Around the world, millions of people have added their voices to protest marches and demonstrations because they believe that, together, they can make a difference. When we failed to stop the genocide in Rwanda in 1994, we promised to never let such a thing happen again. But nine years later, as news began to trickle out of killings in western Sudan, an area known as Darfur, the international community again faced the problem of how the United Nations and the United States government could respond to mass atrocity.
Rebecca Hamilton passionately narrates the six-year grassroots campaign to draw global attention to the plight of Darfur’s people. From college students who galvanized entire university campuses in the belief that their outcry could save millions of Darfuris still at risk, to celebrities such as Mia Farrow, who spurred politicians to act, to Steven Spielberg, who boycotted the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, Hamilton details how advocacy for Darfur was an exuberant, multibillion-dollar effort. She then does what no one has done to date: she takes us into the corridors of power and the camps of Darfur, and reveals the impact of ordinary people’s fierce determination to uphold the mantra of “never again.” Fighting for Darfur weaves a gripping story that both dramatizes our moral dilemma and shows the promise and perils of citizen engagement in a new era of global compassion.
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My own family mantra is “with knowledge comes responsibility”. . . It is taking me on a journey I never could have anticipated or envisioned. A journey that has required everything, everything, everything . . . My deepest conviction is that we have both a responsibility to remember and a responsibility to protect. Genocide is not inevitable or unstoppable—unless we choose to let it happen.
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Rebecca Hamilton is a special correspondent for The Washington Post in Sudan with support from the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting and a fellow at the New America Foundation. In 2007 she was selected as a Global Young Leader on genocide Prevention for spearheading the campaign for Harvard University to divest from companies doing business with Sudan and working with internally displaced populations in Sudan. She worked for the prosecution at the International Criminal Court in The Hague, including work on their historic Darfur cases. Currently a resident of New York, Hamilton is a graduate of Harvard Law School and the Harvard Kennedy School, as a former Open Society fellow.