South Sudan Unite 2015

August 29th – 30th | Washington, DC

The Luol Deng Foundation hosted the first South Sudan Unite on August 29th, 2015 – August 30th, 2015 in Washington D.C. The aim of the event is to unite the South Sudanese diaspora in support of peace and reconciliation. The event included live music from five South Sudanese artists, a high-end fashion show, and a workshop for future Peace Ambassadors.

Day 1

Fashion, Arts, and Cultural Showcase

Day 2

The Panel
Community Celebration

The South Sudan Conflict

In the eyes of the world, the conflict in South Sudan is an international issue that the government and rebels involved should resolve. However, for the people of South Sudan this is a crisis that affects every man, woman and child deeply – whether at home or in the diaspora. For Luol Deng, peace is attainable if the people unite and join hands. Together, unity is possible.

When asked about South Sudan Unite – Luol stated, “as we approach the 4 year anniversary of South Sudan’s independence, I’m honored to be hosting South Sudan Unite. In the spirit of peace and unity, I’ll be hosting an evening of celebrating the arts and culture. This is very important to me, because the time is now to focus on our oneness and identity as a people, rather than our differences. As a people, if we can have the courage to represent the change we want to see, it means we also have the power to steer our nation back on right track. We cannot allow what started as political conflict between a few people take more lives and lead to more senseless suffering, robbing us of the country we dreamt of when we voted for and gained independence on July 9th, 2011.”

The Showcase

The weekend started off with an invite to the White House from President Barack Obama, where Luol discussed with the President the potential of peace and its impact on the lives of South Sudanese at home and in the diaspora.

The first day of the first SSU event kicked off with an unforgettable show at George Washington University’s Lisner Auditorium. The show was a celebration of our culture, our artistry, our designs and most importantly the celebration of our similarities and achievements. Artists such as Dynamq, Baf Jay, Meve Alange and Sultan Clintone preformed their hit songs. The show included touching spoken words by Bigoa Choul who captivated the audience and tapped into the shared pain and hope for a brighter future for our beloved country and her people.

  1. The Panel & Community Celebration

The second and last day of events began with a group of selected panelists representing different tribes, different grassroots organizations in different focuses – they all shared in common the fact they were all South Sudanese who are serving their communities.

The panelists:

Sarah Rial – Global Partnership for Peace I’m South Sudan (GaPPSS)

Benjamin Okukua – Equatoria South Sudanese Community Assoc. USA (ESSCA-USA)

Margaret Atarri – South Sudan Women United (SSWU)

Koang Doluony – Omaha Talons

Dau Jok – South Sudanese Youth Congress

The panelists highlighted their work within the community and highlighted the challenges they face.

The Day and the weekend finished with a relaxed day-party, where the attendees enjoyed afro-beats by DJ Biggie. Everyone danced and laughed the evening away in peace.

South Sudan Unite logo
Luol Deng Foundation logo