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KEAN UNIVERSITY TO HOST INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS CONFERENCE ON DARFUR GENOCIDE

Keynote Speaker:  Nicholas D. Kristof, The New York Times
Two-time Pulitzer Prize Winner

UNION, NJ—Kean University will host an international human rights conference entitled Darfur: the First Genocide of the 21st Century on Friday, February 15 from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Wilkins Theatre on the Union Township campus.

Nicholas D.  Kristof, two-time Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and The New York Times columnist, will deliver the keynote address at the conference, which is designed to better enhance education about the genocide in Darfur for both the general public and for teachers in particular.  

Mr. Kristof has covered the conflict in Sudan extensively and won the coveted Pulitzer Prize for Commentary in 2006 “for his graphic, deeply reported columns that, at personal risk, focused attention on genocide in Darfur and that gave voice to the voiceless in other parts of the world."

“Our university is committed to raising awareness about what is taking place in this neglected region of the world, where to date more than 400,000 lives have been lost,” Kean University President Dawood Farahi said. “As New Jersey’s leading university for educating teachers, we also will present ways and ideas for teachers to integrate this information into their classroom curriculum and to make this distant conflict more tangible to students.”

The conference will feature a day-long series of lectures and panel discussions on various aspects of the Darfur conflict, including tracing the origins of the conflict, its human toll and possible solutions.  Each speaker will bring a specific perspective on the genocide. The speakers will include:

Darfur, an area about the size of Texas, lies in western Sudan. It borders Libya, Chad and the Central African Republic. The genocide that began in February 2003 traces its roots to decades of drought, oppression, and overpopulation. In addition to more than 400,000 victims, the genocide has forced more than 2 million people to flee their homes.

Kean University Center for Human Rights has sponsored numerous conferences and lectures on issues of genocide, human rights and international law. The Darfur conference is free and open to the public. However, advanced registration is required at www.kean.edu/darfurconference.