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A Political Salon with John Prendergast: Lessons from Africa

Thursday, May 19, 2011 - 7:00pm

World Policy Institute  presents:

Lessons from Africa
A Political Salon with John Prendergast

Moderated by Michelle Fanzo 

May 19, 2011
This event is by invitation only.

With special thanks to the Heinrich Böll Foundation for supporting the Political Salon.

John Prendergast is a human rights activist and best-selling author who has worked for peace in Africa for all of his adult life. He’s been jailed in southern Sudan and had assault rifles jammed into his stomach in Congo. He’s been described as America’s most influential activist in Africa’s most troubled regions, having played a central role in drawing American eyes to Darfur’s devastation through a campaign that enlisted George Clooney, Mia Farrow, and Don Cheadle. Through the mobilization of diverse communities – including students, religious groups, activists, business leaders, celebrities, and Diaspora networks – Prendergast’s has become one of the most visible efforts to ensure that these voices are heard on the pressing moral challenges facing the world today.

His newest book, Unlikely Brothers, is co-authored with Michael Mattocks, his first little brother in the Big Brother program. The dual narrative takes us through their personal journeys over their 27-year bond, against the backdrop of Prendergast’s trips in and out of African war zones and the struggles with varying degrees of violence in each of their lives. Prendergast's sections plumb the depths of the crises in Somalia, Sudan, Congo, and Ethiopia/Eritrea, tracing his time as a humanitarian aid worker, human rights monitor, peace negotiator, and, most recently, activist.

In this Political Salon, John Prendergast discusses the power of activism, advocacy and political engagement. He reflects on the differences and similarities at home and abroad in working to advance social justice and human rights.

Unlikely Brothers will be available for purchase at the Salon for $20.00 (list price $24)

About the Speakers:

John Prendergast is a human rights activist and author. He is cofounder of the Enough Project, an initiative to end genocide and crimes against humanity. John has worked for the Clinton White House, the State Department, two members of Congress, the National Intelligence Council, UNICEF, Human Rights Watch, the International Crisis Group, and the U.S. Institute of Peace.  John is the author or co-author of ten books.  His forthcoming book, Unlikely Brothers, due in May 2011, is a dual memoir co-authored with his first little brother in the Big Brother program. His previous two books were co-authored with Don Cheadle: Not On Our Watch, a New York Times bestseller and NAACP non-fiction book of the year, and The Enough Moment: Fighting to End Africa's Worst Human Rights Crimes. He has developed documentary films on Congo with Ryan Gosling, appeared in four episodes of 60 Minutes and was featured in a New York Times Magazine profile titled “Attention-Grabber for Sudan’s Cause.” He has been a youth counselor, a basketball coach, and a Big Brother for twenty-seven years.

World Policy Institute Project Leader Michelle Fanzo has twelve years experience in international affairs and nine in journalism, including working in the UN Office of the Secretary-General under Kofi Annan, and in the Department of Peacekeeping Operations. She has worked in Africa, Asia and most recently Afghanistan supporting development and humanitarian operations in the field, and strategy, policy and communications at UN Headquarters.  After directing a women's empowerment NGO in Afghanistan for 3 years, Michelle founded the strategic consulting firm Four Corners Consulting in 2008.

About the Sponsors:

The Political Salon - organized by Steve Sokol since 2003 to promote dialogue among the next generation of leaders in business, policy, and the media - regularly convenes a diverse group of young professionals to discuss a range of foreign policy issues and global affairs. Attendees are diverse in terms of nationality, profession, and political persuasion.





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