UT Martin to host Sudanese leader
The Messenger 10.18.07
John Bul Dau, featured in the award-winning film and memoir “God Grew Tired of Us,” will speak at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 29 in the Elam Center at the University of Tennessee at Martin.
He will speak on his experiences growing up in war-torn Sudan, as a leader of the “Lost Boys” and on the current situation in the Sudan, with some emphasis upon the Darfur region. The event is free and open to the public.
A member of the Dinka people, Dau was born in Sudan and became a refugee in 1987, when his village was attacked by government troops during the civil war involving the Muslim-controlled government in northern Sudan and the non-Muslims of southern Sudan. His family scattered, Dau endured numerous hardships before reaching the relative safety of Ethiopia.
After four years in an Ethiopian refugee camp, civil war again broke out, and he was forced to flee to another camp in Kenya. Here, he became a leader among the Sudanese “Lost Boys,” with responsibility for more than 1,000 others. In 2001, along with three other Lost Boys, he was sponsored by a church group to come to the United States and settled in Syracuse, N.Y.
Living the American dream, Dau worked long hours to raise money to locate other family members and bring them to the United States. He has earned an associate’s degree at Onondago Community College and currently is pursuing a degree at Syracuse University’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs.
His experiences are the subject of his memoir, “God Grew Tired of Us,” and the film of the same title, which won the Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Award at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival. Dau continues to work tirelessly in support of the people of Sudan and to end the violence in Darfur. He has founded several organizations to assist the people of Sudan, including the American Care for Sudan Foundation, which recently opened a medical clinic in southern Sudan.
“John Bul Dau has a fascinating story to offer, one of great tragedy, but also one of resilience and determination in overcoming some of the worst obstacles that can befall an individual,” said Dr. Dan McDonough, UT Martin Honors Programs director. “At the same time, as Mr. Dau tells us, the conflict in Sudan, most notably Darfur, remains one of the most difficult in the world today. This is an issue that will grow in importance in our own politics. Please join us as Mr. Dau offers his insight into this most tragic problem.”
For more information, contact McDonough at email@example.com or (731) 881-7436.
God Grew Tired of Us, John Bul Dau, Lost Boys, Sudan, Sudanese, University of Tennessee at Martin