a number of events aimed at creating awareness of genocide and providing a voice for the voiceless.

"One of the main focuses of the month is the current genocide in Darfur," said Yvonne Su, CSA Human Rights Office co-ordinator. "It has been recognized by the United Nations as one of the world's biggest humanitarian crises. The genocide has already claimed more than 400,000 lives, and to date more than 2.5 million people have been displaced from their homes and forced to live in overcrowded refugee camps."

Pearson, who is the Liberal MP for London North Centre, will be sharing his experiences in Sudan during his talk, which begins at 7 p.m. in Room 029 of the MacKinnon Building.

A retired firefighter, he has been involved in human rights and development projects in Sudan since 1998. He and his wife have helped build schools and other general community infrastructure. They have also been heavily involved in campaigning against slavery.

Together, they adopted three orphan children from Sudan and brought them back to Canada.

"Glen Pearson is an extraordinary man with immense knowledge and insight on the current conflicts in Darfur," said Su. "It's our privilege to have him speak at the University."

Genocide Awareness Month began with Holocaust Education Week and Peace Week.
Other events planned during the month include the 1,000 Paper Cranes for Peace Project, Cookie for a Call and Lollipop for a Letter, which all give students an opportunity to send a message of peace to the prime minister.

The final event of the month is focused on the war-related crisis in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Students can create art to share with women recovering from war-related rape there during the Congo Art Exchange running Nov. 25 and 26 in the University Centre. The art will then be displayed in the Bullring Nov. 27 as part of a benefit concert to raise money for art supplies for a local hospital in the Congo.

For details of events happening throughout the month, see the campus calendar. For more information on Genocide Awareness Month or if you would like to volunteer, contact Su at

For media questions, contact Communications and Public Affairs: Lori Bona Hunt, 519-824-4120, Ext. 53338/, or Deirdre Healey, Ext. 56982/

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