Yesterday I went to see Paul Rusesabagina speak, the man who inspired the movie, Hotel Rwanda. He was promoting his memoir, An Ordinary Man.
The most touching part of the program was when some students from a local middle school came up and presented him with a check for $1,325 for the Hotel Rwanda Rusesabagina Foundation that they raised by selling sweatshirts with their school name on the front, Piedmont Middle School, and "Be an Upstander. It's the Key" on the back. It was great to see young people idolizing a human rights hero.
Then they gave him a sweatshirt, which cracked me up.
The event was hosted by the World Affairs Council. It isn't up yet at this writing, but you should be able to hear an audio recording of the session once it is posted, here.
The talk was also sponsored by Facing History, Facing Ourselves, Human Rights Watch, the Museum of African Diaspora, Marines' Memorial Association, Bay Area Darfur Coalition, Amnesty International and Stacey's Independent Bookstore.
People from the Bay Area Darfur Coalition were handing out info. about events happening on April 30th to raise awareness about the genocide in Darfur. Where I wish I could be is at the Rally to Stop Genocide in Washington DC.
For people who aren't near a city where there is an event, two bloggers, Jill and Marilyn, have started Bloggers for Darfur: A Global Online Community Calling for Action to Stop the Genocide in Darfur .
Here are some of the things they suggest that you can do to get involved virtually:
• Email networks to ask why genocide doesn't get the news coverage it deserves.
• Send a Million Voices for Darfur e-card to Bush.
• Watch this movie from Physicians for Human Rights.
• Post a photo of a candle on your blog or web site with a link to Bloggers for Darfur, and to their Flickr Group.
• Post a Bloggers for Darfur badge on your blog.
• Add yourself to the Bloggers for Darfur Frappr map.
• Join the Bloggers for Darfur Yahoo Group.
Obviously, putting a badge on your site is not going to end genocide in Darfur, or anywhere else, but I think it can raise awareness, which may motivate people to contact their government leaders and ask them to take action.
Here is a link to 10 actions that the Genocide Intervention Network suggests you can take to stop the genocide in Darfur, and links to some other sites listed on the Bloggers for Darfur site:
image via Amazon.