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2009.08.11 > For Immediate Release
contact: Wendy Townley - University Relations
phone: 402.554.2762 - email: wtownley@unomaha.edu

Darfur Activist to Speak Oct. 28 Human Rights Lecture

Omaha - A soldier turned human rights activist will serve as keynote speaker for the 11th annual Shirley and Leonard Goldstein Lecture on Human Rights at the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO).

Brian Steidle, co-author of The Devil Came on Horseback: Bearing Witness to the Genocide in Darfur, will speak on “Hope for Darfur” at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 28 at the Thompson Alumni Center, 6705 Dodge St. The event is free and open to the public.

Steidle’s book, which chronicles his time in Darfur, was later produced into a documentary film by the same title.

As the son of a naval office, Steidle traveled the world as a child. He earned a bachelor’s degree in 1999 from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, and later received a commission in the U.S. Marine Corps as an infantry officer. He completed his service with the Marine Corps in 2003 as a captain.

In 2004, while working with the Joint Military Commission, he was invited to serve in Darfur as an unarmed military observer and U.S. representative to the African Union. He was one of only three Americans serving with a coalition of African countries monitoring the ceasefire between the two African rebel groups and the government of Sudan.

After six months, Steidle felt compelled to bring the story of what he witnessed in Darfur to the world.

Since returning from Darfur, Steidle has spoken at more than 500 public awareness events in communities and at universities across the country, including Harvard, Princeton, Stanford and UCLA. He has testified in the U.S. Congress and the UK Parliament, and continues to advise non-governmental organizations (NGO), government agencies and the International Criminal Court on such subjects as intelligence gathering, NGO operations, war crimes and Sudanese government military operations.

Steidle is executive director of HOPE (Helping Other People Everywhere), an organization he and his wife launched to support existing social projects that promote education and growth around the world.

The Shirley and Leonard Goldstein Lecture is sponsored by the Religious Studies program at UNO. For more information, call William L. Blizek at (402) 554-3347.

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