In its third annual Game Changers series, The Huffington Post recognized 100 of the top movers-and-shakers in 12 categories ranging from "Media," to "Top Green Innovators," to "Style." These innovators, visionaries, and leaders have paved the way in their own fields, and are changing how we look at the world and the way we live in it.
The Huffington Post nominated Enough Project co-founder John Prendergast as a “World Game Changer,” along with eight others including Libyan lawyer and human rights activist Fathi Terbil, and Liberian President and Nobel Peace Prize Winner Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. Readers can vote online for the Ultimate World Game Changer, who will be announced and celebrated next week.
According to The Huffington Post, Prendergast has changed the game for African human rights by “engaging lawmakers, celebrities and the general public in humanitarian causes across the world.” He has mobilized his friends in high places—including Don Cheadle, George Clooney, and Kofi Annan, among others—to raise awareness and promote peace in Africa. These efforts have drawn attention to areas in desperate need of assistance, often giving a loud voice to the voiceless. Whether it has been through holding press conferences or documenting satellite images, Prendergast has found ways to spotlight conflict zones and bring them to the forefront of the general public’s attention.
While celebrities have a guaranteed audience, Prendergast believes that non-celebrities can also play a vital role in ending human rights abuses. He explains:
Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Angola wouldn't be peaceful today if we didn't raise our voices about blood diamonds. Apartheid would still be the law of the land if we didn't join forces with South Africans to support peaceful change there.
Prendergast demonstrates that there is an opportunity for all of us to do well in this world. In addition to African advocacy, he has been an active mentor, and is co-author of the new book “Unlikely Brothers: Our Story of Adventure, Loss, and Redemption,” which he co-wrote with his “little” Michael Mattocks from the Big Brothers Big Sisters program.
Prendergast shows how any one person can have an immeasurable positive difference on someone if they commit to it. He said, “As you'll find out if you read the book, if I can make a contribution, trust me, ANYONE can."
Photo: John Prendergast and a South Sudanese elder in an IDP camp outside of Malakal, South Sudan (Tim Freccia / Enough Project)