Throughout history, artists have had the ability to touch people on a profound emotional level, and use their art to shape public opinion and influence social change. This was demonstrated to me, first-hand, as I watched the reaction to my sculptural exhibition about the genocide in Darfur. I witnessed an outpouring of emotion, and listened as viewers expressed the impact that my exhibition has had on their lives, and the lives of their children.
As an artist/activist, I have also organized art-related community events designed to raise awareness of, and to speak out against genocide. As my exhibition tours around the Country, being presented at University Art Museums, it has been clearly demonstrated to me that people genuinely care about the victims, but are lacking of a way to express their concern. When I give my “Artist’s Talk,” the first question I usually hear is “What can I do?’
I have founded Artists to End Genocide to provide a vehicle for ordinary American citizens to become proactive, and create a dialogue of understanding with their brothers in Africa. Through my years of activism, I have been able to forge alliances with Foundations, Academic Institutions, artists who are on the technological cutting edge, and NGO’s on the ground in IDP camps. This framework enables us to begin the conversation. Our collaborative projects will provide a linkage of communication through the universal language of art. It will foster a better global understanding among American students, and transform them into global citizens. For youngsters in African IDP camps, who have lost hope, these projects will provide a chance for them to dream about expanding their horizons. It is essential in places where children feel forgotten, marginalized and hopeless, to have that glimmer that there is a chance for a better future.
Executive Director & Founder