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Elie Wiesel and John Prendergast: "From the Holocaust to Darfur: If We Had Only Learned Our Lesson"
Elie Wiesel, Nobel Peace Laureate and Distinguished Visiting Professor of Humanities at Eckerd College Since 1993
John Prendergast, Co-founder of the Enough Project and Visiting Scholar-in-Residence at Eckerd College in March 2010
Elie Wiesel is the author of Night, a memoir about his experiences during the Holocaust that has since been translated into more than thirty languages. In 1978, President Jimmy Carter appointed Elie Wiesel as Chairman of the President’s Commission on the Holocaust. In 1980, he became the Founding Chairman of the United States Holocaust Memorial Council. He is the author of more than forty books of fiction and non-fiction, including A Beggar in Jerusalem (Prix Médicis winner), The Testament (Prix Livre Inter winner), The Fifth Son (winner of the Grand Prize in Literature from the City of Paris), and two volumes of his memoirs. For his literary and human rights activities, he has received numerous awards including the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the U.S. Congressional Gold Medal and the Medal of Liberty Award, and the rank of Grand-Croix in the French Legion of Honor. Elie Wiesel won the Nobel Prize for Peace in 1986, and soon after, he and his wife, Marion, established The Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity, created to fight indifference, intolerance and injustice.
During the Clinton administration, John Prendergast was involved in a number of peace processes in Africa while he was director of African Affairs at the National Security Council and special advisor at the Department of State.He has authored eight books on Africa, including Not on Our Watch: The Mission to End Genocide in Darfur and Beyond, a New York Times bestseller and NAACP non-fiction book of the year that he co-authored with actor Don Cheadle. John has helped create several documentaries including: George Clooney's Sand and Sorrow, Don Cheadle's Darfur Now, Tracy McGrady's 3 Points, and Emmanuel Jal's War Child. With NBA stars Tracy McGrady, Baron Davis, and Derek Fisher, John co-founded the Darfur Dream Team Sister Schools Program, which connects schools in the United States with schools in the Darfurian refugee camps.
Lasting over two decades, Sudan’s second civil war between the North and South has resulted in the deaths of an estimated 2 million people, displaced more than 5 million others and caused a quarter of a million Darfuris to flee to refugee camps in eastern Chad. An ongoing conflict in the western region of Darfur was marked by a period of intensive, systematic targeting of the civilian populations from the Fur, Zaghawa and Masaalit ethnic groups. In September 2004, the U.S. government declared the conflict in Darfur a “genocide.”