South Sudan Unite 2017

July 21st – 24th | Dallas, Texas

South Sudan Unite (SSU) third annual event was held in Dallas, Texas from July 21 – 24, 2017. It consisted of four main events: a workshop, a community day festival which included a cultural night, a fashion and arts showcase and a memorable South Sudan flag dedication to the City of Dallas.

Day 1

The workshop

Day 2

Morning: family community festival

Evening: cultural night

Day 3

Fashion and arts showcase

Day 4

Flag raising

The Workshop

A workshop titled “Reach for the Stars” introduced the community in Dallas to a panel of young and successful South Sudanese professionals working in the diaspora as well as in South Sudan. Led by experts in the subject matter, topics such as mental health and financial literacy were discussed in depth and resources provided.

The panelists listed above were joined by Dr. Amel Hammdan. After giving the participants a view of what they have individually accomplished, the panelist discussed the importance of hardwork in order to achieve their personal goals, and how, despite the challenges they faced along the way, they were able to accomplish their plans in academia and other facets of life.


The 2nd day of the weekend composed of two events, the Community Day Festival and Cultural Night. The first event aimed to ensure that all members of the community were included in the festivities, young men and women played basketball and enjoyed a DJ playing their favorite songs. The women contributed by making the finest South Sudanese cuisine, and the children played and ran around while getting to spend time with Luol Deng. The second event was a celebration of our Artistry and Culture, our beloved South Sudanese musicians performed, and the audience also enjoyed a diverse range of cultural dancing from Acholi, Nuer, and Dinka dance performances.

The night also honored Emmanuel Jambo, a professional South Sudanese photographer in Kenya, and Buey Tut, Founder and Executive Director of Aqua Water. And for the first time ever, the SSU Diaspora award, which recognizes individuals of South Sudanese origin doing exceptional work. The 2017 recipients are VOA journalist Ayen Bior and Executive Director of Aqua Water, Buey Tut.

The Fashion Showcase & The Flag Raising

On the last day of SSU, South Sudanese models strutted the runway wearing African print garments designed by South Sudanese. The Fashion and Arts Showcase was filled with vibrant artwork, handmade jewelry and other artistic crafts.

On the 24th July, 2017 the city of Dallas invited our founder, Luol Deng to raise the South Sudan flag in the Dallas Municipal Government Administration building marking it the first time the emblem of the world’s newest nation had been raised there. African Liaison for Dallas, Regina Onyeibe, went on to state that the South Sudan flag was only the 14th flag from Africa raised in the City Hall.

As the event came to a close, Luol Deng was made an honorary Dallas citizen during the flag raising ceremony.

South Sudan Unite logo
Luol Deng Foundation logo