Sudanese Civil War survivor and author Ayuel Leek Deng will present the 2011 James W. Moore Lecture on Thursday, March 31, at 7:30 p.m. in Kirkland Fine Arts Center's Perkinson Gallery. The event is free and open to the public; no tickets required.
Deng, a native of the African nation of Sudan, will discuss how he survived famine, the brutal deaths of family members and homelessness during that country’s decade-long civil war. Regarded as one of the gravest tragedies in the history of the modern world, the conflict led to the deaths of more than two million Sudanese and the torture and forced slavery of countless others.
During his talk, Deng will share highlights from his book, "Courageous Journey: Walking the Lost Boys’ Path from the Sudan to America,” which he co-authored with fellow refugee Beny Ngor Chol and teacher Barbara Youree. The book chronicles his years in refugee camps and his ultimate journey to the United States, where he attended college in Kansas City, Mo., and now lives, as well as his commitment to help the people in his homeland.
Millikin University’s annual James W. Moore Lecture was established in 1991 to honor the late James W. Moore of Decatur. Moore’s children, Madeline and James "Mac" Moore, created an endowed fund to present speakers on campus who represent "innovative or progressive political or artistic views."
Past speakers include Dr. Gregory Barz, ethnomusicologist at Vanderbilt University; Dr. David W. Blight, professor of American history at Yale University and director of its Glider Lehrman Center of the study of slavery, resistance and abolition; John Cronin, executive director of the Beacon Institute and the Director of the Pace Academy for the Environment; and Morris Dees, co-founder of the Southern Poverty Law Center.
For more information on the event, call 217.424.6383.