Two Drake students are passionate about turning Darfur into a buzzword on Drake’s campus and in the Des Moines community. Alison Bowlin, a junior from Indianola, and Emily Carter, a senior from Celina, Texas, organized "Drake for Darfur," a week of activities beginning Monday, Dec. 4.
The events, which are free and open to the public, are designed to raise awareness and funds for the victims of the Sudanese government-sponsored genocide happening in Darfur.
A screening of "Hotel Rwanda" will be shown at 7 p.m. Monday, Dec. 4, in Carpenter Hall, 2900 Forest Ave. A silent auction, offering items donated by local businesses, will be held from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 5, in Parent’s Hall, Olmsted Center, 2875 University Ave. "Date for Darfur," a date auction featuring Drake athletes Klayton Korver, Ashley Anklam and others, will be held at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 6, on Pomerantz Stage, Olmsted Center.
The week’s events culminate from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 7, at the "Dodge for Darfur" dodgeball tournament at Drake Fieldhouse, 2701 Forest Ave. In addition, the students will be selling donuts and t-shirts on campus in the Hubbell Commons area each morning throughout the week. All proceeds from the week’s activities will be donated to the American Red Cross to help provide aid for Darfurians in refugee camps in Sudan.
Carter first learned about the atrocities in Darfur in a Drake class about the United Nations, taught by Debra DeLaet, associate professor of politics and international relations. Bowlin, who was an active member in Drake’s Hurricane Katrina fundraising efforts last September, approached Carter early this fall about organizing a campus event. The two students agreed that Darfur was a worthy cause and enlisted support from campus groups and community businesses.
"I don’t feel like we are here just to read about the news; we’re on campus and we have the responsibility to take action and help the lives of people who are desperate," Bowlin said.
Drake for Darfur is being co-sponsored by Drake’s Campus Crusade for Christ, Center for Global Citizenship, National Pan-hellenic Council, Residence Hall Association and student athletes.