Scroll to top

Join California’s First Annual Walk Against Genocide

No comments

Join California’s First Annual Walk Against Genocide

Posted by Enough Team on April 1, 2011

Join California’s First Annual Walk Against Genocide

In 2010, the California state legislature proclaimed April of each year Genocide Awareness and Prevention Month. This year, the Bay Area will recognize the state’s resolution on April 10 with the Bay Area Walk Against Genocide, when people of all ages and backgrounds will walk with genocide survivors and learn how to help end and prevent future genocides and mass atrocities. The State legislature chose April because several 20th century genocides, from the Armenian genocide to Rwanda, Cambodia, and Bosnia, are commemorated during this month. California is the only state to declare a Genocide Awareness and Prevention Month, making April 2011 a historic month for California, and for the nation.

Genocide is not only an international story. It’s a local story as well. In the San Francisco Bay Area, survivors of mass atrocities and their families live among us right here, as neighbors, friends, colleagues. Our community is home to Burmese, Jews, Sudanese, Armenians, Cambodians, Rwandans, and many other survivors and descendants of victims of genocides. These are the local faces of a grim reality: Genocide is not only for the history books. It is an ongoing fact of our world today. For this reason, we have a duty to take a stand against those who would continue to perpetuate such crimes. Silence in the face of genocide is not an option.   

The Bay Area Walk Against Genocide will give participants a unique opportunity to meet local genocide survivors and their families, hear their stories, and learn how we can all make a difference by getting more involved. The Walk Against Genocide is intended to educate Bay Area residents of all ages and backgrounds about how genocide affects us all and how to be activists, with training on advocacy and tools participants can use to advance peaceful prevention of deadly conflicts.

We encourage people across northern California to attend the event on Sunday, April 10. Activities begin at 12 p.m. at Lake Merritt in Oakland with speeches by Mike Abramowitz, Director of the USHMM Committee on Conscience, Rebecca Hamilton, author of Fighting for Darfur: Public Action and the Struggle to Stop Genocide, and Omer Ismail, Policy Advisor to the Enough Project, and other agencies working on crisis management. Delegations of survivors and descendants of victims of genocide will then lead a walk around Lake Merritt. If you do not live in northern California but have friends or family who do, you can help by spreading the word and encouraging them to participate. Information on how to register can be found at

Mohamed Suleiman is the president and a director of the SF Bay Area Darfur Coalition. He is a native of North Darfur and a member of the Zaghawa tribe. He currently resides in northern California and is a member of the Darfur Leaders Network. His village, Umbarow, was burned and destroyed by the government of Sudan and Janjaweed. Mr. Suleiman lost members of his family in the Darfur genocide; his mother and siblings still reside in Darfur. Mr. Suleiman’s activism includes translating English language news and advocacy regarding Darfur into Arabic and posting these materials on the Internet.