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Registration deadline is Thursday, Feb. 7

The Policy Studies program will host a free workshop for educators to explore the disturbing events taking place in the Darfur region of Sudan. The workshop, “Darfur: Tragic Lessons and How to Convey Them,” will take place starting at 8:30 a.m. March 17 in Kirby Hall of Civil Rights room 104.

Attendance at the workshop qualifies educators for Act 48 Continuing Professional Education credit. The curriculum and teaching resources are most appropriate for high school courses. However, administrators, librarians, and teachers from any grade level will find the Darfur workshop an extraordinary opportunity to learn about one of the most important events of the modern era.
Registration is required by Thursday, Feb. 7. To register, provide your name and school affiliation by email to Julie O’Brien.

The keynote address will be given by Benjamin Ajak, co-author of They Poured Fire on Us From the Sky: The True Story of Three Lost Boys From Sudan (2005) and a survivor of the horrors of genocide in Darfur. Ajak will discuss the almost 15 years he spent fleeing attackers, fighting off starvation, and living in refugee camps, until he was brought to America in 2001 where he wrote the book with his cousins Alephonsion and Benson Deng.

Attendees will then rotate through three break-out sessions examining various aspects of the conflict. Lafayette professors and other invited experts on the subject will map out the history, the consequences, and the possible solutions to the Darfur genocide and will place it in the context of other instances of genocide in world history.

Each participant will be sent in advance of the workshop a copy of a curriculum written by eminent scholars at the Watson Institute for International Studies at Brown University. A professional development facilitator with extensive social studies teaching experience from the Watson Institute will lead a break-out session to guide participants through the curriculum and explain how it can be adapted to each teacher’s specific classroom needs.

Lafayette will also sponsor an essay contest on the topic of Darfur for the students of participating teachers. The winning student will receive $250; his or her school will receive a prize of $150. Details of the contest will be provided with registration.

This program is one of a number of activities focusing on Darfur that Lafayette has hosted. Policy Studies is taking the lead in implementing the Board of Trustees’ resolution that the College develop an educational program to heighten awareness regarding the abhorrent violations of human rights committed by the Sudanese government within the Darfur region.

Policy Studies led the production of “Darfur: the World’s Worst Humanitarian Crisis,” a video written by Christopher Haight ’09. Voices and images of dozens of students, faculty, and trustees make one powerful message. Also, Nicholas Kristof, author, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, and columnist for The New York Times, gave a public lecture on Darfur on Nov. 8.

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