A SUNY Canton student club is holding a series of activities to protest the injustice of human trafficking, including a silent march and a presentation by a former child soldier and Lost Boy of Sudan.
The College’s International Student Activist Organization (ISAO) will be holding a 27-minute march from at Noon on Tuesday, April 2, beginning at the post office in Downtown Canton. The March will conclude at SUNY Canton. Students said the 27-timeframe represented the estimated 27 million individuals illegally trafficked annually.
The organization is also bringing Gabriel Bol Deng, the founder of HOPE for Ariang, a not-for-profit foundation, to the College. There will be a screening of Deng’s documentary “Rebuilding Hope” at 6 p.m. Wednesday, April 3, in SUNY Canton’s Kingston Theater, followed by a presentation by the former child soldier.
“The ISAO was founded last year as a student club,” said Sabel Bong, the club’s advisor and an EOP counselor at the College. “The club members invited Gabriel because child soldiers are another form of human trafficking. He delivers a very positive message about overcoming all odds.”
Deng was 10 years old when a North Sudanese Murahileen militia led an attack on his village of Ariang in South Sudan in 1987. He embarked on a dangerous four-month long journey, crossing the Nile River, and untold miles of desert. He survived famine and disease during his perilous journey to a refugee camp in Ethiopia.
Deng moved to Syracuse in 2001 as part of the Refugee Resettlement Program and attended Onondaga Community College and Lemoyne College. Upon returning to Africa, he founded the HOPE for Ariang Foundation as a vehicle to help rebuild Ariang after years of devastating conflict.
All events during the Human Trafficking Awareness week are free and open to the public.
Events listed for Human Trafficking Awareness Week
Presentations on Monday, April 1:
- Human trafficking in Canada at 6 p.m.
- Criminal enterprises and human trafficking at 7 p.m. with Dr. David Bugg from SUNY Potsdam
- Stopping human trafficking through fair trade products 7:30 p.m. with Sister Bethany Fitzgerald
- Dr. Peter Ladd from St. Lawrence University will discuss severe trauma counseling at 8:00p.m.
- Human trafficking prevention through awareness and education 8:30 p.m. with Sabel Bong.
All presentations will be held in the Kingston Theater.
Events for Tuesday, April 2:
- A 27-minute march from the post office in Downtown Canton to SUNY Canton. Twenty-seven minutes represents the 27 million individuals trafficked globally.
- Human Trafficking Identification Strategies at 6 p.m. with Dr. Brian Harte of SUNY Canton.
- Law enforcement training and trafficking in the North Country with Sgt. William Hall of Fort Drum at 7 p.m. in the Kingston Theater.
- A report from the ISAO on their recent trip to the United Nations in New York City at 8 p.m. in the Kingston Theater.
Presentations on Thursday, April 4:
- The Student written and directed play “Dehumanized” at 5:30 p.m.
- Songs by the SUNY Canton Gospel Choir at 6:30
- Spoken word by Eli Rinchere at 6:45
- Poetry by Takeya Campbell, Kenny’s Lawson, and others at 7 p.m.
All events will be held in the Kingston Theater.