Last Sunday, 350 awesome activists turned out at Fountain Valley Sports Park for the 3rd Annual OC Walk to End Genocide! The activists included high school teens, students from Cal State Long Beach and University of California Irvine, and religious school kids and their families. We had people from all over the community gather together to protest the ongoing genocide in Darfur and the violence and atrocities taking place in Congo.
The Golden West College Rock Band inspired our walkers and greeted them upon their return. In addition, Pastor Kasareka Kasomo of the African Christian Church, the local Congolese community church, and Joseph Jok, lead caseworker for the International Rescue Committee for Southern Sudanese and Darfuri refugees in San Diego gave updates on what is currently happening in Congo and Darfur. They also thanked the participants for their activism in working towards a world without genocide. Faith leaders of the community, Father Christian Mondor of St. Simon and Jude, Cantor Marcia Tilchin of Congregation B’nai Israel, and Rabbi Steve Einstein of Congregation B’nai Tzedek joined Joseph and Pastor Kasareka in a prayer of remembrance and action. Courtney Widerman and Musiya Kasomo gave a reading of “At 13…” a poem written by Courtney Widerman that won second place in the Chapman University Holocaust Writing Competition.
After completing the 3 mile walk, participants enjoyed the Awareness and Action Fair where they learned more about the crises in Darfur, Sudan and Eastern Congo and took action to help the innocent citizens in those areas. Teen activists from all over the OC volunteered to run a JWW experiential learning program called Day in the Life of a Refugee. It was an inspiring, educational and motivating day. A day where people from all walks of life had the opportunity to meet others who share their passion for social justice and were coming together to do something about it!