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Mount Continues Global Advocacy With Survivor of Genocide in Sudan

March 9, 2006 -- Mount Saint Mary’s University, Los Angeles, continues its global advocacy for children in crisis with guest speaker Alephonsion Deng, a survivor of the genocide in Sudan at 7 p.m. March 29 in the José Drudis-Biada Art Gallery on the Chalon Campus, 12001 Chalon Road, in Brentwood.

The evening is free and open to the public. It is sponsored by the College’s Associated Student Body, Campus Ministry, Institute for Student Academic Enrichment, Learning Center, Student Affairs office, and Women’s Leadership Program.

Alephonsion was 7 years old when his village in Southern Sudan was attacked by government troops. To avoid capture, he ran into the night with other boys. Without food, water, shoes, or adult help, he crossed more than 1,000 miles of territory. After five years of fleeing war, starvation, and wild animals, he reached the Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya and began his education.

In 2001, the United States government welcomed Alephonsion as one of the Lost Boys of Sudan. His first job was at a Ralph’s grocery store. He currently attends San Diego City College and works in the Medical Records Derpartment at Kaiser Permanente Hospital. Alephonsion, his brother, Benson, and a cousin wrote their memoir, “They Poured Fire on Us from the Sky” (www.TheyPouredFire.com).

Sarah Bessell, student body president of the Chalon Campus, is leading student activists in launching the “million voices campaign,” a postcard drive encouraging the Bush Administration to take action against violence in Darfur. Mount St. Mary’s students have taken the lead in advocating for children in crisis in recent months through the College’s Human Rights Film Festival and its Documentary Film and Social Justice Program.

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