The rally brought together a wide range of people including celebrities and Darfurian refugees; liberals and conservatives; Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, and Jews. “May this day remind us that we are all members of one human family,” Sinkford said, “with a responsibility for and to each other.”
The Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations, which represents more than 1,000 liberal congregations in the United States, formally called for an end to the atrocities in Darfur through a resolution at its 2005 General Assembly.
The rally, which drew 10,000 to 15,000 people, was the largest of more than 15 related rallies around the United States against the government-sponsored genocide in Darfur, Sudan, that has killed 400,000 and displaced more than 2.5 million. The Save Darfur Coalition, consisting of more than 100 faith-based, humanitarian, and human rights groups, organized the rally. Both the UUA and the UU Service Committee, an independent human rights group associated with the UUA, are members of the coalition.
Before the rally began, the UUA and UUSC held a Rally Before the Rally at the Taft Memorial, drawing a crowd of 150 to 200. Among the speakers were four Darfurians. At the conclusion of the rally, Sinkford led the group in a procession from the Memorial to the National Mall.
The UUA and UUSC are also taking part in the Million Voices for Darfur campaign, in which individuals and congregations are sending postcards to President Bush asking that the government take a stronger and more effective role to end the African genocide. As of May 4, 850,000 postcards had been collected. But the campaign isn’t over. “We intend to continue pushing for a million,” said Rob Keithan, director of the UUA’s Washington Office for Advocacy.
see below for links to resources related to this story.
- UUA Responds: Save the People of Darfur. Letter from President William G. Sinkford and related resources. (UUA.org)
- UUSC Resources on Genocide in Darfur. Send a postcard and learn more from the UU Service Committee. (UUSC.org)
- Save Darfur Coalition. Group of religious, humanitarian, and human rights organizations protesting the Darfur genocide. (SaveDarfur.org)
- End Crimes Against Humanity in Darfur, Sudan. Action of Immediate Witness adopted by 2005 UUA General Assembly. (UUA.org)