A National Dialog on the Sudan

Among the Invited Speakers

  • Sheikh Muhammad Nur Abdullah, Islamic Society of North America
  • US Representative Elijah Cummings, Congressional Black Caucus
  • Ambassador Khidir H. Ahmed, Embassy of the Republic of Sudan
  • Imam Khalid Fattah Griggs, Journalist and Community Activist
  • Akbar Muhammad, International Representative of the NOI
  • Rev. Walter Fauntroy [or] Joe Madison, Sudan Campaign
  • Imam Siraj Wahhaj, Muslim Alliance of North America
  • Rev. Graylan Hagler, Plymouth Congregational Church
  • Dr. Mustafa Osman Ismail, Sudanese Foreign Minister
  • John Garang, Vice President of the Republic of Sudan *
  • Dora Muhammad, Editor The Final Call Newspaper
  • Sheikh Muhammad Shareef, The Sankore Institute
  • Rev. Willie Wilson, Union Temple Baptist Church
  • Bill Reed, The Coalition To Give Peace A Chance
  • Omar Ismail, Darfur Peace And Development
  • Imam Zaid Shakir, The Zaytuna Institute
  • US Representative Donald Payne, (D-NJ)
  • Damu Smith, Black Voices For Peace
  • Bill Fletcher, TransAfrica Forum

* John Garang is the former rebel leader who, as part of the negotiated “power sharing” agreement that ended the civil war between the north and the south, is now the First Vice-President of the Republic of Sudan.

A few notes on this very important upcoming initiative

On February 21, 1965, one of the most courageous, principled, and revolutionary men in America was assassinated in New York City; his name, El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz, also known around the world as Malcolm X. February 21, 2005, marks the 40th anniversary of his martyrdom. It is a widely held view in “activist” circles that the most important way for people of conscience to remember and/or celebrate the rich legacies of struggle and supreme sacrifice made by such honored men and women, is by accepting the baton and continuing the struggle.

With this in mind, a number of thought-provoking activities will take place between February 21 thru 27, either sponsored or co-sponsored by The Peace And Justice Foundation. These activities will begin with a press conference on the morning of Monday, February 21, at the National Press Club in Washington, DC.

This press conference will have a two-fold purpose. It will be a day of remembrance; we will actively remember what this esteemed mujahid (warrior for truth and justice) stood for – and of some of the things that Malcolm said 40 years ago that resonate with even greater force today!

The second purpose of the press conference will be to announce a very important initiative. The National Conference/Dialogue on the Sudan will take place the following Sunday (Feb 27th), culminating a week long observance for an Afro-American Muslim leader who was (and still is) most deserving. We expect to be joined by a host of local grass-roots community leaders and activists (and possibly a few from outside the Washington area) for the press conference. Our hope is that we will also be joined by leaders from some of our “major Muslim organizations” (i.e., CAIR, ISNA, ICNA, MAS, MPAC, etc), as this will be an opportunity for us to make a unified statement of concern and support for the Sudan and its people – particularly in light of the crisis in Darfur.

Each organization will be able to make its own brief statement, reflective of each organization’s position on the ongoing crisis. (There is a strong possibility that the press conference may be carried live.) Should these leaders chose to join us the following Sunday, at the University of the District of Columbia for the all day conference, they will be most welcome.

It should also noted that as part of this week-long observance on the life and legacy of El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz (“Malcolm X”), El-Hajj Mauri’ Saalakhan, Director of Operations for The Peace And Justice Foundation, will also speak at the following venues: a university in Richmond, VA, on the evening of the 21st; a college in Paterson, NJ, on the 23rd , and at University of California-Davis (and an Islamic Center in Davis, CA) on the 24-25th (insha’Allah). What follows is a little preliminary information on the upcoming conference at the University of the District of Columbia (Washington, DC).

A National Dialogue on the Sudan

The conference will be held in the main auditorium of the University of the District of Columbia on Sunday, February 27th, from 11am to 8 pm. Both sides of the ongoing debate on the crisis in Darfur (and other related matters) are expected to be represented at the table of discussion.

The objective will be threefold: (a) enlightened dialogue on the crisis in Sudan; (b) education for the community; (c) and a far more constructive engagement of African Americans on this issue than what we’ve seen thus far.

In what is commonly referred to as “Black History Month,” and on the occasion of the 40th year observance of the martyrdom of El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz (“Malcolm X”) – and all that this great warrior symbolizes for Africans and African Americans – and given the unique history and sociological experience of “Africans” in America, we are hoping that this one day conference will be a springboard from which we as a people (Afro-Americans) can and will become more constructively engaged in the Sudan (for the benefit of the entire Sudan and its diverse peoples), as well as other Africa-related issues that loom on the horizon.