Human Rights Activist Deng to Speak at Pitt

Issue Date: 
February 12, 2007

As part of the Pitt Black Action Society’s (BAS) celebration of Black History Month, human rights activist Simon Deng will give a free public lecture at 6 p.m. Feb. 18 in the William Pitt Union (WPU) Ballroom.

A refugee of southern Sudan, Deng was abducted at age nine and given as a “gift” to an Arab family in northern Sudan. Today he travels the United States as a human rights activist, speaking for action on behalf of the hundreds of thousands of victims of Sudanese slavery and genocide. He has addressed students at Harvard, Yale, and Columbia universities and met with President Bush and Southern Sudanese President Salva Kiir. In March 2006, Deng initiated and participated in the Sudan Freedom Walk, a 300-mile trek from New York City to Washington, D.C., to call for an end to slavery and genocide in Sudan

Other BAS Black History Month events will include the following:

  • Feb. 1-28  Poster Exhibition, “History Makers of Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow,” on display at all BAS Black History Month events;
  • Feb. 10  Masquerade Ball, 10 p.m., WPU Assembly Room, masks will be provided; college students only $5 with valid Pitt ID, $7 with other college ID;
  • Feb. 13  Discussion, “Where Do We Come From? Where Are We Going? And How Will We Get There?” 8:30 p.m., WPU Kurtzman Room;
  • Feb. 21  Black Consciousness Bowl, 7 p.m., WPU Ballroom;
  • Feb. 24  Penn Masala a capella Group, 7 p.m., David Lawrence Hall Auditorium; and
  • Feb. 27  Black Cinema Night, 7 p.m., 540 WPU; Open Mic Event, “Not My Words,” 9 p.m., WPU Kurtzman Room.

For more information, call BAS at 412-648-7880 or e-mail