Thank you Congregation Har Hashem for sharing your local speakers bureau! www.harhashem.org/sudan
Local Speakers Bureau for the Genocide in Darfur
1) Genocide and Humanitarian Crisis in Darfur
Name: Ahmed Alimohammed (aka “Ali”)
Who speaker is: Ali is a Darfurian who currently lives in Denver. He came to the United States in 2001 as a political asylee. He is from the Maasalit tribe, one of the three tribes primarily targeted by the Sudanese government and the Janjaweed in the genocide. Some members of his family are still in their village in Darfur, but most have been displaced to neighboring Chad. Ali lost his brother in the genocide in 2004. Ali is a majoring in mechanical engineering at the Community College of Denver and plans to transfer to CU in the fall. He is a chairman of the Sudan Federal Democratic Alliance, the Secretary General of the Darfur Association in the United States (DA USA) and leader of the Colorado branch of DA USA. The DA USA endeavors to be a social, cultural, educational, non-profit and non-political organization, whose goals include helping address and support issues facing the Darfur region and Sudan as a whole.
Topics: The current situation in Darfur; the history of the Darfur region and Sudan as a whole.
Fee: None. Donations to the DA USA or other organizations benefiting Darfur are welcome.
Contact info: 720-276-9232 or email@example.com
Name: Pastor Heidi McGinness
Who speaker is: As an ordained Presbyterian Minister, Pastor Heidi McGinness has served the Lord in the rural, suburban and inner-city parish. Always the prophetic preacher, Pastor Heidi has long worked toward ending the persecution of the Lord’s children and their Church. In addition she has worked tirelessly to champion the rights of ALL people, gaining her the reputation of being a Human Rights activist and respectful, compassionate listener. A naturalized citizen, Pastor Heidi, left her native Germany as a young girl, where she had the misfortune of witnessing the results of hate and the horrors of war and its debilitating aftermath. Trips to war-torn Sudan, Africa with the human rights organization, Christian Solidarity International (CSI) in 2004, 2005, 2006, and 2007 has catapulted Pastor McGinness into becoming a modern-day abolitionist and passionate defender of the victims of slavery and genocide.
Christian Solidarity International, founded in 1977, exposes religious persecution, demands respect for the God-given right of every human being to choose and practice their faith, and provides spiritual and material support for victims of religious repression, victimized children and victims of disaster. CSI is a worldwide Christian human rights organization that has been working for over 10 years aiding the persecuted in Sudan. Christians and Black Muslims have been the targets of genocide and enslavement by the Islamic government of that country. In Sudan, as in other parts of the world, CSI frees slaves, feeds the hungry, clothes the poor and provides medical support to the sick.
From 2004 through 2007, Pastor Heidi has worked with CSI teams in Sudan, liberating over 700 men, women and children from slavery, delivering thousands of tons of grain and basic supplies for living, hundreds of pounds of medicine, spiritual support and hope.
Pastor Heidi, as Outreach Director for CSI-USA, has been traveling the United States speaking to ecclesiastical and civic groups retelling her gripping eyewitness account of the sufferings of the faithful in Sudan and beyond. She has preached to the congregations of remote rural parishes and suburban mega-churches providing them with her unique perspective of the continued suffering of Black Christians, Black Muslims, and Traditional Believers in South Sudan and Darfur. Through her preaching and speaking engagements she raises much needed funds to aid CSI carry out its mission.
As Outreach Director for CSI-USA, Pastor Heidi has appeared on Breakthrough with Pastor Rod Parsley on Trinity Broadcasting Network. In 2007, she appeared nationally on Fox News Live (link to interview http://iabolish.blogspot.com/2007/06/simon-deng-of-aasg-interviewed-on-fox.html) and has been profiled extensively in radio, print, and news media. She has been invited and has attended briefings on Darfur in Washington, D.C. with officials from the White House and the Department of State. Because of her testimony on the atrocities in Darfur before the House Finance Committee of the Colorado State Legislatures in February of 2007, she was invited by Governor Bill Ritter to the ceremony that signed Colorado’s Divestment Bill into law.
Pastor Heidi McGinness is an enthusiastic, articulate and passionate preacher and speaker who inspires and engages her audience, large or small.
Topics: Modern Day Slavery in Sudan: The Ultimate Human Rights Violation; Genocide in Darfur and the South of Sudan.
Fee: None. Donations to Christian Solidarity International or other organizations benefiting Darfur are welcome.
Contact Info: 303-477-1577 (office), 720-984-4488 (cell), www.csi-int.org, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Name: Becky O’Brien
Who speaker is: Becky was the Sudan Genocide Response Team Coordinator at Congregation Har HaShem where she oversaw the congregation’s Darfur activism for more than three years. She has also supervised their effort to resettle Sudanese Lost Girls from Africa to Boulder. She has a master’s degree in Religious Studies from the University of Colorado.
Topics: History and current status of the genocide and humanitarian crisis in Darfur; what can be done by groups and individuals to end the suffering. My talks are aimed to inform and then inspire people to take action.
Fee: No fee. Donations would be welcome to any advocacy or humanitarian organization working for Darfur.
Contact Info: 303-499-7077, ext. 26 or email@example.com
Name: Jennifer Poitras
Who speaker is: Jennifer has worked in the field of international humanitarian relief for the past 8 years. Most of her work has concentrated on Africa, including: Sierra Leone, Liberia, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Sudan. She has also worked in East Timor as well as Ache Indonesia following the Tsumani. In addition to her work overseas, she has worked at the Washington level with an NGO as the coordinator of its operations in Africa. Most of her field experience is in management and oversight of humanitarian interventions. This involves direct management of humanitarian programs, as well as supervising logistics, security, admin and finance. My last position was as the head of The International Rescue Committee’s programs in south and west Darfur, where I was for 6 months.
Topics: She has given presentations on her work in Ache Indonesia, discussing the way her agency responded to the tsunami crisis there, some of the specific challenges they faced, some personal stories/observations, and the achievements they made. She is also preparing a slide show of working in Darfur, which will discuss the overall situation there, the many challenges in working in that environment, and advances that were made through the humanitarian work she was involved in.
Fee: She does not require any fee for speaking. But, if funds are available, she is collecting funds for a youth program in one of the camps in Darfur.
Contact info: 303 258 8088 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Name: Anita Sanborn
Who speaker is: President of the Colorado Episcopal Foundation. She serves as an advisor to the Sudan Council of Churches-USA, the African Sudanese Community organization and the Sudanese ministry based at St. John’s Cathedral in Denver. She is a founding board member of the American Friends of the Episcopal Church of Sudan. In April of 2005 she traveled to Chad as part of a team representing Sudan Mercy, a humanitarian aid project. In addition, she is working with Sudanese leaders in Colorado to develop projects for peace building and reconstruction in southern Sudan (not Darfur). In January 2006 she is traveling to Southern Sudan with a team to assess feasibility of developing a low tech fuel program to provide cooking fuel to villages.
Topics: Humanitarian aid needs; how to get involved locally; overview of political situation, role of church in Sudan, what Sudanese can teach us.
Fee: I am willing to speak for free if the honorarium/donation can go to either the Sudanese Community Church or the Children’s Ark of the New Sudan (a new not for profit being organized by Sudanese women here in Colorado) checks may be sent care of the Colorado Episcopal Foundation but made out to the above.
Contact Info: email@example.com or my office telephone is: 303-534-6778
Name: Carl Tinstman
Who speaker is: Retired 30-year veteran of United Nations, Carl has worked for UNICEF, the World Health Organisation and the UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, in Asia, the Middle East and Africa. From the end of 1996 to mid-1999 he was the Coordinator for Operation Lifeline Sudan, the UN sponsored consortium of UN agencies and NGOs providing humanitarian assistance to all of South Sudan. Currently Carl is a part-time resident of Boulder, as he travels extensively on consulting assignments for the United Nations and also volunteers his time, mostly on his mission to eradicate polio throughout the world. He has lectured as a guest lecturer at the University of Colorado and other institutions in the Boulder area.
Topics: History of the conflicts in Sudan, humanitarian assistance in Sudan, current political situation globally relating to Darfur.
Fee: For Darfur related speaking engagements, Carl does not charge a fee, but requests that his out of pocket expenses be covered. Donations in his name can be made to the Save Darfur Coalition at www.savedarfur.org.
Contact Info: firstname.lastname@example.org or cell phone 646 541 2168.
SPECIAL NOTE: Carl travels extensively, so if you are interested in having him speak contact him immediately to see if he will be in town.
Name: Peter Van Arsdale, PhD
Who speaker is: Prof. Van Arsdale is a Senior Lecturer in the Graduate School of International Studies and Faculty Advisor with the Center on Rights Development at the University of Denver. His specialties include human rights, especially among refugee and immigrants populations. Among his innovations are the co-development of the refugee and immigrant program for the Colorado Division of Mental Health, the refugee mental health project for the Center for Cultural Dynamics, and components of the human rights program at CU. He served as co-founder of the Rocky Mountain Survivors Center (the region’s largest provider of services to traumatized refugees). He has conducted field work around the world, including Sudan. His publications are extensive, including five books, and his sixth forthcoming book, Forced to Flee: Human Rights and Human Wrongs in Refugee Homelands. He received his Ph.D. in cultural/applied anthropology at CU. He has received numerous awards, including the Outstanding Faculty and Teaching awards of the Graduate School of International Studies at DU, and the Human Rights Award from the United Nations Association of Colorado.
Topics: Refugee and immigrant issues (general), genocide and torture, and organizational development (e.g., regarding the Rocky Mountain Survivors Center, which he co-founded). Sudan is one of the countries in which he has expertise.
Fee: The fees I charge range from zero, for certain church groups and small non-profits, to $250 for a one-hour lecture to a larger organization.
Contact Info: email@example.com or 303-871-3281