news releases

2005.03.17 > For Immediate Release
contact: Becky Bohan Brown - University Affairs
phone: 402.554.2243 - email: rbrown@mail.unomaha.edu

UNO Black Studies Department to Host Nebraska Humanities Council-Funded Sudanese Dialogue April 2

OMAHA - The Sudanese in Omaha are the largest group of relocated Sudanese refugees in the United States.  The University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) Department of Black Studies will initiate a dialogue between the Omaha public and the Sudanese refugee community Saturday, April 2.  The event — "Omaha and the Sudanese: A Dialogue Towards Solutions" — will be held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Educare Building, located at 2123 Paul St.  The discussion, supported by a grant from the Nebraska Humanities Council, is free and open to the public

Sudanese refugees have been in the Omaha area since 1997.  According to Dorian Brown Crosby, project director and assistant professor of black studies at UNO, "Many have fled their African home due to a 25-year civil war and recent violence in the Darfur region of Sudan. They were then placed in refugee camps in neighboring African countries. After months in these camps, they were relocated to countries of asylum, such as the United States, where they are constantly adjusting to a new culture. Therefore, they, and other refugee communities, are in desperate need of Omaha's attention."

At the event, the Sudanese and their supporters will present their desires to the Omaha community in an effort to improve communications on addressing those requests.  Participants will include a former ambassador and director of Peace in Sudan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Southern Sudan Community Association, Douglas County Health Department, Sudanese Women's Association and Cush Community Relief International.

Through the April 2 discussion, event organizers hope the following goals are accomplished:

- Omaha professionals will become more aware and educated about the unique political, economic, cultural and historical circumstances of the Sudanese, especially the women.

- Omaha professionals will emerge with plans to make themselves more accessible to the Sudanese population.

- The networks established will create a greater awareness of the special needs of the Sudanese community, as well as the sensitivity and unique approach necessary to address those needs.

- Omahans in general will become more aware and knowledgeable of the Sudanese and their special circumstances.

"This dialogue will foster greater awareness of how rapidly Omaha is becoming an intricate piece of refugee public policy, both within the United States and internationally, due to the large Sudanese community," Brown Crosby said.

For more information, contact Brown Crosby or Felicia Dailey at (402) 554-2412.

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